December 30, 2020 1 Comment
What a year this has been. While it has definitely been less busy on the home front, at Folkwear we've had a surprisingly busy year.
We started the year with a new employee, Cynthia, who has helped with pattern designs, blog posts, and lots of sewing. And, Esi joined us half-way through the year to help with sewing and digital pattern work. Then, when the pandemic started we closed our in-person retail section and set up safety measures for the office.
The resurgence of home sewing was delightful to see. From sewing masks to creating elaborate costumes, sewing gave people a task and a way to help as well as a way to escape difficulties and create.
One of the bigger challenges we faced this year, behind-the-scenes, is updating older patterns. We realized that when we go to re-print many of our patterns, the original printing plates have gone bad. Which means that we have to re-create the pattern and digitize it. This also gives us the opportunity to re-size some of our patterns to make them available in larger sizes. And, since we have a digital pattern, we have also started making the patterns available as PDF patterns. And, we have found that you all really like PDF patterns. Certainly, the paper patterns are not going anywhere (most people still love paper patterns), but PDF patterns have become much more popular. There is no shipping cost, so international customers appreciate the PDF patterns, and they are instantly available.
Here are a few accomplishments we've made at Folkwear this year:
PDF patterns released:
Patterns re-sized this year:
Free Pattern releases:
Cynthia wrote several interesting fashion history blogs this year. One of the most popular was History of the Pocket.
I also did a bit of Folkwear sewing for myself (trying out patterns and tutorials, making modern versions and samples, etc.). Some of my favorite makes are the 140 Flamenco skirt that I still wear and absolutely love; the 212 Five Frontier Shirts in linen; the 240 Rosie the Riveter shirt and dress I made from our tutorial (my favorite summer dress); 202 Victorian Shirt dress that is so warm and cozy; 126 Vests from Greece and Poland that is simple and easy; and 148 Back Forest Smock Dress I made with knit fabric (it's so pretty).
Though I was not able to travel as much as I had hoped, I was able to get to Spain for a short visit in early February and learn more about flamenco and fashion.
There have been other challenges this year too. Our main pattern printer shut down twice this year for a total of 4 months. Which meant that we ran out of patterns occasionally and had backordered patterns fairly often. We are really hoping this problem will not continue in the new year.
Looking forward to the next year, we have lots of plans - for a few new patterns (lingerie and the like), for more PDF patterns (your favorites made into PDFs), and for more content such as tutorials, sew-alongs, and videos (we did add to our YouTube channel a bit this year, and hope for more in the new year). We also plan to make more Folkwear samples and everyday wear. And I, personally, want to make the 227 Edwardian Gown for myself.
We are looking forward to 2021 - to better health, to more traveling, and to lots more sewing and creating.
And we wish all the best for the new year for you as well!
- Molly and the Folkwear team
January 24, 2021
Thanks for “The History of Folkwear”! I’ve been a Bay Area resident since 1969, and a life-long seamstress, so I was aware of, and a buyer of “Folkwear Patterns” from the beginning!! Thru life’s transitions, I would notice changes with the patterns & availability. It was always a “bedrock” of Bay Area entrepreneurial vision for me, a comforting mainstay of evolving patterns & techniques & tips! Thank you for taking me back into that creative time of my youth, and for continuing the inspiration into the future. The Nepali Blouse was my first dip into a Folkwear garment, circa 1979. I used a deep red drapy rayon, a nice fit, a practical yet elegant top! Hearing about all the changes that the “Brandname” went through was a revelation! Keep up the excellent work!! Thanks for “carrying the torch”! Sincerely, Connie