Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I’m Brandon Hayden of Happily Dressed. I strive to show people that being yourself is the best way to maximize your life. Through my personal sewing projects and teaching classes, I am reminded that we each have something unique to offer the world. Being able to sew my clothes from scratch helps in my quest to fine-tune my individuality. I share my journey, hoping others will try to do the same.
Why do you sew?
I use sewing as a tool for self-expression. Not only does sewing remind me of how capable I am, but it also provides me with a unique and personal wardrobe!
What do you like to listen to when you’re working (and why)?
Most of the time, I’ll go down a YouTube video rabbit hole of sewing tutorial videos or funny clips that I’ve been meaning to catch up on. I love to multitask, so being able to watch videos while sewing familiar projects helps me do that.
Where is home and how does it affect what you do?
I currently live in Atlanta, Georgia. Living here has been crucial to what I do. I thrift a lot of the fabrics and textiles I work with. Thrifting in Georgia is so inexpensive compared to other places in the US.
Name a book that you’ve recently read which inspired you and why?
I don’t read much, but I found The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra at a thrift store last week. I bought it and purposely read through it in a week. It had some great reminders of how special we are as individuals.
What was the first thing you ever remember making on your own? Tell us about this memory.
I bought a sewing machine at the end of 2017 to take in clothes I thrifted that were too big. I made a pillowcase to build my confidence before taking apart clothes and trying to put them back together. I’m sure this is a common answer, but I love that a pillowcase is so easy and universal!
Your IG is full of AMAZING matching sets. Can you name some favourite go to patterns/ pattern makers for men?
Wow, thank you! Most of the matching sets on my Instagram are self-drafted! It’s been a challenge to find trendy yet timeless patterns for me, so oftentimes, I make my own. A favorite of mine, though, has been your pattern! The Paola Jacket has been a staple in my wardrobe. I’ve made five to date. I made a few modifications, but it’s such a great base for an amazing jacket. Every time I wear one of the five, I get so many compliments. I tell people exactly where they can find the pattern and the blog post instructions!
What defines your style?
Honestly, my mood. There are some days when I feel more masculine and dress accordingly, and there are other days were I feel more feminine and get to play around more with colors, textures, and silhouettes. No matter which expression, my goal is to always leave the house in something I feel comfortable in.
How important is it to make something with your hands?
VERY. It’s a big goal of mine to put “designer clothing” back into the hands of the people who are actually sewing the garments. Most of my wardrobe is “designer” because I’ve drafted and sewed it with my own hands. There’s a pride there that’s irreplicable.
What has been the most rewarding sewing project you’ve completed so far and why?
I made jeans for the first time last year, which was super rewarding. Working with heavier-weight denim intimidated me for a long time, so finally overcoming that fear was a big accomplishment. Plus, they turned out amazing. I made the Helene Jeans by Anna Allen and then also since made the Know Me 2024 jean pattern by Norris Danta Ford. He’s a pattern maker I enjoy that makes great menswear patterns.
What is more important to you – the process or the final product (ie your garment)?
The process, definitely! Sewing has taught me patience, time management, and the pride of taking things slow and not cutting corners. Of course, I love wearing the final piece once it’s done, but I’m the proudest of a piece when I didn’t rush and gave it my all.
What does success mean to you?
Living each day in a way that feels resonate with how you see, celebrate, and value yourself.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
People’s opinion about you is none of your business.
I love this piece of advice because it’s a great reminder that your life is yours alone to live. No one has say or power over what you’ve come here to do and accomplish. The only power people have over us is the power we allow them to have. Always stay true to yourself and know that’s enough to live a great life.
What have you chosen to make out of FS linen and why?
I love a good matching set, so I made the Pomona Pants by Anna Allen paired with a button-up (Simplicity 9279). We’re moving into Summer here in the US, and I wanted a beachy lounge set. These pieces can also be worn separately, which I love. I decided not to add buttons or buttonholes on my shirt for a modern “throw-over” feel, and really like how it turned out.