Reviewing 2016 & Planning 2017

Before starting to work out my plans for the New Year, I wanted to look back at Last Year. Thinking about what went well, what could I do different, what was there to celebrate…highs, lows, of course it was all there!

2016:
My initial feeling when looking back at 2016 is that I didn’t complete what I had in mind for 2016. So to a certain extent feeling a sense of disappointment. For example, I wasn’t able to have all the patterns translated to English, nor did I upgrade all the patterns to the Plus Collection yet. Therefore, we haven’t been able to expand the business overseas, reaching more and more sewists all over the world. Sigh.

Thinking about 2016 I re-read my ‘planning, wishing and prioritizing’- post which I wrote just before the year started (still in Dutch then) . Reading my plans and where I was then, I realized that we actually did make really big steps this past year. Just to name a few:

So there are some big – big – changes that were accomplished this past year! Changes that helped Rosie & Me in the direction that we needed to be in. You would think that achieving the above, should be something to celebrate!

Now where is this feeling of unsatisfaction come from? Could it be that I have a tendency to plan too much in a too short of time? Or perhaps I underestimate the time projects require? Or I like to believe that I can work 40+ hours a week,  raise two little girls, keeping everyone well fed, a clean house, and that no one ever gets sick while caring for a happy old dog and Oh wait, still have some time left over for my loved one as well?…. (Now, in reality he isn’t always last on the list)

I have to admit, that it really is ALL of the above.
Yes, planning is sometimes difficult and overestimating the hours I have is easy! It all comes from wishing and dreaming big plans for Rosie & Me. Which shouldn’t change! That’s how this small pattern company got to be where it is now.
But this Year’s resolutions are: Dream Big as the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,  but Plan Realistic!

2017:
That being said, I should make realistic Plans, right? Ok, here we go!

  • The first English patterns (Brooke & Brooke+) were already available as digital patterns. Starting next week, they will also be available in a printed version! In the Netherlands these can be purchased at Naaipatronen.nl and in Belgium at Het Stoffenhuis.
  • Three patterns will be added to the Plus Collection: Charlie (including a cap sleeve), Elise and Frida.
  • Translation: Following the Brooke, there are 9 more patterns to be translated to English (including the three Plus patterns mentioned above). Realizing we are all short on time, we have parked the translating activity by an agency. We are really grateful for this help! However, translating sewing terms and metric conversions is a specialty on its own and I realize we will need to consider some ‘in house finalizing’ as well.
  • After the above is checked off, we will focus on extending our business overseas. Yahoo!
  • Marketing! Running a small pattern company, you need to wear many hats. Some fit better than others. I know marketing is important for business success, but it has always seem foreign to me. So far we have done a great job without spending anything on marketing. But to be able to grow, I need to take this a bit more serious.
  • Throughout the year we will continue to share fun things like: Sewing inspiration, great giveaways, gift package designs, along with a few product-surprises as well. This and much more will be shared throughout the year via our Newsletters and the FB page.
  • Like this isn’t enough to work on, I just can’t help adding an additional new pattern to our collection. Don’t start jumping up and down yet! Remember, planning should be realistic!

Now let’s hope, that when I re-read this post at the beginning of next year, overlooking everything we’ve done, I will experience the luxury of revewing a year which accompanied a good old fashioned down to earth balance of ambition and expectations. Opening an additional year of vintage inspired patterns, I am excited about 2017 and hope you are too!

Wishing everyone a Happy, Creative, Inspiring but above all Healthy 2017.

Re-organization Changes

2016 is a year which we have worked on some big re-organization changes.

Working on internationalizing our business: we have switched to English and added the flexibility to order our patterns in a PDF (digital) format as well.

But there’s more, 2 significant changes, I must share.

    1. To make more room for collection development and to support our wholesale partners we have made the decision to sell digital patterns via our website and give our Stockists sole selling rights over our printed patterns.
    2. Another change and you are going to like this one! The suggested retail price of the Printed Patterns is reduced to € 16,00. PDF (digital) patterns are € 12,00.

The idea behind these changes are (like mentioned above) to create more time for pattern development. As well as sharing creative ideas, tips & tricks, fun pattern hacks from either myself (yes, I also hack my own patterns) or you sewers, and more fun stuff.

Lowering the pattern price was a tough business call, as our cost price using recyclable products is high and development time and handwork is excessive and therefore quite costly. We don’t want to change anything about this, because we believe in our product, our in depth fitting tutorials and the passion we put into every pattern. However, we hope by adjusting the selling price, more and more people will be able to enjoy Rosie & Me patterns and their sewing experience.

Now let’s go back to living life creatively:
In the next upcoming weeks we will be working on something new!
Our first Seperates will be added to our collection.
elise-en-frida
Here is a sneak peak of the ELISE blouse and the FRIDA skirt. Both wearable in any season. Depending on your choice of fabric and styling;

A breezy cotton or a more drapy viscose for ELISE in the summer, you can wear with a cardigan on colder days. Wear a wintery FRIDA in a wool blend with boots or a summery FRIDA skirt in a cheery fabric with sandals.

Levels:
ELISE – Intermediate
FRIDA – Beginner (Yes, finally a true beginners pattern!)

Release:
Expected end of November / beginning of December

 

Tablecloth becomes Circle Skirt

A few weeks ago while I was working behind my computer I got distracted big time. In the corner of my eye an advertisement popped up screaming for attention….I realize that’s what they are intended to do and it worked. It was showing Amazing round printed tablecloths! I do not own a round table, but couldn’t resist to order a few right away (believe me it was hard to order only two as they had a wide selection in prints).
See, all I can think of when I see round tablecloths with a border print on it is: “Ow, that would make the most beautiful Circle Skirt!”

I wanted to share this with you sewers, just in case you have never thought of doing this before. Plus, they are extremely easy and fun to make. Bonus is the skirt length you can get out of them.  If I want my skirt to be 25″ (63,5 cm) long (which is the length of these two skirts) then I would need my fabric to be 63″(1,6 meter) wide. Good luck finding that in a fabric store!

Another advantage is that if you are lucky you can skip hemming all together. Neither one of these two skirts I hemmed, because they were already neatly finished. The cute little puffy balls on the peacock skirt below was part of the tablecloth edge. And now the nice hem-finish of my skirt.

peacock

Last year I wrote this tutorial in Dutch, describing how to make a circle skirt to wear over your Daisy romper. Or to make a Daisy-dress by stitching the skirt to the top.
Well, surprise surprise…. This same free tutorial can be used for making your own circle skirt from a tablecloth.
And yes, it is now available in English as well. Yay!

(Both tutorials can be found on the Tips & Tricks page, scroll all the way to the bottom)

Have you made a tablecloth-circle-skirt before? Please share, I would love to see a picture and hear about your experience.

 

Fair Fashion Style

www.fairfashionstyle.nl

Refreshed from a nice summer break enjoying nature to it’s fullest, I felt like it is time that I write something about sustainable fashion, including how sewing can be seen as a great alternative for Fast Fashion.

Now, we all sew for different reasons. I’m sure that one of the biggets reasons is the creative aspect of it, but also to work with your hands, bringing a nice balance in a world where we face so many mental challenges. Another reason could be to finally get the best fit for your unique body. All very good reasons to be a sewer, sewist, seamstress or however you like to call yourself.

But don’t forget, that by making your own clothes you also help to eliminate pollution and poor working conditions that are associated with Fast Fashion. Nowadays, you can choose for ecological fabrics and materials that are widely available. Plus, by making your own wardrobe you know for sure that it was made with love.

Besides, the beautiful aspect of creating something that is your personal style is that you will end up enjoying it much longer. This is your style!, and not a specific trend that the stores have in mind for you. Enjoying your clothes longer and buying new ones less: Slow Fashion.

A little while ago Marieke from Fair Fashion Style asked me to share my vision on Fair Fashion from a sewing perspective. As a guest blogger I wrote this article (in Dutch) and felt honored that I was able to bring sewing in the sustainable spotlight. Coming back from vacation, I read this critical article (in Dutch) about the recently presented Dutch ‘Textile Agreement’ and it made me realize how current the guestblog-article really is. Something that I would like to share with you…

Let’s not be a fashion victim and find our own way to make the fashion world more sustainable!

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