2014 in Review
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! 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. 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!! 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! 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! Jen