2018 in Review

The end of this year marks the 2nd year I've owned and run Folkwear.  It has been a privilege, lots of fun, and quite a bit of work (which I have enjoyed) to steward this company forward.  I thought it might be fun to reflect a bit here on what Folkwear (and I) have done over the last year - to be able to see what has been accomplished, and hint what might be in store for 2019.  I'm including some of my favorite personal and non-Folkwear 2018 things here as well (and with a few photos thrown in - you can see more about all in the links).  

Folkwear accomplishments in 2018:

Patterns -

  • Released several patterns as PDFs.  All of the above are available as PDFs, but we also released two out-of-print patterns, 217 Poet's Shirt and 251 Varsity Jacket, as PDFs.  
  • As part of the PDF release of the 251 Varsity Jacket, we resized the pattern so it goes up to size 2XL.  This patterns, plus 157 Moroccan Djellaba and 247 Lindy Dress, add 3 more patterns to our plus-sized patterns.
  • We brought in a new look to our pattern covers - making the layout and design a little more modern.  We had a new artist for two patterns (157 and 247), as Gretchen Schields, long time Folkwear cover artist, retired.
  • Added (or re-added) Folkwear knitting patterns to the website - some can be purchased as paper patterns and some are available as PDFs. 
Business - 
  • Developed a clothing line based on Folkwear patterns.  We are starting with three items with great design, and that show off beautiful global fabrics.  These clothes are classic, stylish, and honor textiles and culture.  We have a new website for them too - www.folkwearclothing.com  (Sign up for the newsletter while you are checking out the site!).
  •  Folkwear grew its following on Facebook (and Facebook Fan Group), Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter (new this year!), and on our email list.  We have nearly 2000 more email subscribers, over 1000 new Instagram followers, and nearly 500 new Facebook followers.  
  • We added a small selection of fabrics to sell in our store.  I found great deals on gorgeous fabrics on my travels (see above!) and wanted to share, since they are perfect for using in so many Folkwear patterns.  Also, made kits for quite a few patterns (especially the Bags patterns). 
Travel - I traveled for Folkwear to quite a few places, and these trips were my highlights of the year for sure!
  • NYC in January, September, and November.  NYC has become a fun and inspirational place for me to visit!  It is cheap and easy to get to from Asheville, and I love visiting the Garment District (where I now have several favorite shops and know the owners), museums (there's always a textile/fashion exhibit on), and other inspirational shops.  And, we are opening up this NYC expedition to all of you!  We will lead a fun tour of NYC in early April where you will get to visit all my favorite places over a long weekend.  
  • Ghana in February.  I worked with Global Mamas, helping with pattern development and using my Agronomy skills to teach about organic cotton production.  I also collected a beautiful selection of fabrics (some of which are in our clothing line).  This trip was amazing!
  • Montreal in July.  What a fun weekend in a beautiful city.  I loved exploring this city and getting a feel for the textile scene there.
  • California in August.  This was a family trip, too, but I spent lots of time visiting our stockists in California and had a great time!
  • England in November with my 8 year old son.  We had a great time visiting family and the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the V&A and the African fabric exhibit at the Bristol Museums.

    Miscellaneous -

      Personally, I made quite a few Folkwear garments this year.  Some for myself, some for samples, and some as gifts:

         

        I also sewed a few non-Folkwear things for myself, and wanted to share these great patterns, too:

        Plans for 2019

        We are working on several things for 2019, many of which are coming in the next couple months.  We have several out-of-print patterns that we are re-releasing.  Some will be special printings, some will be regular releases, and some will be released as PDFs only.  Speaking of PDFs, we will be adding a few of our regular (and popular) patterns as PDFs in addition to the paper patterns.  

        We also have the clothing line coming out within the next week or so!  And, our NYC fabric and textile tour will be a blast!  

        I am looking forward to 2019 - and all the things to learn, work on, and experience.  

        Let me know what you would like to see Folkwear do this coming year!