Earlier this week I showed you my finished version of the Cos “Made By You” women’s shirt kit with the promise of giving far, far more details on the kit itself and some construction instructions so strap on in! This is a HEFTY brain dump intended to help others who’ve bought this thinking they were getting a full sewing pattern, or who bought it and no longer have Cos’s video online to help. Or frankly, if you’re just intrigued about what a high street shop thinks a home sewing product should be!
Happy 2022! As is traditional, I like to take the chance on the first day of a brand-spanking new year to have a look back at the year before, step back, and reflect on the good (and not-so-good) things that happened. 2021 was always going to be a strange struggle of a transition year, but I kinda feel like we had a bit of practice going into it, so my outlook was a little better than in 2020. But as this is a sewing blog, let’s first take a look at this year’s output…
Today I wanted to clear up a little confusion around the content in our new “Activewear Sewing for Beginners” eBook and our best-selling “Sew Your Own Activewear” book, as some people may think that they’re the same thing – and they’re totally not!! In particular, topics that only got a sentence or two in “Sew Your Own Activewear” due to publishing page constraints go a lot more in depth in “Activewear Sewing for Beginners” with photos and diagrams to make things even clearer for those who’ve never sewn activewear or worked with stretch fabrics before.
I’m just going to put this out there and say it – writing a book is a TON of work, whether you’re doing it on your own or with the help of an international publisher (like I did with “Sew Your Own Activewear”). When I realised that I wanted to supplement our new beginner pattern with an eBook focused entirely on beginner activewear sewing tips, I had a pretty fully formed idea of what I wanted it to contain, but not really sure of how to get there.
I wrote out a rough outline of chapters and before starting anything, I approached my publisher to make sure that I was legally okay and not breaching any non-compete or future works clause in my contract from SYOA. Thankfully, they could see that both books were fundamentally different and gave me their blessing to self-publish it myself, otherwise it couldn’t have happened at all!
I think most people assume that the actual writing takes up the bulk of the time spent “writing” a book, but for me, getting the actual words onto paper was the easy part. I closed myself into our back cabin for a few days and by the end of it, I had 90% of the text written!
Thank you all so much for your enthusiasm for our Tenacity Leggings and eBook launch last week! I’ve got so much more to say about both because omg, they were both so much work! but today I wanted to talk a little bit about the development of the Tenacity Leggings pattern.
Throughout 2020 and my 14 months of shielding, I had zero creativity. But then I suddenly got hit with an explosion of it in spring and threw myself into a crazy complicated, advanced pattern. I went through about 4 test muslins but it still wasn’t quite right, and I felt like it wasn’t the right time to focus on it when so many people felt like they couldn’t even get started sewing activewear. So I parked that pattern (hopefully I’ll release it next year!) and started work on a leggings pattern that would be beginner-friendly, but with enough options to keep myself and other intermediate- or advanced-activewear sewists interested, too.
Apologies for the radio silence recently, but I promise it’s for a very good reason! Actually, two reasons, because I have been spending every single second of FehrTrade time for the past few months working to release a new, beginner-focused activewear pattern AND a full beginner activewear-focused eBook to accompany it. Wooooo! And even though the pattern is aimed at beginners, there are plenty of opportunities for upskilling that have won it rave reviews from my more experienced, testers, too.
Do you use a projector for sewing? If so, we’ve got great news as we’ve just released projector-optimised […]
Today is the culmination of years of work – today I have finally updated the last three of our patterns to be layered pdfs! This means that if you open the pattern file in a compatible app like Adobe Acrobat, you can turn off the layers you don’t need and just print your size(s), which can make things a lot clearer to read and cut out!
What. A. Year! I’m not even going to attempt to sugar-coat things, and any attempt to try and put things into perspective just sounds like a cliché after all this. But for a year where I was essentially under house arrest since March, it’s surprisingly not all bad. Above all else, I’m grateful to have spent the time with my husband and that we both were able to continue our office jobs from home at full pay and remarkable support. My sewing was both a welcome distraction and a balm in this year of chaos and uncertainty.
I’m going to try to use my usual year-end format again, though this was clearly a year that broke all attempts to contain it so let’s do what we can (clearly a motto for the year!)…
If you or someone you know would like the gift of sewing their own activewear, but you’re not keen on supporting Amazon, there have been a few great options popping up recently that strive to a) pay their taxes (like, shouldn’t this be the bare minimum??) and also b) help struggling independent book shops. If you’re able to get to your local bookshop and they stock my book, that’s fabulous! But if, like me, you’re doing all your holiday shopping online this year and are stuck for places to look, then read on!