I know I said the next post is Conversant in Color. To be completely honest, at the end of a week of working 12+ hour days I’d rather sit around and chat with a beer. I mean, chat with you over a beer. Conversant in Color: Separates will come next.
In my last workplace, we usually had some champagne after closing on a Friday and called it “Friday Night Drinks.” I always looked forward to it, and miss it sorely. That’s where I learned that my 60-year old colleagues had way more interesting wild stories about life than me. We’d also sometimes discuss intellectual property rights, boobs and the latest trends in quilting. I was spellbound.
Lately, Facebook has become the place where I ask questions that pop into my mind while I’m working or reading blogs. It’s really great, and I wanted to open the discussions more widely.
Question 1: Digital Cake Patterns
Ok- I want to offer Cake patterns digitally. For a raft of reasons:
- My first patterns (including the Blank Canvas Tee) were digital patterns. I won’t go into my workflow for that, but it was very artisan and I spent many many hours on it. (If you are a hard worker and you’d like to know how I did it so you can too, email me and I’ll regale you with the details.) I learned so much. But I didn’t want to go down that route again, so I looked around for other options.
- You all want a digital option for Cake, and have requested it. This is another reason to make digital patterns.
- I recently started actually buying and printing various downloadable patterns myself. I bought the Oliver + S Book Report Dress pattern for Lila because we both love the design and I’d much rather put together a few pattern pieces myself than pay $15 shipping. I totally get the shipping savings/instant gratification attraction of digital patterns, and I’m really impressed with the quality of downloads from Oliver + S and Colette.
I found another route to digital patterns. A local business solutions company can scan my patterns and make them tiled pdfs, no sweat. This is a revelation, and I’ve spent much time in their offices lately working with them on Tiramisu’s lines and some other projects. I think they think I’m a nutcase (they usually handle serious engineering drawings), but they’re happy to do what I ask. So that’s cool.
The thing is, Tiramisu as a download will be anywhere between 55 and 75 pages, depending on how we tile it. *I* wouldn’t buy a digital pattern that took 55 pages, so I’m really curious if you would. Future Cake patterns are made up of separates, and I would dearly love to offer the separates, well, separately as digital downloads- maybe 25-30 pages each. To me, that seems reasonable. I’m curious if you would still like me to pursue Tiramisu as a download, or leave it and focus on digital for other projects? I’m here to make you happy and ease your sewing.
Related Topic: Shipping for Cake
If I’ve ever sent you something, you know I have a severe aversion to the Post Office. Usually, I can’t understand what the other person is saying and they have a hard time understanding what I’m driving at. We’re divided by a common language. Today, I sent a few blocks, some fabric, and a blue merino Tiramisu sample out into the wide world. My Postman this time was exceptional at communication, thank you Neill! For some reason, I had no trouble communicating with an Irish immigrant. In fact, I found myself “talking Irish” with those gorrrrrgeous rolling r’s.
He even looked up the best shipping prices for a sewing pattern from Brisbane to various continents:
- Europe/North America/South America: $4.70 (10-14 days)
- Africa: $5.30 (7-10 days to South Africa, highly variable elsewhere)
- Australia: $1.20 (woohoo! 3-5 days. We always pay so much for shipping here!)
- Asia-Pacific: $3.30 (4-10 days, depending)
I’ve also had several missed packages in the mail to international destinations over the past few months. The most heart-breaking was some merino that never showed up in California. I mentioned the particular cases to the Post man, respectfully expressed my consternation and he took careful notes.
Changing Gears for Question 2: Blog Ethics
Peter over at Male Pattern Boldness recently raised the question of blog ethics:
What do you think of the amateur fashion blogger as (stealth) brand marketer? Do you care — I mean, if you like what they’re wearing and how they look in it, does it really matter?
Personally, I assume that many of the larger fashion bloggers are in cahoots with the agents of fashion. It makes $ense. That said, I don’t religiously follow many fashion blogs so my opinion doesn’t matter much. I’m more concerned with transparency in sewing blogs.
This brings me to my next question: What about sewing blogger swag? Personally, I don’t really care if a fashion blogger gets designer swag and waves it in my face. I can probably knock it off. Besides, blogging well is hard work.
I never had to form a solid opinion on blogger swag in the past because I haven’t had swag and didn’t mind if someone else did. Lately, however, I find I have more swag opportunities.
When I posted about MakeBra, I wrote out of my own enthusiasm for the site and excitement from feeling like I could finally take the plunge into sewing lingerie. I sent a lot of traffic to Annele, and she and I had a nice flurry of emails. She offered to send me my second bra pattern and findings in my second size, to contribute to my sewing-bras-and-sizing-experiment. After talking to her about weird technical stuff and the shape of my boobs, I’m sure she’s another mad sewing scientist type and you’re in good hands with Annele. I’m so grateful for the swag, but I wondered if that would be ok with y’all?
Then, in the same week, I received a package from Sunni. I ordered woven fusible stay tape in black and white from her shop because I’m sick of cutting it myself and my local doesn’t carry it anymore because I’m not there doing the ordering. When the package arrived, she had very thoughtfully slipped in an extra roll of knit fusible. Thanks, Sunni!
So I’m asking you (because the way I see it, I’m here for your benefit)- how do you feel about sewing swag? If it comes up again, should I respectfully turn it down, or should I say “Yes YES please!” because I’m a neophile and I like trying new things, I enjoy torturing them and mis-using them and then writing about it? As long as I mention something came to me for free/discounted, is it ok? Or will you turn away because I’ve started schilling? Personally and generally, I don’t approve of advertising, but I do think it’s a great idea to promote good indies/visionaries wherever possible.
I have never *ever* had a retailer dictate my opinion to me, and the moment they did I would walk away and tell you about it. Because that’s a jerk move and you deserve to know. Once I wrote a scathing review of a sewing machine, and I won’t hesitate to write another if it’s needful. What do you think?
Finally: Cake and Frosting and Peaceful Co-existence
The very clever and talented Mari at Disparate Disciplines just wrote a great post on integrating “frosting” into your everyday life. I’ve been banging the “useful, utilitarian sewing” drum a lot lately, and this is a very good counterpoint. Look through the comments, if you like the idea of having a “Frosting Week” in the spirit of MMM then leave a comment for Mari and we’ll work it out. Lord knows, I would dearly love an excuse to wear nothing but frosting for a week and take pictures.
So, grab a brewski or a mocktail or a green smoothie or some coffee and let’s chat. Have you ever split a bottle of bubbly with someone 40 years your senior (edit: or, 40 years your junior)? Would you buy a digital pattern with 55+ pages? How awesome are those shipping deals? What about sewing blogger swag? And finally, are you in for a Frosting Week so we can flaunt our craziest makes on flickr?