Friday morning (July 1), my first sewing pattern–and with it, the Alina Sewing + Design Co. pattern shop–officially launched! I have been working toward this goal for almost one year to the day.
In July of 2015, I had this idea that seemed a little bit crazy at the time; I didn’t have the time to create, package, and ship my handmade items anymore, but what if I had a digital product to sell? What if I turned my already-created patterns for products into the product?
I had delved into the world of indie (independent) sewing patterns, and I knew what kind of market existed. People like me love creating. We are excited about it. And we also want the directions to go with creating something beautiful we see. I get emails and questions all of the time asking for more specific tutorials of finished products I’ve posted here (people are finding me on Pinterest, I think).
Since I am primarily a stay-at-home mom, this now gives me the ability to work on building and creating one finished product that can sell over and over again. For now, I’m only selling PDF patterns (not printed patterns), and they are emailed automatically to customers. No shipping and no packaging on my part.
Don’t get me wrong–at this point, the number of hours invested in creating patterns is still a lot higher than creating and shipping finished products. I have hundreds (and hundreds) of hours and hundreds (and hundreds) of dollars invested in just getting the doors “open”, so to speak. It will be a few months before I recoup my investment and start getting paid for my time. But the pressure is a lot lower. I’m not drowning under orders needing to be fulfilled, or feeling like I need to keep up production numbers. I can work on something privately until it’s ready–the only pressure I feel is really from myself.
Anyway–enough transparency from me on the subject for today!
Without further ado, I introduce my first sewing pattern: Chi-Town Chinos Shorts + Skirt Pattern.
View A is a shorts pattern and View B is a skirt pattern.
There are four different back pocket options:
- angled pockets
- angled pockets with pocket flaps
- rounded pockets
- rounded pockets with pocket flaps
Or, you can leave off the back pockets (and belt loops) for a more dressed-up, clean look!
The pattern was tested by women in Canada, France, Bahrain, Portugal, Australia, and nearly every time zone in the US. They ranged in skill level from I-just-started-learning to I’ve-been-doing-this-since-I-was-born. They gave me such well-rounded and thorough feedback! The end result is something I feel very confident and excited about.
Most changes made from testing were to the instruction manual–I ended up adding sections on How to Make a Muslin, How to Lengthen or Shorten a Pattern, an expanded Fitting section, and a re-written section on how to sew the front pockets. Overall, the instruction manual provided the greatest learning curve! But I’m very grateful to my testers for working out the kinks before everything went live.
There were very few changes needed to the pattern itself–one main change was inseam length. It was 3″, but now it is 4.5″. (The chambray shorts above are the original inseam length, the green shorts above are the new inseam length.) I saw most testers prefer the longer length, and since there are shorten/lengthen lines for the inseam already, it made sense to start at a more universally-preferred length.
There are also lengthen/shorten lines for the rise on both the shorts and the skirt, and the skirt length (and again–there are now illustrated instructions in the pattern on how to use these lines).
I will have a sewalong starting on July 11–see the full schedule below!
- July 11 : Part 1 : Inspiration
- July 13 : Part 2 : Supplies
- July 18 : Part 3 : Customizing the Pattern
- July 19 : Part 4 : Fitting + Finishing
- July 20 : Part 5 : Prepwork
- July 22 : Part 6 : Front Pockets
- July 25 : Part 7 : Fly Front
- July 27 : Part 8 : Back Assembly
- July 28 : Part 9 : Waistband, Center Back Seam, Inseam, Side Seams
- July 30 : Part 10 : Belt Loops, Bar Tacks, Hemming, Front Closure
I’ve clustered posts that are going to be quick, and spread those that you will need time for–especially those of you who only sew on the weekends. I’ve also given you time to order and receive fabric after the supplies post. The sewalong will be FULL of photos for both views. While I think the instruction booklet and its illustrations are extremely in-depth, I know some of you prefer to work from photos, so this is for you.
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I’ll be back on Friday with full tester photos, too. Stay tuned!
Below you will find the list of links to each blog post in the sewalong. If you have any questions, absolutely feel free to e-mail me.
- Introducing the Chi-Town Chinos Sewing Pattern
- Introducing the Chi-Town Chinos Expansion Packs
- Chi-Town Chinos Tester Round-Up
- Chi-Town Chinos Expansion Pack Tester Round-Up
- Part 1 : Inspiration
- Part 2 : Supplies
- Part 3 : Customizing the Pattern
- Part 4 : Fitting + Finishing
- Part 5 : Prepwork
- Part 6 : Front Pockets
- Part 7 : Fly Front
- Part 8 : Back Assembly + Final Fitting
- Part 8.5 : Welt Pockets
- Part 9 : Waistband, Center Back Seam, Inseam, Side Seams
- Part 10 : Belt Loops, Bar Tacks, Hemming, Front Closure
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I love, love, love this pattern! I also love the way your shorts and skirt look! It is so versatile 🙂
Thank you, Anya! You are so sweet.
Congratulations on your first pattern, its obvious from the quality & your work ethic to ‘get it all perfect’ that you are the real deal. I feel privileged to have been able to test for you at the start of this journey. I know the whole handmade business hours & pressures & had a little dabble into pdf pattern making & know the work (& hours & hours) involved. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for your future!
Thank you so much, Michelle!!