Why pdf patterns?

There’s been some discussion around the internet lately about pdf patterns and their ability to stand the test of time, and it’s one that I’ve felt very strongly about. I’ve worked in technology for over 12 years, and have created and run my own websites for 20 years now (seriously!). I’ve seen the world move from owning cds and taking photos to be developed, to ripping cds into mp3s and printing our own digital photos, right through to streaming music subscriptions and purely-digital photos in the cloud. The idea that digital patterns might somehow die out seems absurd when you think of it in this context.

Think of photos – which is more accessible when you want to look at them, the photos in your album on the shelf at home, or the ones backed up in your cloud account you can view from anywhere, share, and search by date and keyword? Frankly, I’m terrified that my 10 year old collection of Burda magazine patterns might be ruined in a fire or flood, because they’d be gone forever. But my digital patterns are backed up in several places, ready for me to re-print at any time.

But all this is from a user perspective. As a business owner, why would I not want to offer my patterns in every format possible? Why only pdf patterns?

In short, time and money. It’s grossly inefficient (not to mention extremely eco-unfriendly) for me to print a pattern and ship it halfway around the globe to customers when printing places exist closer to you. Adding on the cost to print the patterns, to package them, and then my time in posting them, I’d quickly end up with a price point that not very many people would be willing to spend.

FehrTrade patterns – on sale now!

I’m a little ahead of schedule, but the patterns are ready so why wait any longer, eh? I’m stupidly happy to announce that both the XYT Workout Top and the PB Jam Leggings patterns are available to buy right now!!


buy!


buy!

You can read more about them in my new Shop section (though still not as 100% pretty as I’d like it), or just click through to my Etsy shop who will be handling the direct downloads for the foreseeable future.

Introducing… FehrTrade patterns!

I promised you all a big announcement this week, and my big news is that I’m releasing my first sewing patterns at the end of this month! I’m focusing on exercise gear, and the first two patterns are super versatile!

The xyt Workout Top


This is a pattern for a close-fitting, sleeveless workout top with front scoop neck, and choice of three upper back designs. An optional built-in bra is included, and neck and armhole edges can either be finished with hidden elastic or bound using a coverstitch binder.

You might see now why I named it the “XYT” – each of the three back variations forms the shape of the letter! The T back in particular has so much scope for variations as the vertical part can be any sort of fancy trim in your stash – lace, sequins, fishnet, fancy elastics, etc…

I absolutely love the built-in compression bra I’ve developed here, too – I’ve never had a RTW one work for me, but these are supportive enough for my B cups to run in, and some of my pattern testers with larger busts have had equal success with only a small FBA!

The pb Jam Leggings


This is a pattern for close-fitting, workout leggings with contrast swirl design on the upper front thigh leading to the upper back. There’s a hidden pocket inside at the upper centre back, perfect for gels, keys, or your phone, and contrast panels at the back of you knees are perfect for mesh fabrics. An elasticated, high-rise waistband means they won’t shift around as you move, either!

You may recognise these from my mocha running top photos earlier this week – these have become my favourite leggings ever in a very short amount of time, and when I wore them to my running crew I had several people begging to buy them off my body, no less! The design lines carry around the sides so you look good from all angles, and the hidden pocket in the centre back is sized so you can stash your phone, gel, or keys without having to carry anything.

Paprika Palisade trousers

I realise that “Paprika Palisade Pants” would’ve had more pleasing alliteration but since I’ve nearly reached the point where I’ve lived more years in the UK than in the US (19 vs 23), I dislike using ambiguous terms that could be misconstrued. And “trousers” if more definitive than “pants”, which has wildly different meanings based on your geography (the reason I tended to use “bottoms” or “leggings” in my book, too).

In any case, these were an attempt to kickstart my missing sewing mojo and make something comfortable and useful for my yes-I’m-still-shielding-at-home life. I’ve sewn the Closet Core Patterns “Pietra” trousers three times now and have literally worn holes into my first pair, but I wanted to sew something a little different and thought I’d branch out and try the Papercut Patterns “Palisade Pants” which I’d bought in a recent sale. I mean, come on, that pocket detail!!

Black linen Pietra trousers

I bought the Closet Case Patterns Pietra Pants pattern when it came out last summer, and even had it printed up in A0 shortly after, but only just not got around to sewing it up for myself, and I have no idea how I managed without them this long!

I decided to make them up in a black washed 100% linen from Textile Express (bought at the same time as the yellow ramie for my Cielo Top). My friend was like “linen trousers – in winter??” but this linen is a really nice, hefty weight that is perfectly warm enough for English winters. Absolutely not the thin drapey stuff you’d wear on a tropical holiday!! I’ve been trying to buy more sustainable and/or recycled fabrics and linen is one of the best sustainable fabrics out there. The downside, of course, is that linen = wrinkles! So please forgive that these are wrinkly in the photos purely because I’d been sat at my desk in the office for half a day before we took these!

Burda magazine November 2018

I’m gonna apologise right now that this review is late, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to pick up with the rest of my usual monthly Burda magazine reviews. I managed to scan this issue literally on the last day before we packed up everything in the flat at the start of December. Now we’re back in the boat, but living in the very small Captain’s Cabin while we finish the renovations on the front/main part of the boat. But in the meantime, 95% of our stuff is in boxes so until we have a proper lounge again, I won’t be able to scan these magazines to do the reviews (though I did do a mini review of the January issue on my Instagram Stories this week so it’s worth following me to catch those!)

Dutch sewing pattern magazine roundup

A few weeks ago J and I took a long weekend away in Amsterdam, but the majority of these patterns actually came from a different trip he’d made for work a few weeks earlier. It turns out that the newsagent inside Rotterdam station is a haven of sewing pattern magazines, who knew?? So rather than do a post on each of these, I thought I’d pull out my highlights, and take the chance again to explain how accessible the pattern sheets and instructions are for non-Dutch speakers…

Burda magazine May 2018

And just as I thought this review would bring me up to date with the latest Burda, they go and release the June issue (which I have already, and will hopefully be reviewing soon!). As with March and April’s reviews, I’ve included links to the PDF versions of each pattern here so you can still get it if you really like a design, as I realise that the magazine itself may not be available anymore.

Burda magazine March 2018

First of all, thank you all for your well-wishes on my health. I’d love to tell you that my posting again means I’m feeling better, but it’s more a case of the number of “blog posts I need to write” building up so high that the anxiety levels are outweighing the effort involved to write them. And it’s kinda ridiculous that I’m writing about the March Burda in May, but getting this issue was a drama in and of itself, since for some reason it wasn’t on any of the usual newsstands in London, and then the issue I ordered online got lost in the post, so I had to order another copy off eBay, ugh. But because my March, April, and May reviews are so late, I’ve included links to the pdf patterns on BurdaStyle.com so you can still grab the pattern if you want to.

Pre-Order my Book to Get a Free Bonus Pattern!

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!