I’m sharing a video introduction to the Barberry Jacket over on the vlog. See the jacket in motion, and hear a bit more about design.
I am (nervous &) delighted to be able to release my first sewing pattern as Charlotte Emma Patterns, The Barberry Jacket. As a brand new company, and because this was my first pattern, there was lots to decide / develop to get to this point – everything from company name to the design of the pattern instructions (& I’m looking forward to creating some behind-the-scenes vlogs soon to talk a bit more about the process). As a result, this pattern feels long in the making, which always makes it even harder to let go of something and start sharing it, but it’s here and I really hope you like it.
The Barberry Jacket is a shaped slim-fitting jacket with a cinched waist and exaggerated hemline. As you’ll no doubt spot, this pattern is inspired by vintage fashion (Dior’s Bar jacket was a key inspiration for that hemline), but it’s designed to fit within a modern wardrobe and to be comfortable and easy to wear. That’s achieved by not making it too restrictive / building in ease at the bust and waist, and in the sleeves.
Barberry features a six-panel bodice, notched collar, two-piece sleeves, and a full lining. There’s lots of construction to get your teeth into with this pattern, including welt pockets, pocket flaps, and sleeve vents. The pattern is aimed at intermediate to advanced sewers, but comes with detailed step-by-step instructions & I’ll be sharing further video and photo resources over the next few weeks. It’s also possible to skip the most complicated steps (the welt pockets & sleeve vents) if you want to speed up the process or don’t want to tackle them, and the instructions include advice on which steps to skip.
PDF Patterns in sizes 04 to 36
Barberry is available as a digital PDF pattern in sizes 04 to 36 and two cup sizes (B and D). You can find more information on sizing on the website, and specific sizing for the pattern (including the finished measurements) on the Barberry Jacket page in the shop.
The versions of the jacket pictured (photographed in the snow in our local park recently) are made in a size 10. The red version is made in a medium-weight wool fabric from Fabworks. The green version is made using a medium-heavy wool fabric from Guthrie & Ghani. The buttons on the front of both jackets are from Pigeon Wishes.
As mentioned previously, since the start of 2020, I’ve been preparing to launch an independent sewing pattern company. Thank you to everyone who volunteered to help with pattern testing – the response has been far beyond what I hoped for.
I’m approaching the point of being able to release my first pattern (and will be in touch with testers very soon). It’s taken me much longer than I thought to get to this point (I was originally very optimistically aiming for around April!), but, despite being a project manager in my day job, I haven’t been too concerned about holding myself to deadlines. I knew that launching the company would need to fit around work – and other – commitments. Giving myself space to take as long as needed means I have been able to thoroughly test the patterns (I have more than one in the works), and to identify some great collaborators who I have been working with to get to this point.
One of those collaborators – Lisa Barrett – has helped me to develop the new ‘brand’ & name which I thought I’d share some of the thoughts behind today.
Moving from English Girl at Home to Charlotte Emma Patterns
I’ve been using the username ‘English Girl at Home’ since I launched my blog in 2011. The name was actually a variant of my existing Flickr user account, ‘English Girl Abroad’, which I had chosen because I almost exclusively posted travel photos.
My blog, like many others, started as a general craft blog, before I began to focus specifically on garment sewing, and English Girl at Home provided a suitably generic name. The name has served me well for my personal blog over the last 9 years, but when I decided to launch a business I knew I didn’t want to retain the name.
Firstly, I didn’t want to use gendered language in my company name. Even though my two fit models are women, and the patterns are designed for bodies with breasts, I wouldn’t want anyone to feel excluded by the use of gendered language. Plus, while I’ve been happy to use the term girl in reference to myself, I didn’t want to appear to focus on youth, or to infantilise, in the context of a pattern company
Secondly, I didn’t want to refer to England in my company name. I am English, but I hope that my patterns will appeal to, and be made by, sewers internationally. I’m also very conscious that companies which do try to use ‘Englishness’ as a selling point often can project a simplistic and nostalgic view of England.
So, over the next couple of months I’ll be retiring the name English Girl at Home, and instead adopting Charlotte Emma Patterns. I did consider lots of other names, but ultimately decided to keep it simple and use my own (first and middle) name. In part, because I still intend to use my accounts to share my personal sewing and other hobbies.
Alongside my name, my new logo features a thimble design, chosen because my hometown of Birmingham has a long history of thimble making.
I hope you like the new name and logo. I’ll be sharing more thoughts on starting the company as I approach the launch of my first pattern. You can sign-up to receive my new newsletter if you’d like to keep up-to-date.
Since the start of 2020, I’ve been preparing to launch an independent sewing pattern company.
My first pattern is almost ready for release (later this year), and I would HUGELY appreciate it if you’re able to volunteer to test the pattern, to help catch any issues with the instructions or the pattern which have been missed.
The first pattern is aimed at intermediate sewers and is an outerwear pattern for a shaped slim-fitting jacket (sneak peek at the design at the bottom of this post).
If you are interested in helping this test this, or other upcoming patterns, please do sign-up using my pattern testing form. Before each pattern release, I’ll contact the people signed up to this list to share more information about the pattern (description & line drawing) and the time-frame for testing, to confirm who is available & interested in testing that pattern.
If you are interested in testing but aren’t comfortable testing an intermediate design or aren’t interested in this specific pattern, do still sign up to test future patterns.
More details on the patterns and the testing process are provided below.
- The patterns are PDF only, and include A4/US Letter & A0 copy shop printing options.
- The patterns include two size ranges (pictured below). The first is range 4-22 based on a B-cup block. The second is range 20-36 based on a D-cup block.
- The patterns have been developed with a professional pattern cutter and grader, and with two fit models.
- Pattern testers will be given approximately one month to undertake testing.
- Testers will receive a copy of the final pattern on its release, and I will send an A0 copy of the pattern to testers where preferred.
- Pattern testers will be asked to sew the pattern and to provide feedback on the instructions (e.g. do you have the information you need, are the instructions easy to follow?) and on the pattern (labels, notches, etc.).
- There will be no requirement for pattern testers to promote the pattern or to provide photos for promotional purposes.
- Everyone is very welcome (no need for a social media presence), although to keep it manageable I will manage the number of testers per pattern and size.
- Pattern testers will be invited to contribute feedback (& chat to each other) via a Slack group, or can send feedback directly to me if preferable.
- All feedback will be very much valued and responded to.
If you are able to help out, please sign-up as a tester here.
A sneak peek of the line drawing for my first upcoming pattern release is below: