2014 in Review

New Studio | Grainline Studio

2014 has been a pretty crazy year over here. So many new things have happened so here’s a little look back at this past year. One major thing that happened this year was that I moved out of my living room and into a dedicated Grainline Studio studio! It’s been amazing for my productivity to be able to go to work and then come home and be a semi-normal person. I say semi-normal because as much as I’d like to, I rarely am able to not do a bit of work when I get home.

Working | Grainline Studio

Moving out of my apartment also made it possible for me to hire a part time assistant, Kendra. She’s been so amazing, there’s no way Grainline Studio would be where it currently is without her helping me out. Now I just need to get her more days a week and we’ll be cruising!

Printed Patterns | Grainline Studio

2014 also brought printed patterns to Grainline Studio and I couldn’t be happier about that finally happening! It was a crazy amount of work and a lot of learning but it happened and it’s been so great. We put so much work into making the printed patterns easy and fun to use and I think it paid off. I currently have the rest of the patterns at the printer ready to go a few at a time so come spring all of the Grainline Studio pattern catalog should be available in both printed and PDF format. Phew!! If you purchased one of our printed patterns this year, thank you so much for making them a success!

Shop Relaunch | Grainline Studio

In addition to launching the paper pattern line we also redesigned our entire shop as well as the layouts of the PDF patterns to both standardize the layouts with the print material as well as make them easier to read. The shop relaunch was a huge undertaking which took me from about September 2013 to minutes before the launch at the beginning of July of this year. I also made a complete set of new samples for the new shop in order to get a more cohesive look to things, that was quite a task but also super fun thinking about the entire pattern range as more of a collection.

Alder & Linden | Grainline Studio

2014 saw the release of two new patterns, the Alder Shirtdress and the Linden Sweatshirt! I’m kind of floored by your positive response to both patterns, and I’m so glad you enjoy them both as much as I do! I never release anything unless it’s become somewhat of a wardrobe staple for me and these two patterns got a LOT of use since I originally developed them.

Blogged 2014 Garments | Grainline Studio

I sewed a zillion things and some of them ended up on the blog, this is just a smattering of the ones that ended up here. I really do hate having my photo taken and that prevents me from posting the majority of what I sew. Lots of Alders, Archers, Lindens, Scouts, etc. were made this year, but the Alder was by far my most sewn pattern.

Instagram Garments | Grainline Studio

I also made a zillion things that never made it here but I do post almost everything I make on Instagram (@grainlinestudio) so if you follow me there you can see all the bizarre things I make that never end up with their own post. There’s a point where I kind of feel like, can I really blog another _fill in the blank with whatever pattern I’m currently making nonstop_ on the blog? They all go on IG though.

2014 in Review | Grainline Studio

[View Project Details on Ravelry]

One of the side effects of moving all of my work over to an out of the house studio was that I actually had time to knit again in the evenings! This year I managed to finish up 3 sweaters and three hats and dream up plans for a million more of both. I also took part in both the Summer Sweater KAL organized by Shannon as well as the Fringe and Friends Knit Along organized by Karen. Not only did these help me motivate to finish two of my sweaters but they were also great ways to connect with other knitters via Instagram! Jess (@shoplamercerie), Amy (@seamstressandtheband) and I (@grainlinestudio) are planning on knitting sweaters together in the new year with the loose theme being “comfy sweaters.” We’re using the IG hashtag #sundaysweaterkal if you need a little motivation to knit up a sweater and want to join in. Our tentative cast on date is January 4th (though my knit swatches won’t arrive until the 2nd) and our mottos is the more the merrier!

Marketplace | Grainline

I was super lucky to be interviewed for a short segment on Marketplace for NPR about my disappearing job – patternmaking – which was super cool. You can listen to that here if you haven’t already.

Columbia Pattern Grading | Grainline Studio

2014 also saw me teaching my first college level course, Pattern Grading, at my alma mater Columbia College Chicago. It was such a huge learning experience for me but thankfully my students seemed to appreciate my effort to make sure they really grasped the material and seemed to do well and enjoyed the class. Phew!!

Teaching | Grainline Studio

I had my first in-store class at Drygoods Design in Seattle over the Thanksgiving weekend which I of course was nervous for but it was so fun. I loved getting to talk to people who enjoy the patterns and share some of my tips with them. I also signed on for Camp Workroom Social taking place next October in the Catskills which I seriously cannot wait for. I’ll be teaching how to make a basic skirt and bodice based on your measurements as well as whatever pattern manipulations we can fit in. I think there are only one or two more spots open in my class so if spending a weekend in the Catskills with a bunch of sewing friends sounds like fun, hit that up!

The year wasn’t all great, I had a lot of ups and downs trying to get everything done that I needed to, and I definitely broke into tears more than a handful of times because of stress, but I got super lucky last January when I met this dude. He’s really good at keeping me semi-sane and making me laugh which is just about the best thing you could ask for, even if he is a dog person… hahaha!

Cat Quilt | Grainline Studio

Oh yeah, I also made this quilt this year using Lizzy House’s amazing Cat Nap fabric collection. I almost forgot about this because literally I finished the quilt, took this photo, and immediately lost custody. It now follows Jon around the house from the bed to the couch and back again. Even though I like to tease him about it makes me happy that he’s adopted it, and the fact that he isn’t a cat fan means he really just loves it because I made it.

So! Thank you to all of you for your support this year, it’s been quite a ride! My work plans for 2015 include more patterns, more posts, and lots of fun. I have some business ideas in my notebook I’ll be testing out and I’m excited about that. How was your 2014? Anything exciting planned for 2015?

I hope you all have a safe and happy New Years and I’ll see you back here in 2015!


40 replies on “2014 in Review

  • BGM59

    Merci pour tout! I’m sorry because my english is bad like a lot of frenchs! Grace à internet, j’ai pu acheter tes patrons et c’est très enrichissant de pouvoir communiquer et voir ce que font les autres dans d’autres pays!
    I wisch you a very happy new year 2015! Bénédicte

  • lisa g

    I loved seeing the new patterns and new look to the shop this year. Your work definitely paid off! Can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for you. Happy New Year!

  • Hélène

    I love this kind of honest review of the year. It reminds me how the creative process is a bumpy road. Your blog always carries a “real” feel that is so attaching. All the best for 2015!

  • Carolyn

    Happy New Year, and congratulations on all the huge accomplishments this year! I’ve been enjoying following along and look forward to seeing what 2015 brings for you. I’ve been sewing up a ton of Archers and Mosses this year with no plans to stop in the new year!

  • Heather Lou

    Awesome year, awesome lady. Thanks for being there for me this year! You’re the best. Can’t wait to get drunk after curfew in October. xoxox

  • Angela Hickman

    What a great wrap-up to a crazy and successful year! I am totally down for the #sundaysweaterkal, since I need something to force me to stop looking at patterns and just cast on already.

    My big 2015 goal is to improve my sewing. I have dreams of Archers and Lindens and Alders, and while I might be technically able to produce them, my fitting needs work.

  • rillafree

    Totally inspiring, I hope to put as much energy and enthusiasm into my own teeny tiny business next year. Definitely in for the knit along and I’m even considering knitting a grainline hemlock, but we’ll see! I hope your business continues to grow and surprise you in the new year! X

  • Sandra

    Haven’t tried the Archer yet but I have one cut and ready to sew! Congrats on your accomplishments and look foward to more posts and patterns. Best wishes and continued success for 2015

  • Kelly

    Whoa, seeing all that in one place is overwhelming! What a year you’ve had! For 2015 I want to really work on sewing clothes that work for my life, which basically means making tons of versions of your designs. I too am tempted by that knit along. I’m just about ready to cast on my first sweater, and goodness knows it’s going to be comfy!

  • kristin

    Jen you are awesome. So excited your business is taking off, because I truly love your patterns and want to make MORE of them!! Also you’re just a cool gal and I like to see you succeed. Cheers to a happy and prosperous 2015!

  • Katie Emma

    Congrats on a great 2014, and here’s to more in 2015! I am in for the sweater KAL – I have an idea for a cozy pullover but have been putting it off since knitting without a pattern can sometimes lead to disaster, but the KAL is the push I need to make it happen!

    • Jen

      I’m in the process of planning a sweater without a pattern but I’m terrified to make it public, nothing like failing in front of a bunch of people! I was going to secretly knit this sweater and publicly knit Ondawa but maybe I’ll get brave if you are… 😉

      • Katie Emma

        Yeah, do it! The worst that happens is we laugh at ourselves for attempting it and frogging to reclaim the yarn! Knitters are pretty nice, I’m sure they’d cry with us more than laugh at us.

        • Jen

          I was attended part of the Steven and Stephen tour and they were such an inspiration! Their great patterns are just a matter of a mistake repeated to create a pattern! I too wan to knit a sweater without a pattern and “comfy” is the keyword! Let’s start a KAL on that!!

          I’d love just to learn the basics of a vneck, round neck, drop sleeve, etc so I can incorporate as needed.

          Great post!

  • Kelly

    You are a rock star, I am so happy for all of your success!! I am super excited to learn a bit of your pattern making magic at camp 🙂 I am totally in for the KAL- I just bought some grey marl yarn with the plan to make an oversized raglan sweater- nothing fancy since it will be my first sweater! I’m planning to use the Jane Richmond classic raglan pattern and just make a larger size without any waist shaping…we’ll see how it works out! I hope you go with your pattern-less plan, I know it will turn out great!! Can’t wait to see all that you get up to in 2015!

    • Katie Emma

      I’m wearing my Classic Raglan as I type! I think it would be a good first pattern, but look at the dimensions of your size before you start – I think the sleeves are really roomy on mine, and I picked a size with only a little positive ease in the body. You might want to knit the sleeves a size smaller if you are sizing up on the body. (or I am being nosy and bossy, in which case feel free to ignore!)

  • Rory

    I was so excited to see your patterns in print. I couldn’t get my online version to print correctly (trust me — it was operator error not the pattern). When I thought about how I had already paid for the online version, it took my half a second to also decide on the printed version, as I just thought about how much I love your blog and the end results of your patterns. Best wishes in 2015!

    • Jen

      Thanks so much, we put so much hard work into making sure everything goes together smoothly and everyone gets their best project so it means a lot to hear this! Happy New Year!!

  • Sara

    Holy productivity!
    You seriously accomplished A TON this year!
    I think I need to plan to make about 36 new Linden sweatshirts in 2015.
    I made one – that I haven’t photographed – in black French terry that I’ve not taken off in about 3 weeks.
    Keep on rocking they way you have been and 2015 should be awesome!

  • foodfrustrated

    Such an inspiring post! Please keep sharing in the new year. You are very inspirational in your designs and also in the real life you bring to posts. It makes me feel like I can do this stuff too!

    You Brooklyn Tweed sweaters are gorgeous and I have been dying to knit on. Well, I guess I definitely need to do #sundaysweaterkal ! How will you work it? Will it be on ravelry?

    Happy New Year!

    • Jen

      Haha thanks, you totally CAN do this stuff!! I’m not doing anything special, just rolling along sewing and making stuff, I’m glad you enjoy it! As for the knit along…I don’t even know how you would do it on Ravelry (I’m not the most adept user of that site) but as far as I know we’ll just be tagging our progress on Instagram with #sundaysweaterkal and cheering each other on. Just a bunch of people knitting cozy stuff at the same time and hopefully we can encourage and help each other out along the way! Happy New Year!

  • sundaricarmody

    Wow your list of finished garments are quite impressive. I’m yet to make a functioning knitted item. 2014 was my first year of ‘proper’ home sewing (with wearable pieces) and like you I also made the leap to being self employed full time.

  • Anna

    What a wonderful and inspiring post. Congratulations on all you have achieved, and all the best for 2015.

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for the printed patterns. I live in Australia, and I am not a fan of PDF patterns. Recently I bought the Scout tee through one of your Australian suppliers, and have spent the weekend sewing it up. LOVE the pattern. 🙂 So thank you for all the work done in making printed patterns available.

    I also love that knitted cardigan you are wearing (about halfway through the post).

  • muenzeeins

    it’s a lovely flashback of last year!! love your sewed, knitted creations and patterns all very chic and casual, exactly what I would wear as well :))… keep going!! happy 2015! cécile


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