Back for another edition of Behind the Scenes. If you want to catch up on the past posts in this series head over here.
As I have probably said on multiple occasions I had no idea what I was doing when I signed up for the Pattern Workshop course. Other than a long established love of clothes I had no background in garment design and very little experience in garment construction. So looking into additional courses and material to strengthen my knowlege has been so important.
What I love about the online sewing community is that many times if you just search you can find a wealth of knowledge for free. If you are looking for garment construction tips and tricks there is probably a blog post out there for you to reference.
The library is also an awesome place to check out sewing books about construction and drafting. If you find a book that you love and you feel will be a great reference down the road you could look into investing in it, but the library gives you a chance to check things out before committing.
In addition to all of the free content available to me I knew in order to strengthen my business and continue to improve my skills it was important to invest in some online courses that would give me more than maybe a tutorial or blog post could provide. After seeing the immense confidence I have gained from the Pattern Workshop course I can see the additional value in working from a paid course.
The first course that I purchased was the Angela Wolf Jeans course (affiliate link) on Craftsy because honestly jeans scare the bejesus out of me. I don’t know why something that is really no different than other garment construction can be so scary. This course was truely amazing and not only took the fear out of jeans construction but has helped me in garment fitting for other patterns. Angela is so easy to watch and does a really great job of showing that there is nothing to be scared about making jeans.
One of my bucket list items for my business is to write a book, which I haven’t even talked about on the blog. I have so many fun ideas swirling in my head so now it is just a matter of getting them on paper. Since I tend to do things for my business in more of a non-traditional path I decided to invest in a course that would walk me through all of the steps to self publish my book.
The reality is that writing and publishing a book is not necessary something you would do to make money when doing it in the traditional way. Sure a publisher will give you an advance but when it comes down to it you are usually only making like $1 a book. If I am going to put all of that time into writing a book, time that I am taking away from my family and friends I want it to be a lucrative decision for me. By looking into the self publishing model I felt like I could come out the other side with a product that is making me money as well as the knowledge to repeat it down the road.
The course that I purchased was Zero to Self-Published from Regina of By Regina. The course is a series of videos as well as a bunch of printed materials. As with PW you get unlimited access to the course which is really important for me as I don’t necessarily have time to sit and work on it over the course of a week or two. The biggest benefit for this course, for me, is that Regina has done all of the research for me and compiled everthing into one place. This is more than worth the price of the course becuase it saved me the hours of work I would have had to do on my own. Now I can spend that time actually writing the book.
I am nearly finished with my first ebook titled, Expand your Pattern Business by Moving to Print, and I am really excited to share it with all of you. Once that one is complete I will move onto my first printed book!! Here is a little sneak peek at the cover 🙂
In addition to courses and books, I feel a great way to invest in further education for the pattern and business side of SSD is to attend creative conferences filled with like minded people. Before heading out to Disneyworld last week I attended a two day conference here in Seattle called School House Craft which was put on by Maker’s Nation out of Portland. I was fortunate enough to be an intern on the conference last fall so it was fun this year to simply attend and soak up all the valuable information. I am still digesting all the information that I learned there and I know so much of it is going to propel my business forward over the next 6 months.
As my business continues to evolve and grow there will be additional courses and content that I will need to learn. I appreciate that all of that knowledge is at my finger tips and gives me the chance to improve my skills as a designer and sewist.
I would love to hear about the courses that you have taken and enjoyed.