The Emery Dress & I are back!
Wow, I honestly can hardly believe that after 2+ years, I am back in business! The main questions I’ve already gotten are a- where the heck were you? b- why did you leave patternmaking? and c- why are you coming back to it? So let’s talk about those things first, as those might be your questions too!
A lot has happened in the span of time since I closed my shop, and when I walked away from all of this, I had truly gotten to a point where I didn’t enjoy any of it anymore, including even sewing for myself. Over this break, I let myself venture down other paths, get inspired by New York and all that comes with this great city, and I finally came to miss and love sewing and patternmaking again.
But there was a reason I left, and coming back to it this time, I am focused on making sure I do it in a way that honestly works for me. I was incredibly burned out, tired, and made a lot of decisions that I regret. Nothing crazy, just all kinds of little things you say yes to because you need to pay the rent. So over the last year, I spent a lot of time really thinking about what changes I needed to make to prevent total burn out this go around. I brainstormed with friends (wow, thanks you guys), distanced myself from the pattern scene to clear my head, and tried to think of what I’d do now if I were starting for the first time.
Mostly I decided to take my time. I’m determined to not feel rushed or pressured this go around, and I’m learning to say no. It was 2007 when I wrote my first book, and the 10+ years that followed were pretty much a blur. A lot of good came in that window of time, and I did a lot of things I’m proud of and look back on fondly, but I’m over 12 years older from that first book, a whole lot wiser, and I’m set on doing it in a way that works for me so I don’t fry again.
So here I am, back to this business that I just couldn’t seem to quit! And I couldn’t be happier about it. And honestly, I’m shocked that so many of you stuck with me through this window of time where I neglected you so horribly! Apologies for that! And thanks for still being around and giving a damn. I’m so terribly humbled, sincerely.
Okay, so that’s all well and good you’re saying, but Christine, let’s talk about the patterns! Okay, let’s do that. So when I decided to come back, I had to decide what to do with the old patterns. Do I just leave them as is? Do I put them out of commission? Do I redo them as new? Yep, option number three was my final decision. I decided to look at each pattern as if I was launching it for the first time, as me who I am now, in 2019.
And I knew that there was only one pattern to start with: the Emery Dress! It has been my best selling pattern over all the years of my pattern business, so it made sense to start there. So let me pause here and say, the Emery Dress is for sale in both print and digital formats in the shop! They are both on sale for the first week only, and the print versions will ship mid-October (we had a last minute printer change so we’re waiting on some final printed goods).
I know you’re going to have a lot of questions about what’s new, what’s changed, and what the deal is if you already own it. So first off, there are a TON of questions already answered on the FAQ page. Read all that is there before reaching out because it’s likely that your question is already answered! But if it’s not, we are absolutely here to help, so don’t hesitate to contact us!
Each pattern is going through a bit of a design change, because what I wanted when I released the pattern isn’t necessarily what I want now. I’m very sorry if this means you are losing a design detail you love, but there is no way I can please everyone, so apologies if I make a change you’re not stoked about.
For the Emery, I left View A totally as is: short sleeves, fitted and lined bodice, full gathered skirt with side seam pockets, and a sweet 1960’s-inspired flat bow at the center front (entirely optional if you want to leave it off). For View B, the only thing I changed was to toss the collar. I never liked it and thought it made the dress look too juvenile and twee, so away it goes! Everything else is the same as View A, except it has 3/4-length sleeves, and no front bow. That’s it! Nothing else in the design was changed.
For all the patterns moving forward, there are a TON of changes to both the digital and printed versions. Very little remained from before, and every single detail was rethought and considered. Each piece of information was redesigned. Here are some of the changes:
The printed instruction booklet has full-color photos and drawn illustration instructions
The digital instruction booklet is a copy of the printed version, so you get the same feel and design as if you bought it in print
Digital people now also have a digital pattern instruction guide, which talks through how to use the various files
The printed pattern is now on sturdy paper, not tissue! A lot of people requested this, and I’m happy to say that’s what we’ve decided to go with
The printed pattern also comes with a 4” x 9” card that is attached to the card stock envelope. This card is a handy reference that you can use in your sewing room or when shopping, as it has all the size info, notions, fabric requirements, and illustrations of the pattern. So helpful!
The card stock envelope for the printed version is closed up with a cute logo sticker
And anything mailed to you is sent in an envelope that is both recycled, and recyclable
Another major change made to all the patterns was we expanded from sizes 0-18 to 0-30. The new sizes are grouped in pairs of two, and all the original sizes are as they were. Though we found that some of the body measurements needed to shift a little, so the size chart did change a bit. We also corrected some of the finished garment numbers that weren’t quite right. For new designs (not re-launched designs), we will be grouping all the sizing, so instead of individual sizes for 0-18, they too will be grouped in pairs of two, like the new expanded sizes.
And with new sizing, we needed to make sure that we had more expanded models too! One of the most amazing things about living in New York City is the incredible diversity, and I wanted the patterns to reflect the city I see everyday out my window, on the street, and on the subway. I didn’t want the photos to be of “perfect” people in “perfect” settings, because that just isn’t the life I know and live. Sure, presenting aspirational images is inspiring, but I think that the most inspiring people I see everyday are those I see living their best lives out on the streets of this city. And that’s what I wanted to show. So my models are real New Yorkers, on the streets of the city, being their awesome and funky diverse selves.
So I think that’s it for now! Oh, one more thing: yes, I will be doing an all new version of the Emery Dress Sewalong! So look for details on that soon! The old one was soooo old and the photos were honestly just horrible, so I thought we should just go ahead and redo that while we’re at it.
Thanks again, from the bottom of my heart, for still being here, for supporting me all these years, and for continuing to buy and sew up my patterns. I couldn’t do it without you all!