An Honest Review of Pattern Workshop by Lauren Dahl.
**This post may contain affiliate links**
So, Lauren is my absolute bestie. No, I’m kidding. We’ve never met in real life but she’s still on my cool list. 🙂 This is my Pattern Workshop Review. Totally honest, and no I wasn’t given the class to review…I paid good money for her class and received zero compensation for any of this. This post does contain my affiliate link.
Here’s a little novella about it. (and a coupon)
When I was first deciding to give pdf patterns a whirl I looked at A LOT of free tutorials. A LOT. She had some awesome ones on Vimeo that I checked out, and I watched some other free ones I found around the web. But I wasn’t quite ready to sign up for a class yet. I let my pride get in the way.
I’m not like the other typical students of hers.
You see, I already have a degree in Fashion Design and Production. Mmm…yes.
…wow. I sound pompous every time I bring that up.
So I thought to myself, “There isn’t anything in her class that I don’t already know.”
Yep. Completely prideful.
So I didn’t sign up for a workshop.
I released my first pattern: the Dahlia for girls. It drew a little following and moms were asking me to make them one. So against my better judgment, I gave in and made a women’s version with my own little twist on it. The Delilah. The ladies loved it! It drew some more fans. That was my second released pattern (I have a few more that were tested and still need tweaks).
But if I’m being honest, I hate grading. With the hatred of a thousand suns. Both of those patterns were graded by hand (digitally) with grade rules I came up with from my Pattern Grading book I had since college. Grading sucks. Seriously sucks. The reason most patterns take so long to come out…grading and writing the instructions. Just ask any of the other designers and they’ll agree. It sucks.
Okay…let me back up for two seconds.
I have a very strong background in Patternmaking, Draping, Tailoring, and all that other stuff. I got straight A’s in all of my fashion related classes. Not bragging, just a fact. I worked hard. I put in long hours and learned my material (both literally and figuratively). I’m what you would call a “perfect student”. I go home and do the homework the same night, study for tests, memorize facts and devour as much information as I can on any given subject. I have an insatiable need to learn…my brain is just hardwired that way.
Again, this is why I felt like I didn’t need to take a course online. What could she possibly teach me? If anything, I could teach her few things. (see, that’s my pride creeping in)
I already had 3 years of classes under my belt (yes, I took extra credits…sometimes I had 15-18 units a semester).
Alright, so that’s my background.
But with 2 patterns out and trying to decide where to go from there, I was floundering. I had no clear direction and it had been a few months since my last pattern was released. I watched other students of the Pattern Workshop release pattern after pattern while I sat there. Stumped.
Then Lauren offered a coupon. My mortal weakness.
But it wasn’t quite in the budget since summer is slow for us around here. But a coupon! Come on!
I told hubby about the class I had been eyeing for months and asked if there was a way I could take it.
Let me just say…I am blessed with a wonderfully supportive husband that goes along with my goals in life. He gave me his bonus check and said I could use it.
Now there’s no way I would waste such a gift, so I set about making an informed decision. I grilled one of Lauren’s students with my crazy questions and she did her very best to answer them. I felt good about it. But I sometimes need a little kick in the pants when I take a leap. It was a blur, but I signed up for the class! I was all smiles and quickly devoured the first few lessons just as a little brush-up for me. Then I skipped to the end and watched her lessons on marketing and grading.
Totally worth every penny. But I’ll never tell her that. 😉
I tried out her technique on a pattern I was playing with…and I think I graded that pattern by lunch time. Keep in mind, I was home with my four kids. That was the Cinnabar Sky.
Yeah. I was sold.
I think it took me 3 more days to write the instructions and add all the information to the pieces. But it went into testing not that long after I graded it. My testers loved it. I was a nervous wreck as always whenever I’m testing a pattern…what if they hate it? What if it only fits me?! I’m 5’8″ so my patterns tend to run tall, and I have them set up so I can cut out the medium and just sew it up.
I was fresh off a pattern tour for the Delilah that brought in zero sales. **insert sad music here** Which means I took my sweet little time revising the Cinnabar pattern for launch. I mean, who could possibly want a maxi dress that can be breastfeeding and maternity friendly? And everyone said summer was a slow time for sales.
Oh, what the heck. I released it in the middle of a Friday afternoon, with low expectations. The response was well received. I sold some before hubby came home…and then while I was sleeping. On Saturday I went school shopping for a few last minute things for my son with my earnings.
The release of my last pattern already paid for the class! Woo-hoo!
And I know it’s partly due to all of the suggestions I used in some of her classes.
I haven’t even tapped into it’s full potential yet.
So many valuable resources in one spot!
Look, I wouldn’t be giving it a glowing review if I didn’t fully believe in it. But I’m giving it the stamp of approval from Rachel H.
If you’re seriously considering making sewing patterns for yourself or to sell, sign up for Lauren Dahl’s Pattern Workshop (with my affiliate link or the button in the sidebar). She gives you all the information you need to make your own blocks/slopers, how to draft patterns, how to grade and tips for marketing yourself. And if that’s not enough, you get to join her super secret club of designers, ready to help with any questions you have as time goes on.
Here’s everything it includes right now…
In this course, Creating PDF Patterns: From Sketch to Sale, you will learn:
- Where to get inspiration for your sewing pattern designs
- How to get your ideas onto paper
- The best way to digitize your existing paper patterns using Adobe Illustrator
- How to create pattern blocks directly in Illustrator
- How to modify pattern blocks (a.k.a. “digital slash & spread”)
- How to create size charts for a great fit
- How to grade your patterns into smaller and larger sizes
- How to create actions to speed the block-making and grading processes
- How to tile your pattern pieces for at-home printing
- How to quickly add seam allowances using actions
- How to lay out your pattern in Adobe InDesign
- How to survive the testing process
- How and where to sell your patterns
- How to market your patterns
- How to set up an affiliate program for your patterns
- And more!
If you have any questions not answered by her site and want a student’s honest opinion, just contact me. I’ll be more than happy to answer any of your questions about the class. It doesn’t give you the formulas to make patterns, but once you obtain a good book she can show you how to input all that information. And she’s added some videos to help you make women’s slopers now (as an add-on class)!
Lauren is a wizard.
She’s compliled all this information for you so you don’t have to hunt through the internet for it. Your time alone is worth the cost of the class. And trust me when I say that there’s more information in her class than you can find on the internet about this topic. She covers EVERYTHING.
She taught me a thing or two. 🙂
Alright minions, go sign up for her class! Then go buy yourself a nice lunch and sit down at your computer. Be prepared to have your mind blown. Her Pattern Workshop classes are amazing!
Just do it. You can thank me later.
Oh, almost forgot to mention. She’s got an awesome dry sense of humor. I love her witty comments during the lessons. It’s fun taking her classes. You will be thoroughly entertained. Haha.