Behind the Scenes, July 2013

Hello, everyone! Time for another monthly wrap-up post. It’s now the end of July, we’re over half way through the year and here in Vancouver, the weather has been delightfully sunny all month long. All month long! It’s so nice to have sunshine, it deserves repeating.

hi there!

Hi there! I have summer hair, when it’s too hot to spend time with a blowdryer and curling iron this is what it does on its own. Just a quick dry of the bangs and we’re out the door! I put lipstick on just for you though.

What happened this month:

A new pattern launch! The Saltspring Dress has been incredibly popular since its release last week. I think we’re all in a summer state of mind these days – no sleeves, nothing too tight – perfect timing for a loose, flowy dress in a lightweight fabric.

saltspring dress sewaholic patterns

I made a dress – the Instant Dress. Along the way I posted bits about the making of this dress, which is useful to remember what I was thinking at the time and know what I changed, if I were to make the pattern again. And I modelled it with a poofy petticoat! (Great fun.) I enjoyed the comments on petticoats and whether they’re for everyday wear or not. Which brought up the question, why are we afraid to wear certain things in public? And some amazingly cool readers who said, I would (and do!) wear petticoats, corsets and whatever I please and no one’s ever told me I was too fabulous that day. Love it!

mccalls 3660, instant dress, vintage sewing pattern

So after that bit of encouragement, I wore a petticoat out in public this month, all day, running errands and everything. And you were right, I got nothing but compliments! So perhaps my perception of what’s appropriate for everyday wear is too conservative, and my fears are all in my head. I love that the women who read this blog are smart, confident, and dare to wear what they please! Let’s encourage that way of thinking, it’s a positive message.

Canada Day Sale! I was at the office working over the weekend, sort of wishing I was outside enjoying the sun, and decided since I was at the computer anyways we should celebrate the holiday with a sale. It was a last-minute decision and a successful one, with lots of orders going out to happy buyers. So many in fact that I ran out of envelopes and ended up using some off-size ones to get the orders out the door! Thanks to everyone who placed an order in the sale!

canada day sale at sewaholic patterns

New retailers, including Sew Different in the UK; Santa Lucia Patterns in Berlin, Germany; Owl & Drum in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Schnitterling in Germany as well, and a retailer in South Africa, Stitch. So exciting to see Sewaholic Patterns making their way around the globe! This makes it easier and quicker for you guys to find patterns locally, or at least closer to home. Again, here is the complete list of retailers for your reference. (One day I’ll figure out how to make a neat map thing on that page instead of scrolling down a long list!)

We announced the upcoming Saltspring Sew-Along! It’s been a while since we had a sewalong on the blog, and I’m pumped that we’re doing one again. There’s only so much space in the pattern instructions, so it’s nice to be able to write as much as we like, taking up as much blog space as we like, posting as many pictures as we like. When you’re printing anything, space is limited, but not online!

Sew-AlongWidget_Saltspring

Caroline’s going to be the leader of the Saltspring Sew-Along, and you’re in good hands. I’m super excited to be able to have a sew-along for this pattern, and even more excited to see what you guys make!

Do you have a sewing group? Reading all of your comments about your sewing meetup groups, sewing guilds and get-togethers made me want my own group, too! I tend to be a bit reserved, even though I might seem loud and high-energy online, I’m not one to get out and organize events. But I do love to chat about sewing! (I’m totally that person in the fabric store who’s chatting with the other shoppers about what they’re buying, or giving suggestions, or talking about the things we’ve made and are wearing.) Perhaps one day I’ll join or start my own group!

close-up of pleats on thurlow shorts

Caroline made a cute pair of Thurlow Shorts in the dot print I have! Love the pleats. I’m really happy to have Caroline contributing because like some of you mentioned, we have different styles. Which makes for a more interesting blog as it’s not just me and my likes & dislikes. I love how her shorts turned out, but I wouldn’t have come up with the idea! We have the same fabric, but I’m planning to make a Minoru Jacket with mine and even that is out of my usual comfort zone. (Normally a fabric like that would be sewn into a dress.)

The Super Online Sewing Match is on! Have you been following along? The part that features one of my patterns is still to come, so stay tuned!

Top selling pattern in June 2013

Saltspring, Cambie, Renfrew. It’s dress season! And it’s always tee shirt season. Note to self, design more dresses and knit shirts.

best selling sewaholic patterns

Report on last month’s challenges

I didn’t list any specific challenges from last month, except for a long ramble about how a business is always a work in progress. It’s still true this month! I am working just as hard, but I am keeping my mind in a positive space. It makes the work more enjoyable when you remind yourself, you want to do this, right? Right!

Challenges

I’m starting to think I will always be faced with the same challenges: trying not to work ALL the time while still feeling happy with my work output, deciding how to manage the growth of this business, and giving myself time to be creative and not just an order packing machine.

This summer has been one of the most inspiring times in my business. I’m so ready to get into designing and making and sewing and experimenting, it’s hard not to think about it all the time! It’s the busiest it’s ever been, and yet it’s the most fun, as well. (Maybe I’m in a exceptionally good mood as I write this, but I think it’s true. I just want to create stuff!)

My head is in a good space these days, and I feel like I’m handling all of the obstacles that arise with grace and style. That’s about all you can ask for, right? To handle your affairs with a quiet calmness, to enjoy what you’re working on, to feel like what you’re doing matters to someone. Thanks to everyone who reads, comments and buys patterns. I’m honoured that what I do matters to you.

Like this? Read more Behind the Scenes posts!

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23 Responses to Behind the Scenes, July 2013

  1. Frances July 31, 2013 at 6:35 am #

    Eeek, eek, eek! So excited to see that you now have an SA retailer! Off to check it out.

    PS. Good mood = directly proportional to the amount of sun you get? That’s why I live in Africa :-)

  2. Nothy July 31, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    I can’t wait for the sew-along. It should be great fun! I’m finishing up my Hawthorne from the Colette sew-along and it is really looking good. I hope you have time for a cardigan pattern sometime soon Tasia. Cardigans go with everything and can really be a staple in your wardrobe.

  3. funnygrrl July 31, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    I love your wrap-up posts. Makes me look back to see what I’ve accomplished.
    Glad you wore the petticoat in public! I think people appreciate seeing someone dressed a little differently.
    Caroline is a welcome voice on your blog! Can I say she’s so cute? She probably gets that a lot.
    Thanks for your blog as always!

  4. Lara July 31, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    Hi
    I live in the UK and our summers are generally short lived. By September the nights are drawing in and autumn is coming quickly. Can you do a dress pattern for Autumn/winter wear, or suggest one which you have already done which would be good? Our autumn/winters are about 5 – 11 degrees celcius where I live in the South of the UK.

    • Stephanie July 31, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      Yes, I second the request for autumn/winter dresses! :)

      • Tasia August 1, 2013 at 11:28 am #

        Great suggestion. I find it a hard niche to fill, that winter dress slot. I do have some ideas so I’ll see what I can do!

  5. johanna@projects by me July 31, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    Oh, I would look forward to more dresses and knit shirts from Sewaholic!

  6. Loretta July 31, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    Tasia, you are doing great and your hairstyle looks cute! Isn’t this weather Fantastic? I live mostly in shorts and sleeveless tops these days. (none of which I’ve sewn sad to say) I’m still trying to lose 15 lbs so I have my weight off my waistline! Have a great August!

    • Tasia August 1, 2013 at 11:39 am #

      Thank you! Yes, this weather is wonderful. Everyone’s in a better mood, including me! Have a great August too!

  7. Thea July 31, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    I too love reading the end-of-moth reviews :-) and I’m glad it’s going so well for you! I was wondering with your challenges, or rather your challenge to not work all the time, maybe you need to make it more concrete? For example, say, ‘I don’t want to work more than two Saturdays’ or ‘I only want to work late three days a week’? I guess you would choose any aim that makes sense to you (being home for dinner would work for me, I’m quite simple!), and then at least it’s ‘countable’, and you can see how well you do. A bit like fun-fridays!

    • Tasia August 1, 2013 at 11:37 am #

      This is a really good idea, making the goals more concrete. I agree, saying vague things like ‘working less’ or ‘balance better’ doesn’t allow me to know if I’m succeeding or not. Thanks so much for the suggestion. I’m going to think about that and figure out how to work that into my life.

  8. Miriana July 31, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Tasia,

    I love reading these posts as well, and I’m always impressed by how much you are able to do while always maintaining such a positive attitude – I want to know your secret!
    I found your last paragraph particularly inspiring – I think it sums up wonderfully what I think is a great way to live and work – something I’m also striving to achieve.
    Can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us!

    • Tasia August 1, 2013 at 11:36 am #

      There isn’t really a secret, I wish there was! It’s not always easy to stay positive but I find that my life runs more smoothly if I approach things from a positive place. Negative thoughts lead to more negativity and stop me from being able to move forward at all and being the only person here, I can’t afford to sit around and be negative! Must keep on going. And so, I try to turn everything into a good thing. Or a game, that’s another good tactic. How fast can I get today’s orders out, can I get them out before lunchtime? Can I get to the bottom of my inbox before the clock turns 6? Can I make a to-do list and then check off ALL the things before going home? I like games even if I’m just competing against myself.
      I’ve been thinking a lot about what the point of it all is, is it to make the most money? To sell the most patterns? To get mentioned in Threads Magazine? To build an empire? I’ve decided my mission is to spread the love of sewing and of making things above all. To encourage people to get creating, to build skills, to enjoy sewing! And if I remember that, then walking around in a funk isn’t going to inspire anyone to take up sewing. But being positive, kind, and helpful will! And who I am in business is also who I am in life. There’s no ‘business me’ versus ‘regular me.’ Both mes love to sew and want to enjoy everything to the fullest!
      Anyways, I’m rambling, but I’m glad you enjoy these posts and find it inspiring. Thanks for the comment!

  9. Mads July 31, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Thanks for letting us take a peek behind the Sewaholic curtain each month!

    (And you kept up with the lipstick–yay!!)

    • Tasia August 1, 2013 at 11:29 am #

      Glad you enjoy these posts! And yup, I mostly keep up with the lipstick. Sometimes I don’t when I’m alone in here all day but when I’m out and about I try to put in the effort. :)

  10. Susan July 31, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    I, for one, am SO SO glad to have found you, living right across the Straight in my own hometown. Yay!

    • Tasia August 1, 2013 at 11:27 am #

      Aw, thank you! It’s neat to hear from other people in the Vancouver area. Perhaps we’ll run into each other at a fabric store some day!

  11. Ada July 31, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

    I just found your blog this past month and not only did I love your patterns and clear step-by-step blog posts (useful for a beginner such as myself!) but it became obvious pretty quickly that you’re local! Yay! Although I’m sewing only in my spare time, I suspect I’ll want to buy one of your patterns soon enough (probably to make myself a couple of Alma blouses for the fall), but I’m wondering, what maximizes your profits: buying it from your website or from a retail location?

    • Tasia August 1, 2013 at 11:26 am #

      Hi Ada! Thanks for the comment, I’m so glad you like the patterns and the blog! I’d love it if you were to buy one of my patterns. For me, I make more money if you buy directly from me, but it will be less expensive for you if you buy from one of our retailers, as you will save on the shipping costs that way. Here’s a link to the retailers in the area: http://www.sewaholicpatterns.com/retailers
      And if you’re not in a rush, sign up to the mailing list so that you’re the first to know of sales and special offers!
      http://sewaholic.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=ff503ea1e656d886223acea5a&id=7e3deb7cf6

      • Ada August 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

        Awesome, thanks for the clarification. I’ve signed up to the mailing list and once I work through my current stack of UFOs, your patterns are next on the list! :)

  12. Kate August 2, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    Hi Tasia, I love your blog and this is my first comment – woohoo! Just wanted to say I bought the thurlow trouser pattern from Sew Squirrel in Australia and it has arrived a day and a half later (now that’s quick!) and it is THE FIRST TIME EVER that my bust, waist and hip measurements all fit the same size! Yay for pear shaped patterns! I’ve been dying to make a pair of pants but hadn’t found a decent pattern until yours so just wanted to say thanks and you’re doing a su

    • Tasia August 5, 2013 at 11:04 am #

      Thanks Kate! I’m so glad that you fit the size charts exactly, isn’t that nice? Instead of circling one number from each column in a diagonal line? Have fun sewing the Thurlow trousers!

  13. Kate August 2, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    Whoops pressed send too early!

    You’re doing a great job representing us pears so keep it up! [toddles off to the fabric shop to buy some lightweight twill......]

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