The third letter
Hello my friends,
You may already know this, but I'm the only one at the helm of Readytosew, I don't have any partners or employees. I only have one seamstress who sews some of my prototypes as well as two translators.
I don’t outsource the development, grading or written instructions of my sewing patterns. My goal is to personally ensure the continuation of what makes the quality of Readytosew patterns: fashion pattern making in two size ranges as well as grading and writing instructions; however, in the future I will continue to contract out the sewing of prototypes. Although this step represents a large expenditure for a small company like mine… I have to consider my mental and physical health.
I learned pattern making and grading in a formal setting, but also (and more importantly) by trial and error. It is thanks to this hard work and more than 7 years of experience in pattern making that I felt comfortable developing my second range of sizes from 46 to 58 (or a hip size of 115cm (46") to 151cm (60")) in 2019. After having spent 7 months developing and perfecting a new size chart and grading system I wanted to publish the work on my blog. In the article linked below, I have shared my knowledge as well as my size chart and grade guide, free of charge.
This article had a record number of views on my site and extended beyond the sphere of the sewing pattern to reach the fashion world. Several brands have consulted me to expand their size range such as Loom, Deer&Doe, Fiat Lux Patterns and many others…
And then I saw something remarkable. The number of French brands (which were late to the game compared to English-speaking countries) who began to offer sewing patterns up to size 52 or even 58 exploded. It was a real joy for me and the thanks and kind words I received were very touching.
You may have noticed already, but since the development of my second size range, my rate of new pattern releases has greatly decreased. To state the obvious, producing a new sewing pattern takes me twice as long as before. All stages of pattern making, grading and testing have been multiplied by two. This has affected my business financially because, although my new range of sizes has allowed me to reach new customers, those have not doubled.
This development coincided with the design and self-built of an off-grid tiny house and other personnal issues. Unsurprisingly, I had a period of burnout at the end of 2020 which lasted several months and encroached on my first months of pregnancy at the beginning of 2021.
I do not regret anything because it seemed essential that I respond to this request. That each company does its utmost to be as inclusive as possible seems obvious to me. I'm very proud that I was able to launch 8 new patterns since the developpement of my new size range.
And yet over the last few months I have received messages complaining about the lack of inclusivity of Readytosew because my size chart stops at a hip measurement of 151cm (60") and therefore excludes anyone who is a larger size. These messages are justified and I hear them, but I can’t respond to these requests in the context of my small business.
Since the arrival of my daughter Augustine I have come to the realization that my family needs are as important as those of my clients, that I have to take care of myself and will not ever be able to make everyone happy. Is this perhaps the first step toward serenity?
See you soon, Raphaëlle
PS: I want to take this opportunity to thank Laine who voluntarily translates all of my newsletters with extraordinary responsiveness and kindness as well as my sister Isaure who will be editing my newsletters beginning with this one.
Check-out the patterns from size range 2
THE PEKKA JACKET
Pekka takes its inspiration from traditional Japanese clothing. It is an oversized mid-season jacket with wide armholes and a simplified jacket lining. With slightly cropped sleeves and gaping pockets, this stylish jacket is perfect for layering. Pekka is an ideal sew for motivated beginners, as it is simple and easy to sew.
Estimated sewing time: 4h
THE PAPAO PANTS
I merged my favorite pants from cultures such as India, Vietnam and Thailand and created Papao, a pair of pants with a modern urban silhouette. For versatility and easy fit I created an adjustable closure without elastic, button or zip. When I set out to design these pants I knew three things. One, they had to be immensely comfortable and versatile, but never sloppy. Second, they had to be sewn in natural fibers such as cotton and linen. Third, I was not going to subscribe to the trends of fast fashion and therefore the style had to be timeless.
Estimated sewing time: 7h
THE PATSY OVERALLS
The Patsy overall, with its discreet pockets, pretty gathers and slightly cropped length was designed with beginner sewists in mind - especially those who are looking to add something with a little character to their wardrobes. Patsy does not require any closures (no zipper, buttons or snaps!).
Estimated sewing time: 5h