2018 Recap + 2019 Plans
Happy New Year! Somehow we find ourselves 2.5 weeks into 2019 already–life is going crazy fast!
I have some REALLY exciting and different things planned for Alina Design Co. in 2019 and I can’t wait to tell you about them.
First, I want to give a quick recap of 2018.
I have tried to be as succinct as possible in this post, but I have a lot to talk about, so bear with me! I’ve included summaries at the bottom of each section, should you wish to scan quickly.
If you are on Instagram, you’ve probably seen many “top 9” posts from people you follow. The top 9 posts from my Instagram in 2018 are not surprising in the least, as the theme of the year for me was BABY and FULTON SWEATER BLAZER.
Our third baby was born on January 7, 2018. It was a whirlwind of a year adjusting to three kids under the age of five while my husband finished his first year of residency and headed into his second year (the academic year begins in July). My husband and I also both had a parent with some serious health issues and took turns flying across the country to be with them just weeks after our baby was born. WHIRL-WIND.
In August, we began homeschooling our oldest son, which has been another big responsibility on my plate, but one that I am grateful to have the opportunity to have.
In September, once I felt like I had had time to get used to all of the new responsibilities of three kids and homeschooling, I was ready to begin working again.
I really love that I get to run my own business–I get to stay home with my kids, but I also get to work on something that I’m passionate about doing (sewing/making/creating!). I love being a mom, but it’s nice to have something to pour my creative energies into as well.
The only con to all of this is that when I’m not actively working, things are not progressing very quickly. Fortunately, my patterns continue to sell whether or not I am releasing new work (thank you for a great year of support!!), but of course I had nothing new to offer for most of the year.
At the beginning of October, I felt the fire and passion light up again and dove straight in to a new pattern. I had actually drafted a couple of other things, but when I got the idea for the Fulton Sweater Blazer, I knew I had to release it first and worked some crazy hours (at night, when all of my kids were sleeping) to get it released in time for fall/winter sewing.
I’m so glad I did because you guys have had an amazing and supportive reaction to this pattern! It is well on its way to becoming an all-time best seller for my shop, which is saying something as my other patterns have sold quite well (this is all thanks to you and your support–I’m grateful to you!).
In summary, 2018 was all baby and family for the first 9 months of the year, and the last 3 months were focused on my newest pattern and on getting back into work! You guys crashed my web site for several days in a row when I released the Fulton Sweater Blazer and there are already a few hundred versions made and out there in the world. Check out the hashtag on Instagram to see some!
Let’s talk 2019 plans, shall we?
Some EXCITING STUFF here, so stick with me!
Sewing Class in Kansas City
First, I’ve been invited to help teach a sewing class in Kansas City on February 2. The class is being hosted by the Sew Altered Style girls and by Leslie of Threadbear Garments.
In the class, you may choose to hack the Panama Tee Dress Pattern OR make the Fulton Sweater Blazer Pattern. The event is being hosted in a private, beautiful home that is regularly used as an event space, and will be professionally catered by the owner. Basically, sewing+hanging out with sewing friends+eating professionally catered food, all in a beautiful space. What more could you want?! Sign up for the class here: https://sewalteredstyle.com/events/sew-social-fulton-sweater-blazer/
THAT’S RIGHT! I’m planning to add more sizes to my current size range. I’ve been working hard behind the scenes on this for a good bit, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about since the very beginning. When I started selling patterns, I knew I just needed to get them out there (sometimes you have to JUST START), and started with the first 10 sizes. I’m feeling ready to add three more, so I will be adding sizes 20, 22, and 24 this year.
(EDITED TO ADD: A few days after I posted this, the sewing world began a very important and historically groundbreaking discussion about size inclusivity. I’ve been listening and taking every word to heart, so I’m now considering whether or not stopping at size 24 is okay. NO MATTER WHAT YOUR MEASUREMENTS ARE, I want you to have options. So, please consider signing up for my focus group as I work very hard to make decisions about the sizes I include moving forward.)
If you’d like to be included in the focus group as I move forward with this, please sign up for the group here: Extended Sizing Focus Group
I’ve had that link up on my resources page for about a month, but haven’t shared about this anywhere yet. A bunch of you have found the link and already signed up for the group, which is encouraging to me as I see the interest in these sizes already!
Learn to Sew E-Course
This next bit I am equally excited about. This is another thing I’ve been dreaming of since the very beginning, and actually started writing in 2016. Three years later, I feel that I’m in a good space to launch something of this caliber.
The e-course will be focused on people who want to learn how to sew garments.
You may be thinking to yourself, but I already know how to sew! I say great!
But what about all of the friends and family who see the things you’re making and want to know how?
Or, maybe you’re someone who is self-taught and has sort of amassed a variety of techniques that don’t necessarily complement each other.
Perhaps you know how to sew bags or quilts, but really want to hone in the skills needed to sew your own clothes. (Quilts and bags don’t have things like darts, after all!)
What I’m building is a comprehensive vault of sewing knowledge, tips, and tricks. There are hundreds of sewing tutorials out there but it’s overwhelming—where do you start? What do you even google? What if you’re doing things the hard way because you didn’t know what to google?
I’ll be giving you a place to start to learn the basics of garment sewing and build the confidence needed to tackle any sewing pattern.
I’m designing a pattern specifically for the course, as well as printable downloads to accompany lessons. There will also be VIDEOS for most, if not all, lessons!
The course will be structured into 4 different modules, and so far I have written 27 lessons. I’ll take you from how to understand patterns, basic sewing skills, specific garment sewing techniques, and finally, to sewing an actual garment!
I’m looking for ALL skill levels to help me test and proofread this course before I launch it in the second half of 2019. This course will contain a huge amount of information, and testers will not only get the first look, but will get all of the information, downloads, videos, worksheets, and the sewing pattern (which will also be available for purchase separately and will have already been tested) for free in exchange for their feedback. I also give other free patterns to testers as my thanks for their time and effort.
If you’re interested in helping me with this course, sign up here: Learn to Sew E-Course Focus Group
I’m going to start sending out a regular monthly newsletter! I will be featuring your makes (so make sure to tag them on Instagram!), giving you small behind-the-scenes business updates, and will be featuring one pattern every month (with a discount code!).
Make sure you sign up for my newsletter so that you’re not missing out on any of this! The only other emails you get from me will be tester calls and shop-wide sales info (one in July and one in November).
I’m also working on a vault of free resources for newsletter subscribers–stay tuned!
Sign up for my newsletter here: Monthly Newsletter
As mentioned above, I have a pattern drafted to accompany the e-course, but that pattern will also be available for purchase separately. I also have another pattern I am working to release in the Spring, as well as a pocket expansion pack for the Fulton Sweater Blazer that I will release around the beginning of Fall.
In summary, in 2019, I’m traveling for sewing classes, releasing more sizes, more patterns, an e-course, a monthly newsletter, and an expansion pack!
To make sure you don’t miss any of this, sign up for my newsletter!
Thanks again for a great 2018 despite my focus needing to be elsewhere for most of the year–I promise to make it up to you with all of the goodness I have planned in 2019!