It’s been a while since my last post. While you’re all so very understanding when I disappear into my drafting and development cave I thought I owed you an apology for not posting the rest of the House galleries. I’m sorry. I am really proud of the work that all the houses put into the Sewalong, and there’s more than a handful of really cool Hummingbirds and Hummingbird hybrids viewable in the Flickr group or the Hummingbird Community Gallery.
The fact is, after I spent 6-7 hours putting together the Sabrewing House gallery I completely lost steam. Blogging is time consuming. Even shorter posts often require 2+ hours of pulling together text and photos and links and concepts. I often write technical posts for sewingcake all at one time and release them slowly as some bloggers do, but it never felt right for 3 Hours Past.
Lately, I felt it’s better for me to spend my blogging time developing new designs and making Cake Patterns the best company I can. In fact, I’d like to tell you a little about what I’ve been doing (and I slipped in little previews of the future so you can *really* see what I’ve been up to…!).
Cake Retail- The Distribution Work
I wasn’t just sewing and drafting while the blog was quiet. I’m also tightening up every step of the development and distribution for Cake Patterns. International shipping costs have gone up dramatically lately (especially from the US to international destinations but there’s been a definite ripple effect). This means it’s harder/more expensive to sell and distribute Cake Patterns through Etsy for both you and me.
But I’m working on a solution! Cake Patterns is currently seeking retail partners (particularly across Canada and Europe) in order to make Cake Patterns available more easily to you, for lower shipping rates. We already have a growing list of wonderful international stockists:
- Dresses & Me (online retailer)
- Strömming Design (online & market retailer)
- The Village Haberdashery (online retailer)
- Sewbox.co.uk (online retailer)
- Trixie Lixie (online retailer)
- Grey’s Fabric and Notions (bricks & mortar retailer)
- Sweet Little Chickadee (online retailer)
- Pattern Review (online retailer)
- Made Sewing Studio Portland (bricks & mortar retailer)
I spent some time over the past few weeks developing our systems and digital resources to better serve our retailers. They, in turn, make it simpler (and usually cheaper) for you to order Cake Patterns. Retailers are an important part of the distribution process. Over the past several weeks, I began reprinting (again) Tiramisu Second Edition and the RiFFs. Hummingbird is next, we’re already almost out of stock! Every stage of the process has gone much more smoothly, I have some lovely patterns in hand and now I feel confident in seeking out retailers knowing I can provide a solid finished pattern.
If you’re a retailer (or you know one) and you’d like to request Cake Patterns’ retail brochure, then let me know:
The retail brochure contains information and previews for the upcoming Red Velvet and Cake Kid Collections, too.
Cake Classes- My Favorite Work!
Before I started making patterns, I taught sewing for years locally. In fact, everything about the way I write and present Cake Patterns is informed by years of helping women fit and sew patterns that were consistently inadequate in terms of fit and instructions. I love teaching!
For most of this year I’ve been teaching beginners on a Tuesday night. In five weeks we work through a tote bag, a Blank Canvas Tee and an a-line skirt. The next round of beginners classes is on a weekend, as has been requested. Click here to view more information about this class, I call it “From Zilch to Zips” and I’m really proud of the solid skill set my beginners build in this class.
(I’m putting together a Beginner’s Sewing pattern set based on Zilch to Zips. I used to like that I could hand a relative beginner a Colette or an Oliver + S pattern and know they’d have good success outside the classroom setting. I want to take that concept further to make a little useful set of beginner’s patterns suitable for either a classroom or solo learning experience… More on that very soon!)
Instead of beginners on a Tuesday, from July 30 I’ll be teaching a 4-week Hummingbird Class! I’m really excited about this, because it’s a nifty intermediate-level class I worked up that’s very similar to the Sewalong. We’ll spend time exploring fabric behavior and drape as well as fitting and finishing techniques. We’ll talk peplums and proportions, bias, lapped seams, the finer points of knit binding, twin needling and denim seaming techniques (we’ll sew some denim even if you aren’t sewing with it).
As always, I teach the group but also teach to the individual and her machine. That means we’ll get your machine twin needling no matter what. We’ll laugh, chat, joke around and refine our techniques in a stress-free, supportive learning environment. That’s really important to me, more than anything else: in classes like this I want you to experience the joy of sewing, the excitement of watching a garment come to life beneath your fingertips.
If you’d like to come along, you can check out the full details on the class listing at Voodoo Rabbit. We keep class sizes small, and the closing date for enrollment is this Wednesday so don’t miss out! (I don’t think I’ll be able to resist whipping up some Hummingbird Cake for us to have with our tea- yum!)
Bandwidth & Balance- The Hardest Work
From next week, I’m back at 3 Hours Past, at least a little bit for a body image/art series I’ve been mulling for a while. The RV production work is wrapping up and while I don’t yet have the paper patterns quite ready to go just yet, I also won’t have to spend so much of my time working on the production. That means I can spend a little time writing again!
Building Cake has been more of a rollercoaster ride than I ever could have imagined, and right now I’m working hardest on finding a way to achieve balance between the work I do and the life I live. So far, it’s been helpful to accept that the day only has 24 hours and to strive to set aside one day every week where I don’t work at all. I don’t tend to have any problems getting motivated or focusing on the work, in fact I find it’s hard to stop working. I’d be really interested in hearing your tips for maintaining a healthy work/life balance, especially from those who work from home or work for themselves. When do you stop working? Where are your boundaries?
*New Zealanders LOVE Cake despite the high shipping costs to cross the Tasman- check out this Sew and Eat Cake event in Wellington, what fun! I wish I could be there, ladies! I want to see the pictures!