Happy fresh and new baby year, everyone! I always like to celebrate the first of the year with a look back at the year that’s just completed – this gives me a chance to reflect at the things I’ve accomplished, the garments I’ve made, and challenges conquered. As is traditional, I find myself starting 2018 with lots of great stuff on the horizon but unable to talk about it (this time last year my two big secrets were my Threads article and my book deal, so you’d better believe 2018’s secret project is a good’un!) so you’ll just have to trust me that the outlook for 2018 is rosy indeed!
Things are starting to ramp up with my upcoming “Sew Your Own Activewear” book now that the final, final (no really, FINAL!) edits are finished, print and digital pattern versions have been polished, layered, and updated with the spiffy new book fonts, and the marketing ladies at my publishers have been devising plans for the new year’s launch fun!
I’d like to thank every single one of you who’ve gone and pre-ordered the book already, either from me directly, or on Amazon – I’m truly blown away by how many of you cannot wait to get your hands on this!! It’s about to get even better though, because on top of all the thirteen designs I created for the book, I also created a little bonus pattern at the same time to reward everyone’s who’s waiting patiently for their pre-order!
Wow, what an event! We hosted our first ever stall at the Great British Sewing Bee Live at Excel in London this week, and it was a blast. I’d never sold anything in person before, let alone filled a space, so it was a huge learning curve, but the event went by in a bit of a blur!
If you had told me from the start that buying my first ever stall at an expo would require so much time, effort, stress and money, I’m not sure I would’ve ever said yes in the first place. But back when the Great British Sewing Bee Live event was announced, I was tempted, talked it over with J, and decided to go for it and stretch myself as a small business owner.
It’s been a huge learning process, even just moving from a purely digital business into one that not only has to fill a space (which the organisers kept making bigger!) but also taking in-person card transactions, and ordering supplies to try and really show off what Fehr Trade Patterns really is to someone just walking past who may have never heard of us. If you’re coming along, we’re on stall H1 (turn left once you enter, and I’m in the corner with the workshop rooms).
The show is finally upon us, and hopefully now the panic attacks and stress and dwindling bank balance can give way to the enjoyment of meeting new people and putting faces to long-time customers’ names, too. But if I don’t manage to get a pattern released this calendar year, we can definitely point a blame finger in the show’s general direction as much as the book’s!
Sewing retreats are fairly common in America from what I can tell, but up until last year’s inaugural Sewing Weekender, there’d never really been a large scale sewing retreat here in the UK. I was lucky enough to snag a ticket for myself last year, and I had SUCH a great time as a punter that I knew I wanted to go again should Rachel, Kate, and Charlotte plan another one.
Luckily, out of the writing of my book I realised that a lot of the points I made about sewing activewear were also heavily applicable to anyone with a body who moves (so, err, everyone except possibly the comatose) so I approached the organisers months ago saying I’d love to talk about Sewing For Movement at the next event if they were planning one. I’m glad I got in touch early, because as it turns out, this year’s Weekender sold out in under 20 minutes!!
Apologies for the radio silence over the past few weeks. If you follow me on social media, you’ll know I’ve had an absolutely intense 3 weeks of training culminating in my competing in the World Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain last week.
I’ve written a comprehensive race report over on my running site which gives a bit of insight into the amount in training and sheer effort that went into my performance at the Games, which (spoiler alert!), ended in my bringing home 6 golds and one bronze!
It’s finally here! The long-awaited second Print Club fabric kit is finally available! We’ve followed on from the success of our first kit with Laurie King to team up with a second illustrator who designed some exclusive and limited edition fabric for our activewear patterns.
Happy Friday everyone! I’ve got some great news for all of you who’ve loved our XYT Workout Top pattern over the years – it’s now available as a layered pdf!
The XYT was our first ever pattern back in 2013 and when it came out, layered pdfs weren’t even a thing! Our most recent patterns have all been layered, but it’s a really tedious task to re-organise everything in the older pattern files in order to add this functionality. But we’ve got some big love coming XYT’s way next week (*cough* Print Club *cough*), so it was worth the extra TLC, especially since this pattern has English, French, and Dutch translations on the pattern pieces, too!
Recently I had the opportunity to chat with the lovely Sandi from the Crafty Planner podcast and we had SO. MUCH. FUN! It turned out that with her based in San Diego and me in London, the hardest part of the whole process was finding a time that worked in both our time zones – after that the conversation just flowed, and I think you’ll really enjoy listening!
In this episode, we chatted about sewing (activewear in particular!), my recent Threads article, my running and competing at the World Transplant Games, some of my top tips for first-time activewear sewings, and (of course!) my upcoming book, too. Since I cycle commute to my office job these days, I listen to the bulk of my podcasts while in my sewing room, and my last job was actually at a podcasting company, so I think it’s safe to say that I’m a big fan of them, and Sandi’s in particular!
My sewing activewear book won’t be out til early 2018, but due to lead times in the publishing world, the words are already written, illustrations drawn, patterns drafted, and samples sewn. Some of you may think I’m just being a cruel tease by not showing you all 13 designs right now but honestly, it’s better this way – if I revealed all now, not only would you still have to wait til next year to sew them up anyway, but they’d also be tired and old in your mind – “Didn’t I already see this design somewhere before…?”. So at least this way you may have to wait a while to see everything, but you’ll be able to start sewing them without too much of a gap. When I do have bits I can share, however, I’m happy to do so as I know so many of you are as excited as I am to see its arrival, which is awesome!
One big advantage of working with a major international publisher is that they know how to best shoot and show off the designs I’ve created. From the very first meeting I requested to bring my own athlete models, as I wanted to showcase real women who workout – not just models doing a fake run for the cameras. For the 13 designs we’d need 3 athlete models, and since some of the shots would be in a studio, it made sense for the publisher to source an athlete closer to their base in Devon – and Jade is every bit as strong and lovely as the ladies who’ve modelled for FehrTrade Patterns over the years!