Pattern of the month club – a good idea?

Readers feedback request.  Would you be interested in a Sewing Pattern of the Month Club?

Just a quick question to run by you today.  I've set myself a target of producing double what I produced last year.  In 2013 I tried to offer a free sewing pattern or tutorial download once a month.  In 2014 I plan to continue with this, but add on one paid-for sewing pattern each month too.

So far, my paid for patterns are:

Super Simple Wallet Sewing Pattern. Ideal for your first sewing project. Wallet holds 6 cards with room for a few bills, coupons or stamps etc. Great for gifts too!

Super Simple Wallet – $2.95

The Boxy Bag. Great for a lunch box, cosmetics or toiletries bag, mini holdall for the beach, traveling and more. Soft and padded but sturdy. From So Sew Easy.

Boxy Bag – $3.95

Slouchy Sweater sewing pattern from So Sew Easy,

Slouchy sweater – $4.95

Due for release this year so far:

  • January – classic straight leg knit pants
  • February – cowl neck top, sleeveless or with 3 sleeve length options
  • March – fully reversible apron
  • April – leggings
  • May – weekender bag and matching cosmetics bag

Patterns for future development –

  • skirts
  • dresses
  • drape cardigan
  • raglan t-shirt
  • more bag options
  • yoga pants
  • comfy pj pants
  • messenger bag
  • easy tops and blouses
  • skinny pants – maybe

So I was thinking, money spent on sewing patterns over the course of a year can be expensive.  I buy a LOT of patterns.  I don't always sew them up, they are just for inspiration, or just because I want to take a look at the pattern and learn how a particular shape was made or how a design is sewn.

How can I save my readers some money on these patterns?  The ones I have uploaded so far have sold very well so they must be popular with a lot of repeat buyers and some buying all 3 patterns at once. So I was thinking of starting a ‘Pattern of the Month Club'.  Where readers could automatically be sent each new pattern every month.

  • What do you think?  Is this a good idea?
  • Would you be interested in signing up?
  • Would you expect to pay up front for the following 12 months, or pay monthly by automatic payment?
  • How much do you think would be reasonable to pay?
  • I was thinking $35 for the year for a minimum of 12 patterns, plus the ones already released so far.  Is this about right, too expensive, too cheap?

It would be a lot of work to set up, so I just wanted to know if anyone was interested before I went ahead and spent days and $$ on it, only to find no one wanted to join the Club!

I'd really appreciate your comments and feedback.  You can leave a comment here or if you prefer, send me an email to  Thank you, I very much appreciate your feedback.

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35 Responses to Pattern of the month club – a good idea?

  1. If you offer an option to just buy the bag and accessory patterns as a bulk group, i would definitely go for that. I just don’t sew clothing patterns so that would not be a good option for me. I bought your boxy bag pattern recently and redrew it to accommodate a larger lunchbox sizing and made it out of laminated cotton. That pattern was just the PERFECT answer to that. Thanks much for that COOL pattern.

    • Deby Coles says:

      That’s a good idea Terry, thank you for suggesting it. If I develop some more bag patterns I would certainly think about putting them together to make a special price bundle. That lunch bag idea sounds perfect – do you use Craftsy? Perhaps you could upload your project and link it to the Boxy Bag pattern so we could all take a look.

  2. TheGreatZambini says:

    I like the idea, and the price seems fair with this big element of uncertainty. I’ll jump in later when I have some money free 🙂

  3. handimom says:

    I like it! My budget is zero this month, so I like the idea of jumping in whenever it’s convenient. Plus, this is a great deal price-wise. Thank you!

  4. Suzanne Alexander says:

    I really do like the idea, and I love the thought of being able to join later and get access to all 12 patterns for the same price. January is a rough month around these parts.

    There are three basic challenges to your plan:
    1. What if people like to sew for the home but not apparel, and vice versa, and want to not pay for a few of the patterns/want to swap for more of what they like? Frankly, for your price point, I’d say “be patient until next month,” but I’m not as soft-hearted and generous as you. 😉

    2. For people (like 90% of us out here) who need to alter any pattern, no matter who designed and drafted it, how much responsibility can you afford to assume for walking them through alterations? Do you want to offer a basic guide to alterations and include links to additional resources? If so, do you want to make that part of a “beginner’s package” of easier patterns? Recognize that once you begin to sell your product, customers expect a different level of support. It’s best to know and establish in advance what you can afford, energy and time wise, to provide. Also, recognize that part of the reason a percentage of women learn to sew is because they can’t find flattering clothing in their sizes – curvy OR tiny – and that this particular group will be incredibly loyal to a designer who has their needs in mind.

    3. What will you do next year – is this a pace you can easily maintain once the world discovers you and wants more?

    Just some random ideas from a former marketing assistant. Love the blog.

  5. Beatriz Ruiz says:

    Hi Deby: I am Beatriz from Cordoba, Argentina. I think it is a great idea. I would like to join de club.

  6. Teri says:

    You are so kind and generous. I love your free patterns and agree that $35 seems like a fair price. Thank you for all you do for the sewing community!

  7. Virginia Owensby says:

    I am trying to think on this logically. I don’t usually join these monthly type of clubs, because I don’t like to receive the items I would not choose or are not my style however two things 1) I love your tutorial of the month. (And all your tutorials) 2) I am one of those curvy women, so size of pattern is an issue however, for a lot of the patterns I think I could alter them to fit me. Also, I like all of the patterns for the year.
    Ok another though is what about a sew along or two
    Using your patterns. Just a thought. I am sure it is easier to just do a tutorial, but maybe you would sell more and get people involved. Just a thought
    I think I would sign up for the POTM
    Thanks for all your hard work

    • Deby Coles says:

      Hi Virginia and thank you for giving this so much thought and adding so many ideas. I did actually try a Sew-A-Long before, in the Sew A Skirt Series, but although it was tons and tons of work for me, I never really got any input from readers. One reader wrote and told me she made 10 skirts (!) I’ve never been sent any photos etc from anyone so it seemed to be a bit of a flop 🙁 and I didn’t know if anyone was interested in another. I try to be interactive here and make a feeling of sewing community, but although there are thousands of pattern downloads every month, it seems people are shy to share what they sew. Do you have any ideas about how to get people more involved?

  8. I haven’t sewn for myself because patterns are so hard to follow. However, I lost 75 pounds last year, and continue to lose weight. If i made my own clothing,
    i may be able to adjust them somewhat, right? Please be honest with me, because I would sew go for your pattern club! I’m kinda tired of wearing oversized pants! Thanks for the input!

    • Deby Coles says:

      Thanks for writing. Wow and congratulations on your great achievement. You must be so proud! I think when wight loss is so significant, making any regular pattern alterations can be very challenging, especially if you aren’t used to sewing and fitting clothing. Many times, to make a large adjustment its not really as simple as just taking in the side seams. It almost needs the entire garment taken apart into its pieces and then each one resized and resewn. To be truthful, this isn’t really something I have ever tried. I see a lot of sewing bloggers doing great refashions from thrift store clothing etc, but this isn’t available in Cayman. If you wanted to sew for yourself, then if you started out sewing the garment from scratch in the size you are now, you would understand the construction of it, and when your weight continued to drop, you should be able to make the alterations at least for a couple of sizes. I hope this helps and wish you the very best of luck for 2014.

  9. Sandra says:

    I think it’s a great idea, would love to participate!

  10. Cindy says:

    Hi Deby,

    I would most likely not join only because I prefer to buy individual patterns that I know I will use. Some things to think about though, what will your policy be if a customer does not like or want a particular pattern you are offering? Is the 35 dollars a year a firm price and you take your chances on whether you will want the pattern offered each month? Will you offer returns or partial refunds, or maybe offer alternate patterns for those who do not want the current offer? Although I would not want to join the club myself, I think it is a great idea for those who do want to join. I also want to say that I really enjoy your site and appreciate all the time and effort you have put into it. I admire your creativity and how quickly you have learned to design your own patterns. Wow, you obviously a fast learner and a real go-getter. I wish I had your energy. Good luck with the club if you decide to do it. I look forward to your newsletters and seeing what is new on your site each week. Take care.


    • Deby Coles says:

      Thanks for the input Cindy. You raise some really valid points which I had considered myself. Yes, the price would have to be all paid up front and it would have to be for the full year. I don’t have the facility on my simple site to allow for opting in and out each month, and for the few patterns I sell, I wouldn’t be able to hire a web developer for this.
      I think it’s something I will go ahead with, and I’ll make the offer open all year, so if a few months down the line, a person likes several of the patterns and wants to sign up, they get all the back patterns as well as the ones going forward. Then readers can preview the patterns before deciding. Or maybe I’ll put together some packages. Its all still in the early stages! Thanks for giving me some things to think about.

      • Cindy says:

        That’s a great idea Deby. I will have to keep an eye on it myself and see down the road if I want to join up after all. It is a very reasonable price, and I do love the patterns you have come up with so far. I love your site.


  11. Chelle Chapman says:

    I would SEW sign up for this & I do think $35 pr year is a GREAT price BUT I think a lot of you & your talent & certainly wouldn’t want to take advantage of you OR see you “sell yourself short”!!I have seen some “POTM” clubs that charge a lot more. Any way you decide, yes, you can count me in!

    • Deby Coles says:

      Blush, thank you Chelle. You are to kind. My thinking on the price reflected the fact that I really can’t give an exact list at the start of the year of all the patterns I’ll be working on and releasing, the sizing, etc. But I’m thinking if I kept it open all year, a reader could join at any time and get immediate access to all patterns released so far. I’ll give it some thought and see if there is any interest. Thanks for your kind words.

  12. I would sign up! I think $35 is fair and would pay up front for the year. Great idea!

  13. Marilee says:

    I would join! This would motivate me! Thanks

  14. Jo Ann says:

    Definitely! The price seems more than fair – but I have purchased two of the patterns already 🙂

  15. Francine says:

    I think it is a great idea. Count me in.

  16. Tammy says:

    I love your patterns but rarely have time to do personal or clothing patterns. For me, I’d just buy them individually because I can’t guarantee myself enough lull in my own business to do much more than grab a day or two. However, for others that are able to do the patterns monthly I think it’s a great idea. Good luck!

  17. Diya says:

    Hi Deby .. it is a good idea 35 dollar for 12 pattern means the cost per pattern shall be less.. Thats fair enough 🙂 Good luck on the venture.. I really hope there will be some woven patterns 😀

  18. Dominique Stansfield says:

    Excellent …I have never downloaded a pattern is it easy to follow? You have a awesome sight thank you Dominique South Africa

    • Deby Coles says:

      Hi Dominique and welcome! You shouldn’t find downloading a pattern difficult. It will usually come as a PDF file. I split mine into two, one with the sewing instructions and another with the pattern pieces, so that you can print the pattern pieces and just read the instructions on the screen without printing if you prefer. The instructions pages always tell you how to print and assemble the pattern and from then on, its just like following a regular sewing pattern except I hope my photos and instructions are better!

  19. Becky R says:

    Sounds good to me!

  20. tanya says:

    I think it would be a great idea. I would be interested

  21. caroline says:

    Sounds like a great idea, although your clothes patterns don’t go to a big enough size for me personally. I like your bag and wallet patterns 🙂

    • Deby Coles says:

      Thanks Caroline. Yes, the bag patterns have been very popular and I’m working on a couple more right now. Thanks for your input and I’m sorry I don’t cover yur size. Drafting for the curvy ladies is a whole different skill I have yet to master, but I’m working on it.

  22. Lauren says:

    For $35 I think I would be interested in it.

  23. Kelsey says:

    I think it’s a great idea. I would say, cost-wise, that you should figure out what the price would be if the patterns were purchased individually and then determine what kind of discount would be appropriate for purchasing the whole year. Monthly or quarterly automatic payments would work best for me if I were to subscribe.

  24. Hi Deby,

    I would be interested in doing this. I think $35 is fair enough.

    Good luck with your new endeavor!


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