Hi all! Please note that the studio will be closed from August 2–20 while I relocated from Los Angeles to New York! Please feel free to send messages or comments, but know that it's a bit of a transitional time, and I promise to get back to all your questions when back on-line on the 21st. Thanks again for the massive response to the inventory sale, and here's to a smooth move across the country!
We are ending our sale early, as we are just about sold out of everything! So instead of the sale ending Friday, the sale is ending Tuesday! So you have until midnight Pacific Time Tuesday to buy any printed patterns in the shop! That's it, and then they are gone forever! Hop on over to the shop and buy those patterns, because this is the end!
Also, if you've placed an order and are waiting for it, please note that we are stuffing envelopes as fast as we can! We always ship patterns within three business days in ordinary circumstances, but these aren't ordinary circumstances! We have thousands of orders coming in, and we're moving as quickly as we can! So please be patient as we get them all out. The last day orders will ship is Friday, August 4. So no matter what, they'll all be out by the end of the week. You will receive an email from our site that tells you your order has shipped, so if you haven't gotten that yet, then it's still in the pile to be stuffed!
Please note that our studio will be closed from Wednesday, August 2–Sunday, August 20. Any emails sent to us in that time will be answered after Monday, August 21. I am moving all 2,813 miles from my home in LA to my new home in New York, so as much as I'd love to email you back, my computer will be boxed up and en route, and then there are a couple days of getting settled, etc! You can still buy PDF patterns in that time, but we won't be there to answer any questions, so check out the FAQ page for help!
Thank you all SO MUCH for the amazing response to our sale, and go get what you want, as it's all nearly gone!
Let's start off with the important part:
ALL PRINTED PATTERNS IN STOCK ARE ONLY $9
Yep, that's 50% off! We are no longer going to sell printed patterns, and all the stock must go!The other key thing to know is this: you only have two weeks to buy them! The last day you can buy a printed pattern from us is Friday, August 4. That's it! Oh, and of course, stock is extremely limited. So if I were you, I'd stop reading now, and go to the shop and buy some patterns, because this is the end of printed patterns for us, and they are going to go FAST!
What's in the sale? All of our printed patterns are marked down to only $9 each. In addition, we have some leftover tissue patterns that are for sale at $4 each. Perfect if you have the PDF version and want to grab just the tissue, or if you have the pattern already but want a back up! Also, for the Lottie, Emery, and the Marianne patterns, you really don't need the instructions, since there are full sewalongs for all three of those patterns here on the blog! It's a great way to grab the most important part of the pattern at a super cheap price.
So push that big button above to go to the sale! All of this is done and gone on Friday, August 4, so hop to it while there are still some patterns in stock! I'm off to New York really soon, so help a girl out and take this inventory off my hands!
Okay, are you back from the sale? Great! So, you might want to know the "why" behind this decision. If you do, then keep reading...
There are a host of reasons why I made this decision to no longer offer printed patterns. It all started with the decision to move from Los Angeles to New York City. As many of you know, almost 2 years ago I lost my significant other. I allowed myself time to think about what I wanted for my life moving forward, and last December I decided I wanted to leave LA. I don't make sense here without him, and I am ready for a change and a new challenge. 2017 has been about putting all those pieces and ideas into place, and thinking about what I want my life to be. When I started doing printed patterns, my life was very different, and my idea of my future was not what it is now. So I wanted to be free to rethink where I was going, instead of sticking to the previous plan of my former life. Everything was on the table for possible change.
With this decision to move to NYC comes a dramatic change in physical space. In LA I have plenty of square footage to house 1,000's of patterns for not a lot of cost. But in NYC, square footage is a premium, and in order to keep offering printed patterns, I would either need to rent a separate space (studio/storage unit/etc), or I would need to hire a fulfillment center to store and ship our patterns on our behalf. Both of these choices come with added expenses. And that was just not something I wanted to take on financially.
I'm sure many people will make the assumption that this decision is being made because things aren't going well for the business. But in full transparency, financially 2016 was our best year on the books. We are releasing more patterns than before, and sales are honestly really good. But just because sales are good, that doesn't mean that it's going "well" necessarily. I've learned through this process that I actually don't enjoy the printed side of the pattern company. I don't enjoy keeping them in stock, stuffing them, shipping them, storing them, spending hours sourcing packing materials, formatting shipping rates on the website, etc. Sure, I know it's work, and not all parts of it are ever going to be fun, but there's also no reason why we need to keep doing what we're doing if I'm not enjoying it. I never wanted to become a shipping center. I wanted to design and sew pretty clothing. Again, I could easily hire someone to do all the above stuff for us, but those are expenses I just don't want to take on.
With a new city also comes a new job! I'm not yet ready to discuss it, but I will be working a full-time position when I move, and allowing the patterns to take a slight back seat moving forward is necessary. Things here will absolutely be slowing down a bit, but I'll still be very much around, don't you worry! It's time for a shift and I couldn't be more excited about it.
What does this mean for future patterns? It means all new releases will be PDF patterns. Yes, I'm fully aware that many people don't like PDF patterns, don't know how to use them, and don't want to learn how to use them. I know that this will mean losing some customers. And for that, I'm sorry. But PDF patterns is how all our new patterns will be released. I feel so much less pressure when removing the financial responsibility of having a "hit" when investing in a printed pattern. But if a printed pattern doesn't sell like gangbusters, that's a huge loss that we can't afford to do very often. That just left me feeling very creatively stifled, knowing that each printed pattern had to do really well to warrant the expenses of printing. With PDF patterns I'm able to take bigger risks, be more creative, and do things that I might not want invest as much money into.
So, that's the situation. As I move into a new life in a new city with a new job, everything is shifting, and I am excited about it. I hope you all understand the reasoning behind this and aren't too disappointed about the loss of our printed patterns. But for me, it's time for a change. Everything in my life was on the chopping block as I thought about how I want my life to be moving forward.
Thanks as always for your support, and honestly, this is really the end of the printed patterns, and they won't be sold ever again after August 4, so please go buy up our inventory that's left! Because it's not coming with me to New York!
As indie pattern companies move more and more into designing PDF patterns, us included, it seems like a good moment to have a refresher on how to print and assemble PDF patterns correctly. It is very easy, but for those that are new to it, there are a few key moments that you really want to do right. So I will talk you through the entire process from start to finish. Okay, let's get to it!
1. Find the Test Square
First, you need to find the page that contains the test square and print that page. Every PDF pattern will have a page that has a shape on it that is a specific size. Ours has a 4" square, usually on page 1 of our PDF patterns. But sometimes due to the shape of the pattern pieces we have to move it to another page. How do you find this page? There are two ways. You can either open the print-at-home PDF file and locate it by scrolling through the pages, or you can look at the print-at-home chart in the instruction booklet, pictured below.
2. Print the Test Square
Once you have located the page that contains the test square, you want to print just that page. The reason you are printing this 4" square is to make sure it is sized correctly, thus making the pattern the correct size as well. You do not want to print all the pages, only to find that the square was too big or too small. You just want to print that single page to confirm the square is the correct size, then you can move onto printing the rest of the pages.
To print the test square page, open the print-at-home PDF file in a PDF reader software, like Adobe Acrobat or Apple Preview. Note: for copyright reasons, the files cannot be opened in an editing software, like Adobe Illustrator. Once you've opened the file, ask the computer to print the file, but only the page with the test square on it.
Now this is the important part: you want to print it at 100% scale. You do not want the computer to enlarge it to fill the page, nor shrink it to fit the page. You want it to be printed full size. How do you do that? Simply make sure the print window looks like these examples below:
Adobe Acrobat print window
Apple Preview print window
Once you've printed that page, you want to measure the square to make sure it is in fact 4" square. If it is, you can now print the remaining pages. If it is too big or too small, double check that all the scaling buttons and settings are correct and try again. If it still is too big or too small, and you've checked everything you can think of, then it might be time to ask a professional. Usually this goes just fine and you don't have to bring in the heavy hitters, but all printers and computers are different, and there might be something set in your printer preferences that we cannot guess from afar.
3. Trim the Pages
Once you have all the pages printed successfully, it's time to trim them to assemble them together. I find that if you trim all the edges of the pages, it's really hard to line up a cut edge to another cut edge. So how I prefer to do the assembly, is by trimming only the right and bottom edges of each page, so when you go to assemble them, you simply overlap the cut edge onto the uncut edge, and tape it together. Also this cuts your trimming time in half! So it's a win win!
Grab your paper scissors, and trim the right and bottom edges of each page, right up to the gray dashed line. Do not cut that line away! You should still see the line after trimming.
Continue trimming all the pages until they all have the bottom and right edges trimmed off.
4. Assemble the pages
Once you have all your pages printed and trimmed, it's time to assemble them all together. Refer to the chart above that is included in your instructions on how the pages are going to fit together. You're essentially forming a giant puzzle. But since size is a key factor in your pattern, you really want to be sure to line everything up as best as you can. Overlapping the pages beyond the gray dashed line, or leaving gaps between them, will cause the pieces to be too big or too small, and then the fabric pieces once cut might not go together well. So take your time and make sure everything lines up just right.
Slide the uncut edge under the previous page, so the trimmed right side lines up with the untrimmed left side of the next page. So above, page 2 has the right side trimmed, and page 3 still has the margin of paper on the left side. Page 2 is overlapping that margin, allowing the gray dashed lines to meet. The gray circles will also line up, as will the actual pattern piece lines. Once everything is lined up, tape the pages together, and continue on until that row is assembled.
I prefer to assemble each row, then join those rows together. Below you can see the first row joining the second row, forming the pattern pieces. Just like when joining single pages, the cut edge of the upper row overlaps with the uncut edge of the row below it, making it easy to line up the gray dashed lines and tape in place.
Once you have assembled your rows, the job is now done! This isn't most people's favorite task to do, but once you do it a few times, you get faster and faster at it. And there is something wonderful about working with paper instead of tissue, which is far more precious. Though even someone who doesn't mind this task probably doesn't want to have to do it again, so once you have your whole PDF pattern taped together, I suggest tracing off your size preference with Swedish tracing paper and a mechanical pencil. That way you don't have to cut the PDF pattern and it remains ready for future use!
As always, contact us with any questions you might have about this process. We're happy to help!
We are so excited to announce our newest pattern, the Varda Dress & Top. The Varda is a perfect middle ground between a loose shift and a fitted sheath. The French dart in the front and the contour darts in the back create style lines are designed to follow your curves, with just enough ease in place to give you room to breathe and eat a meal. Just the way we like it! Plus with three sleeve options and two lengths, this classic design will be a workhorse in your closet for years to come.
The Varda Dress & Top is only available as a PDF pattern and is on sale for the first week. Click the button below to pick it up at 20% off today!
This is one of the first times we went at the design with a top in mind, then extended it to a dress length. Usually it's the other way around for us. But as I wear pants more often these days, I really lacked curve-friendly fitted woven tops in my wardrobe, so I went about to design one. Both the Varda Dress & Top have all the same style lines and darts to give you a shapely and flattering fitted woven garment.
The gorgeous French darts also allows easy fitting for a sleeveless look, as the excess fabric for shaping is brought down below the bust and along the side seams, instead of focusing it up in the bust and armscye area. In addition to sleeveless, there is also a short sleeve and elbow sleeve, giving you three sleeve options, plus two lengths, for six glorious customizable and classic silhouettes for a great wardrobe staple.
The neckline is finished with narrow and topstitched facings, as are the openings for the sleeveless option. Both the dress and the top are closed up with a 22" zipper in the center back, allowing you to adjust the ease so you can fit the garment as you like, for easy on and off. The length of the dress hits just ever so slightly above the knee, making it both evening and office appropriate. The top length lands at the hip, allowing you to use a full 22" zipper, and still have enough space for a short seam below the zipper and a 1" topstitched hem.
The long contour darts on the back and the curved upper back center seam help to fit and follow your curves beautifully. And because the Varda Dress & Top has a distinct lack of frill, it's great in a very wide range of fabric types. Everything from a lightweight silk, to a mid-weight cotton shirting, to a slightly heavier barkcloth works brilliantly.
Like with our other PDF-only patterns, the instructions are done in photographs instead of illustrations, for a helping hand in a sewalong style. We used a simple white background on the photos this time to save you ink when printing. We also selected a fabric that reads well in color or black and white, so you can choose to print with black ink only if you prefer. These changes are thanks to feedback from all of you! We absolutely welcome input if you see something that could be improved. We think a lot about the user experience, so let us know!
Now go get yourself the Varda Dress & Top pattern! It's great for all seasons, body shapes, ages, occasions, and tastes. A truly versatile pattern! Tag your makes with #christinehaynesvarda and #christinehaynespatterns so we can see what you do with our pattern! And thanks as always for being the best customers ever. We love you guys!