Sunday, January 27, 2019

My Dollars Count

I read Carolyn's post about the pattern designers defending their refusals to make patterns for the plus size community. I started out trying to add a comment to her post but it turned into a post here. I'm at a point in my life where it is easy to support my sewing habits. I spend my money where I feel valued. I read the comments on SBCC’s IG account from designers defending their position and I’m going to call it BS. I had to stop reading the comments because it is frustrating and offensive to be dismissed because I wear a size larger than 18.
There is well-documented research that plus size women are willing to spend money on clothing. ModCloth is an example, they made $18,000 at their beginning. They are now grossing $150 million. They are so successful that Walmart purchased them in 2017.  Lane Bryant, Eloquii, Avenue and others are examples of successful companies catering to plus size market demands.  I read an article that Modcloth’s plus size customers account for 8% of their customer base but outspend the traditional size customers by 7%.   
Hot Patterns and Cashmerette are two successful small pattern companies that cater to the plus size community. If companies are trying to say that the market is not there to support their R&D, again I’m going to call it BS. If you only want to market your product to the smaller sizes then be honest. No one has issues with niche marketing but be honest about it.  You can’t complain about the size of your business if you are not working to meet market demands.  It is disrespectful to be happy when sewists post about grading up their patterns but complain about the work of developing plus size slopers.

Sewing is not an inexpensive journey when you are plus size, I use more fabric and notions that others. I know that this is the price that I pay to make my own clothing. It is frustrating to look at the size range for a pattern and know that it needs more grading that I’m willing to do with my limited sewing time. I use a computer drafting program but sometimes I don't want to design a pattern. More and more, I’m buying Lekala patterns because I can find patterns that fit my lifestyle. I don’t have a problem with making changes to get the fit that I want and need. Even with Lekala patterns, I have to make a few adjustments. 
Sometimes, I find Indie patterns frustrating because the focus seems to be more casual garments. I'm looking for patterns that I can use for work clothes. I want patterns that challenge my skills and that is not easy to find.
Learning to fit patterns is an ongoing education. LaSewista just posted a two-part series about fitting  Standards of Fit. She pulled together some great information and resources that I can learn from as I continue to learn about fitting. 

Needless to say, I'm going to spend my money where I feel valued and buy patterns that cater to my needs. 


Robin said...

Well said. I read Carolyn's post also. When you think about it, a plus sized woman would not shop at a store whose sizes stop at 14 or 16. So, why should a plus sized sewist buy a pattern that stops at these sizes? Especially if it is a pdf!!! I am not a professional grader nor do I want to be. Adjusting the fit is one thing, but grading is like creating a whole new pattern. I'd rather spend my money on a company that has considered my sizing and sewing needs.

BarbaraShowell said...

Same here. I’d rather change a few design features to make a new version of a pattern that fits over resizing!