This is obviously the sample I made for the pattern cover, so I know that you have seen it already. But I threw it on for a few action shots so you can see how it hangs on a body.
A few notes: I did not hem this version, since tissue knits are so thin and fine that a hem doesn’t always turn out well. Not hemming was also an adjustment for my long torso, since I cut the size small without any modifications to assess the sample. I also have wider shoulders than average, so the neckline on me does not look at open as on other people.
But despite all that, it is a fun example of my new pattern and I hope you get some ideas to make your own! It is still on 20% off sale until March 21st with coupon code “FIRSTWEEK”.
Why is it so sunny all of a sudden?
When I request help in testing my patterns, I do not require my testers to help market my patterns. They are using their time, energy and fabric to sew up a test, and I want to see if they encounter problems in fit, in instructions or in technical details. I also need to see how the design looks on different sizes, since I am only one size.
But I had someone specifically ask to see some other versions of the Athena top, to see how it looks in different fabrics and sizes. I asked my testers if they would be willing, and I am excited to show off just a few testers for some examples of how this top can look!
Please notice that some of these examples had a very wide neckline, and I ended up moving that in and up about half an inch on each side so it would not fall off anyone’s shoulders. The revised neckline is reflected in the line drawing and is more rounded.
I know, these ladies are adorable and so helpful to share their hard work with me!
If you would like to try out the Athena top, I am still running an introductory sale through March 21st of 20% off with the coupon code “FIRSTWEEK”. That code is good for either of my patterns, actually!
I hinted that I was working on a new pattern, and I finally did it! It is simple to put together, but still cute and unique. I love wearing mine!
The new Athena top is a relaxed but chic raglan sleeve knit or woven top that can be whipped up in an afternoon. The sleeves twist under the arm to create a graceful waterfall and the hem dips in back for a subtle hi-lo effect. The knit version is finished with bands at the neck and arms, while the woven uses bias binding. It is perfect for those ultra-soft drapey jerseys or tissue knits that feel so great to wear. It would also look great in a fluid, silky woven.
The pattern comes in XS – XL and is quick and easy to put together, with only 18 printed pages. The new “layers” function allows you to view and print only the size you need. The instructions are fully diagrammed and include finished garment measurements and fit tips to ensure your top comes out great. Hint– it is roomy around the bust and tapers down at the hips, but remains relaxed.
I’m being featured on Pattern Revolution, which is a super cool site full of great info and very supportive of indie designers. I do have a rafflecopter giveaway set up there, so enter to win a copy of the Athena Top there. If you already follow this blog, be sure and enter the giveaway!
The Athena top is now available at GrayDayPatterns.com. Regular price will be $6.95, but for the introductory week it is offered for 20% off with the code FIRSTWEEK until March 21st. In fact, use that code to try out the Sandpoint top, too! I hope you like it and if you make it up, let me know so I can feature you! You could even link it up on Sew It Chic in a Week. How fun!
As explained in the last post, I rushed into starting a pattern line last year and have had an exciting but difficult ride. The new year is a great time to reassess my focus. “Focus” is my word of the year!
I have so many fun ideas for GrayDay Patterns, but I am realizing that I didn’t know what I didn’t know when I started. My beginning pattern drafting skills will not allow me to create the designs I want. I don’t know how to make a sleeve! If I want to create a top quality pattern, I need to invest a large amount of time and energy into the following things;
- Hands-on learning of pattern drafting from a teacher, not just books
- Practice and proficiency with Adobe illustrator, because that tool is so vital in putting out a quality, professional pattern
- A website that is fast, easy and helpful as a tool to my customers
- A clearer vision of what I want to provide for my customers. I hope to create a cohesive style so that you can look forward to new design releases with confidence.
- A business plan in place to make GrayDay Patterns a legitimate business and not just a side hobby. I had given no thought to all the other details that must be attended to in running a small business. Like customer service, marketing and outreach, let alone the nuts and bolts of accounting or taxes!
And so, the next steps for GrayDay Patterns is actually to take a step back for a few months to work behind the scenes and get everything together.
I will be intensely focused on pattern drafting learning, and plan to release a free pattern soon. It will serve as a tool to help me learn in a real and applicable way, and as an offering to the community of sewers that have been so supportive during this journey!
I do have a nearly completed pattern that I plan to release in March. I draped it (in case you were wondering. No sleeves!) and I am excited to share it soon. I will be taking the new skills I am learning in drafting to this project, too, so I decided to push the release date back to make sure it is the best I can make it.
I will continue to do lots of sewing to share on the blog. I am finding especially now that my focus has changed to drafting, that sewing things for me or my girls is such a fun thing! I love to sew. And the relief of working with an already expertly drafted pattern is the perfect antidote for the intense stimulation of learning all the time.
When I first came up with the idea of GrayDay Patterns, I knew I wanted to be transparent during the process. Winning a contest that was partially judged by popular vote made me feel part of the community. And it is very obvious to me that I will need to build confidence before you know what you can expect from my pattern label. There are no smoke and mirrors here, and I will continue to allow you to see the process if you find it interesting.
When The Monthly Stitch announced their Project Indie contest, I had already been thinking about designing patterns. I had designs in my head and I had started learning about pattern drafting from books. I had really wanted to dive in further, but I needed a push.
And due to a certain quirk in my personality, contests appeal strongly to me and push me to try new things or finish what I start. I’ve known this about myself for years and try to utilize it to help me reach my goals when I can. That is why it seemed like incredible luck that Project Indie came up. Like it was made for me!
I quickly signed up for Pattern Workshop by Lauren Dahl to help me learn all the important details that make a pattern usable. I didn’t realize I would have to become proficient in two new, rather complicated computer programs. Learning something like Adobe Illustrator takes time and practice. I had a deadline and admit to getting frustrated. I certainly didn’t master it! But I got it finished and submitted.
Not all of my pattern testers have blogs, so I get the exciting exclusive opportunity to show you these lovely ladies here on mine! How fun! Those that do are linked if you’d like to see their other work.
First up we have Suzanne, who was the first tester to finish and post pics for our group to admire. It was the first time I had seen someone else make up my design and it was so exciting!
Alana’s pretty pink one is so vibrant.
Cecellia made hers in a stunning aqua color.
If you have not bought The Sandpoint Top, perhaps you are waiting to see the amazing versatility of the pattern? I had the most lovely group of pattern testers ever, and they have given me permission to share their versions so you can better imagine your own (and so you can ooh and ahh over their cute tops!).
The good news is that these 7 are only the portion of my testers who have blogged their creations. I did not require or ask them to blog, but I sure as heck want to show them off! Click through to see how talented all these ladies are. And don’t worry, there are quite a few more great Sandpoint Tops I’ll show you in a later post of pattern testers that either haven’t blogged or don’t have blogs. They did amazing work, too!
First we have Susan, who blogs at knitters-delight.blogspot.com and made 2 printed versions!
Then we have Annie from Continue reading
Nothing, I mean nothing, in my life has compared to the creative surge I feel when I create a garment. It is my favorite medium of self expression!
It occurred to me that creating a garment from scratch, like straight from my imagination, would be even more fun. So I began to learn how to draft my own patterns. It has been a such an amazing learning adventure so far and I’m so excited by the progress I’ve made. So, on to the big announcement:
The Sandpoint Top is being released today!
It is a loose fitting T-shirt with a dramatic cowl back feature. There is a shoulder band behind the neck to secure it. In a fluid, stretchy knit it skims the body and drapes beautifully down the back. It can be made up in a comfortable cotton/rayon knit or made dressier in a slinky jersey. You can make the shoulder band in a contrast color to highlight that fun feature, too!
For this simple T-shirt pattern I am keeping the price reasonable at $8.95. Even better, I’m offering a 20% coupon code for the first week to encourage you to try me and GrayDay Patterns out! The code is “firstweek” and it is good until 10/26/14.
I loaded this pattern up with features to make it as easy to use as possible. Here are some:
- Fully illustrated diagrams and friendly instructions
- Women’s sizes XS – XL
- Finished garment measurements and fit guide to help you create your perfect top
- Layered pattern sizes allow you to print only the sizes you need
- Hate cutting and taping? Includes large format pattern you can send to a copy shop
I am also introducing the new website – www.graydaypatterns.com. I hope it will become a destination to share and gain inspiration for all our GrayDay Pattern creations. There is a gallery dedicated to your garments, and I will highlight one each week in the “Featured Make” section. All my contact information is there, so feel free to ask questions and send suggestions. I would love to hear from you!
None of this would have been possible without the help and encouragement of The Monthly Stitch and the Project Indie contest. What a wonderful opportunity it was!
I also cannot thank my fabulous testers enough! They are a great group of ladies that did a lot more than just fill out a feedback form! They encouraged and supported me when I thought the pattern would never be completed, and seeing their smiling faces wearing my design was amazing!
The unbelievable has happened. I woke up in the middle of the night, innocently, and checked my email for the 183rd time and this time there was a note from Kat of The Monthly Stitch about Project Indie.
She went on to thank me politely for my submission (it was very kind, like a condolence) and she realized how hard I worked (started losing hope) and how hard it was to judge (all hope abandoned) then WHAT? She said she was happy to tell me I won Project Indie. Oh MY GOODNESS!
Up at 4am with a huge smile on my face!
Since it was the middle of the night, I went back to bed giggling to myself. Joy and rapture! And I couldn’t stop thinking… if the contest was partially based on the popular vote, that means a few other people besides my best friend and I must have voted for me! And if other people voted for me, they must like my design. They would wear it. They would take the time to sew it up and wear my design. My favorite shirt could become your favorite shirt!
Obviously there was no going back to sleep for me. I was up and dancing around in my pajamas, trying not to wake up my family, who were scheduled to sleep for another 4 hours.
This is such an incredible opportunity to be mentored by these generous and talented ladies: the three Monthly Stitch editors (Kat, Mel and Juliet), Penny from Dresses & Me, and Kristiann from Victory Patterns). They are going to help me with pattern testing, proof reading, logo design (my logo is pretty rough), publicity, selling my pattern and mentoring. Isn’t that amazing? I am still in a little bit of shock…
Most importantly, thank you to all the people that took the time to vote and give feedback! I am astounded, thrilled and humbled and I can’t wait to get my pattern out to you. I can’t wait to see you in my design and see how you make it your own. I just can’t wait!
I am elated, terrified and proud to show you my first pattern, the Sandpoint Top. It is a loose fitting, deep V T-shirt with a surprise cowl in the back. Actually, it can be worn either way, with the cowl in the back or the front, by slipping the band behind the neck. Try it both ways to see which way you like best! The V front and armholes have a band finish, while the cowl drapes freely and in a lightweight knit needs no finishing. I will walk you through the steps to create a banded V-neck, but other than that little part, the construction is quick and easy!
My vision for starting GrayDay Patterns is to create unique, modern patterns that are easy to incorporate into your wardrobe and actually wear! I know we all have special items we’ve made that hang in our closets and we don’t dare touch. They are either too fancy or not comfortable or not easy to wear. What a shame! I hope to help you make some fun clothes that you love to wear, but that are unique and stylish enough that you just might get asked, “Where did you get that great piece?”
This pattern is being entered in The Monthly Stitch Project Indie competition. I am so excited to have the opportunity to enter it there and get feedback. Here is the interview they featured of me, for your viewing pleasure. And it is a voting competition, so head on over and cast your votes here. I value all your opinions, and this has not been pattern tested yet, so if you have any thoughts or advice, write a comment or email me! If you’d like to be a pattern tester, please let me know. There are so many more details to attend to, I don’t quite have a timeline set up for all that (maybe September?), but if you would like to help, I am so grateful! Thanks!