Hello my crafty friends!!! Happy New Year ✨🥳 Can you believe it is already 2022?! As always at this time of the year, I like to sit down and look at everything that I’ve done in the past 12 months, the good, the bad and the ugly (looking at you COVID). I feel like taking the time to reflect on the previous year always helps me to plan better for the year ahead!
At the beginning of 2021, I was very hopeful that the situation with COVID would get better so I could go back to a normal life. Boy, how stupid and naive was I! Although the majority of restrictions have eased around July 2021, uncertainty about the future stayed with us for the rest of the year. I did not want to make any specific plans for 2021, because it was easier to go with a flow. This approach was less stressful for me and allowed me to focus on the work. So let’s see what I’ve been up to in 2021 😉
In the past 12 months, I have released 6 new sewing patterns. The first pattern of the year was the Stevie unisex crossbody bag, which was a chosen pattern by my newsletter subscribers. At the end of 2020, I did a short survey asking what pattern should I do next, and if I remember correctly, I have given them 3 options: unisex bag, wallet or a trapeze style handbag. The majority of people have voted for the unisex bag. I thought I would do the other ones at some point during the year, but if you are familiar with my patterns then you will know this has never happened 😆
The next pattern was the First aid travel pouch. Things in the world started slowly to improve and people have started to travel again. Funny enough, I have never before carried first aid supplies with me on holiday, but decided it was a time to change that! Better stay safe, than sorry, am I right?! Unfortunately, I did not go on holiday last year, but the First aid pouch was a great addition to my sewing room. As a token of my appreciation, the pattern is free for all members of the Allsewpetite-makers group on Facebook. So make sure to join us to get this awesome freebie!
Bozena saddle bag pattern was specially designed for my dear friend and is named after her. My friend always wanted a semi-rounded crossbody bag but couldn’t find anything she liked, so I had to make sure it was perfect! This pattern comes with two flap options. A rounded flap is perfect for fabrics with a larger print and a bold flip/turn lock closure and a square flap with rounded corners, which looks great with a press lock closure.
I am obsessed with making zipper pouches and always want to try new styles, so I designed the Isabella pouch pattern. It is a rectangular pouch with external front and back zipper pockets. I was so surprised and overwhelmed by how well this pattern was received by most of you and even had a specific request.
One of my customers liked the style and shape of the Isabella pouch, but they wanted a pouch that could be attached to their scooter, hence shortly after I have released the Scooter pouch pattern. The overall shape is the same, but the Scooter pouch have a vertical zipper pocket and velcro straps that allow for a fast and easy installation and release onto a scooter or bike.
The last pattern of the year was the McFly & Mini McFly backpack pattern. This pattern took longer to design and perfect (because it offers two sizes), but has ended the year with a bang! My bestselling pattern of the year, so thank you!!!
Free patterns & tutorials
I also created 5 FREE patterns with written sewing instructions: Easy zipper pouch, Mia crossbody bag, Zip-up cardholder, Isha crossbody bag and Drawstring backpack, plus an additional 3 PDF only patterns: Simple wristlet, Gnome basket and Elf stocking. I did not have enough time to write sewing instructions for these, but I have managed to do something even better, video tutorials! I will tell you a bit more about it in a minute!te!
If you browse the blog, you will also find a few helpful tutorials such as: how to make a two-tone adjustable strap, how to add a slip pocket to your Tote bag, how to draft a notebook/journal cover tutorial and a few others.
I contemplated starting my YouTube channel for a couple of years now, but I am sure many of you can relate, the fear of being in front of the camera always stopped me! At the beginning of last year, I took my camera and one of my free patterns, the Easy zipper pouch, and decided to film a short tutorial. I had to record it 3 times because the first two videos had issues. The first time I forgot to switch on the mic, so there was no sound and the second time I forgot to press record in the middle of the tutorial, so there was a big chunk of footage missing 🤣 The third video has some issues too (mainly the changing light), but it took so much time to film them that I decided to ignore it. Filming that first video was such a learning curve, because I have never done anything similar. I send days editing the video so I decided to post it. I was worried if I don’t, I will not have enough strength to try it again.
I posted my first video on the 1st of March 2021 and I couldn’t be happier! 😊 I strive to learn and improve my skills with each video, so if you have any feedback (good or bad), please let me know. I aim to include video tutorials with all my sewing patterns but there are a few of my older patterns that I did not have time to film yet. Hopefully, I will have time this year!
I was so surprised and overwhelmed when I reached 1000 subscribers over Christmas 🥳 I hope I can double that number this year, so if you haven’t subscribed yet, be nice and press that subscribe button 😉
Beginner sewing magazine
You might not know, but in August I have partnered with Joan Mantini from Beginner Sewing magazine. She creates an amazing digital magazine directed to all sewists, where you can read interesting articles, find useful tips & tricks and try free tutorials. If you join VIP Club, you will also get access to an exclusive newsletter, free featured pattern (some by yours truly 😉), a project of the month, fabric swatch journal, and so much more!!!
It is a fantastic place to start if you are a total beginner, you are looking for some inspiration, want to try a new craft or find a new project.
Allsewpetite -Makers group
Are you a member of the Allsewpetite – makers group on Facebook? If the answer is yes, then you probably have noticed the group has grown substantially in the past few months. Back in August (one year after starting the group) we have reached 1000 members. I was thrilled about that, so I decided to have a small giveaway. I might do it again once we reach 5000 members! I feel like everyone in the group is part of my life, my little sewing family, and whenever anyone shares their creations, it always brightens my day! Today we stand at 1818 members!!!
Modes 4 U Halloween challenge
Around August, I received an email from Modes 4 U asking if I would like to take part in the Halloween challenge, and I said YES! I was one of five creators, and as part of the challenge, we received a mystery box with some Halloween themed fabrics and a few small items. We have received the same fabrics, and the challenge was to make something fun and unique. You can see all projects that I’ve made below. I won’t bore you with all details, but you can check out my blog post if you like to read more and see other photos.
This sewing challenge was a lot of fun and I wish I could do it every year!
Plans for this year
Looking back at 2021 I have done more than I realised and I definitely plan to do as much this year! Similarly to last year, I plan to release a mixture of free and paid sewing patterns 😉. I would love to release at least 10 patterns this year, but designing a pattern, writing sewing instructions and testing takes so much time, so I am not sure if I will be able to do it! I would like to design a pattern for a wallet this year, but I am undecided on what style. If you have a specific design or feature in mind do let me know and I might include it!
I also started to sell some of my handmade items, so check the shop if you want to see what is available. These are one-off items that I’ve sewn when testing a specific pattern or while filming a tutorial.
I would love to add more products to my shop, such as complete kits, hardware and small fabric selection, but unfortunately, I don’t have space to hold inventory.
Since I have put so much energy last year to start my YouTube channel, the plan for this year is to make it even better! More video tutorials, better quality (if I can upgrade my camera 🤞), and maybe a live stream?! I am not there yet, but hopefully, I will feel more confident as time pass. I would love to double my subscribers count and get monetised this year. I know no one wants to watch ads, but extra revenue would allow me to film better content and maybe I could hire some help. I am rubbish when it comes to editing the videos (as you probably can see 😆).
I would like to connect with more creators, do some collaborations, organise a sewing challenge with some awesome prizes, grow my Facebook group and so much more! It would be awesome if we could meet face to face and have a sew-along! Am I dreaming too big now?! Nahhhh
Oh and one more thing…I really, really want to complete my first quilt this year!