The shape of things to come – Plans for 2022

“I want to inspire and teach people who care about humankind and our environment to sew their own clothes. I will offer sewing patterns with styles for all the family that  practically and stylishly meet lifestyle needs. Teach classes and make tutorials to further support the patterns and garment making in general. I will offer sustainable and ethical fabrics to enhance this process as a mindful hobby that is part of a well balanced lifestyle”.

Its that time of year where we often reflect on the year just past, the highs and lows. This year I am going to look forward and write about my business plans for 2022. There were some great highlights in 2021 including renovating and moving into my first real studio and reopening my classes. There were also some bad times, losing a good friend to Covid early in the year and several months of crushingly low business.

The one thing I have learnt over time is to always look for the positives in life. So during my quiet months I decided to spend a bit of time reviewing my business plan. Most businesses start with a business plan of some sort, but once in the flow of business its easy to just keep going and forget about the plan. Stepping back and reviewing the plan can be a revelation. This is exactly what I did and it was such a great thing to do.

A mission statement or business goal sums up in a couple of sentences what a business aims to do and who it aims to serve. After the years of running Bobbins and Buttons I was able to read between the lines and add newly discovered important elements of the business. Reviewing what I offer has helped me outline new plans and redefine the plans I had already put in place. The opening paragraph here is my redefined Mission statement.

Pattern range:

Bobbins and Buttons patterns

The pattern range is here to stay. I have had a great response to my patterns and I have so many ideas and patterns in the pipeline. I am working on new pattern collections. A collection will comprise of styles that work together for lifestyle solutions. The first collection is called Energy. Energy is a range of athleisure styles that are comfortable and practical focusing on sports and exercise but also cross over into your everyday wardrobe.

It has always been important to me that my patterns are versatile and adaptable. Through this collection I will show how you can use the same patterns for different elements of your life style.

Bobbins and Buttons patterns

This Energy range includes 6 patterns. I plan to launch one a month from next month. Along side the patterns I will continue to film tutorials for my Youtube channel. On my blog and social media I will share the inspiration for the styles I’ve created. I also want to share some of my goals and the things I have learnt on my fitness journey which is a big part of well being for me and hope you will share yours too.

Fabrics:

Bobbins and buttons recycled fabric

The fabrics I sell is possibly the biggest change I plan to make. It has always been important to me to sell good quality fabrics. I think when you spend the time making something, you want to make it in fabric that will last and be lovely to wear.

However the more I learn about fabric manufacture and the more I draw on my own values and values I know many of my customers share the more I think it is important to choose ethical and sustainable fabrics. I have decided to move my fabric collection over to entirely ethical and sustainable options. I honestly don’t think there is one answer when it comes to sustainability with fabrics. However there are many options that are better for the environment than others. Deadstock is remaining stock from the garment industry often destined for landfill through to recycled fabrics made from plastic bottles. There are also organic fabrics available which are produced without toxic chemicals and better for the environment, responsibly manufactured fabrics and fabrics made from more renewable sources.  My plan is to source only fabrics from these categories for my shop from now on. I don’t profess to be an expert at this stage but I will be focusing on these factors, sharing some of my research and adding this extra layer of transparency to my fabric listings.

Classes:

Bobbins and buttons

Starting my classes again this year has been the best thing. It has firmly focused my mind that the heart of Bobbins and Buttons is about well-being as much as it is about sewing. There have been some emotive scenes in classes this year, mostly where the classes have become an antidote to the pandemic situation. The slower pace of sewing and class community is very special and supportive.

I plan to continue to offer my classes in the format that you can learn to sew your chosen pattern or project under guidance at your pace in very small groups. I also want to focus more on the sustainable elements of sewing so as well as skill classes I hope to include some re purpose theme classes and small social gatherings where we can chat and unpick or mend.

Here’s to a happy positive 2022.

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

2 Comments

  1. Sally H on January 8, 2022 at 8:38 am

    Love this approach Julia, it’s so hard to find really good quality and sustainable jersey and French Terry so will definitely be interested in buying. I love the way you suggest specific fabrics for each pattern and I am really looking forward to seeing the new range

    • Julia Claridge on January 10, 2022 at 4:03 pm

      Thank you Sally, I’m pleased you like the ideas. It’s very interesting learning more in depth about the processes involved to manufacture fabrics.

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