The Pattern Project 

So I’ve started on a very exciting project this week, getting the ball rolling with generating our own patterns to sell at Crafty Sew&So and beyond! It’s really exciting and opens up a whole new branch to the business but I can tell it’s going to be challenging!

I started with a list of body measurements compiled with help from our garment pattern cutting and grading expert Janie.

We are really keen to ensure the size range reflects what people are used to buying from the high street with realistic measurements covering sizes 8 to around 26 rather than the usual teeny tiny sizing used by many of the mainstream pattern companies. Most use a set of size specs first generated in the 1950s.

But the reality is that generally we just don’t have the same body shape because we don’t have the same lifestyles as back then. The archetypical 50s silhouette with nipped in waist and exaggerated hips is now less severe – even in athletic types our waists are less defined. Many of us spend more time sitting down in our jobs and daily life. Waists are bigger and bums are a little bit flatter! That’s not to say we’re lazy, life is just different with many women having desk jobs and power assisted cleaning equipment! We’re using different muscles than we used to!

And man was I feeling that by the end of this first block drafting session…

Me: phew this is hard, I’m using brain muscles I haven’t used in a long time!
To which Freya replied..
Freya: well that’s why we pay ya… Or, ahem, are trying to!

Which brings me to another challenge of the week.
Freya and I pay ourselves a modest amount, just enough to survive on. We have been lead to believe most new business owners don’t pay themselves for at least the first year so we feel pretty proud to be doing at least that. But it is tough, I mean there is life to be lived, cats to be fed and fabric to be bought!

I’ve always known that running my own sewing business will not make me rich, at least not any time soon. But this isn’t a sob story of hard working girls sent to poverty and ruin. Instead I feel proud of how I’ve paired down my life to what really matters to reach happiness. I feel richer than many because I love my job. I do feel very lucky to do what I love everyday. There are struggles, bills to pay. Investing in new equipment, product lines, display fixtures and man power/ services when really we could just pay ourselves a bit more- but we want to grow and succeed long term- see the bigger picture.

So that’s why despite the extra hard work I’m so excited to be starting on this new pattern making venture. It’s great to be working on something we know from experience there is a market for and that we really can do it our own way!

Today I am feeling pretty knackered so having a lazy one- enforced by Ollie who insisted I stay in bed this morning by doing this!

My legs are somewhere under there!

I’ve washed some fabrics ready to be cut out and will finish of some pjs this afternoon.

I’m having a relaxed sewing day with my mum tomorrow. Conserving my energy for pattern drafting again on Tuesday! I can’t wait!


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