I think I speak for many indie pattern enthusiasts when I say how saddened I was to hear that the women at By Hand London had decided to close their doors on their printed patterns and fabric printing businesses. They took a great leap of faith in launching their kickstarter campaign and whilst many of us got behind them unfortunately it wasn’t enough to make their new venture viable. However, I would like to take a few moments to remember the good times BHL gave us. Here are my top BHL moments, some personal, some global.
1. The Anna dress. The Anna dress was an absolute phenomenon. For what felt like half a year every second blog post I read was another stunning, floor-length dress with that famous thigh-slash. A quick google image search brought up these beauties:
2. Meeting the real Charlotte, the woman behind the skirt! When I was staying in London I emailed Charlotte to purchase some patterns from my shop. She noticed my new address was mere suburbs, no longer oceans, from her apartments and she kindly invited me over for a cup of tea. We had a great yarn about the indie pattern industry, the best places to buy fabric in London and our travel dreams. She is incredibly hospitable and I was very touched that she invited me, essentially a stranger, into her home.
3. The joy of unboxing one of the beautifully designed patterns. So much of the joy is in the unwrapping! And yes, all indie designers take a lot of pride in how they present their patterns. But BHL packaging is next level beautiful. The lovely thick coloured card, the cut out front revealing one the of pattern views, the line drawings and sketches. Their printed patterns included so much detail, and all very much appreciated by your buyers. 4. Number four has to go to ‘sewing my first BHL pattern.’ It was only a few days after I had visited Charlotte at her house. I was feeling terribly homesick so I took myself to Sew Over It, bringing with me a Charlotte skirt pattern and some very bright brocade. I immediately felt at home – laying out my pattern pieces, marking my tacks, stitching the skirt together in my haphazard way. It was a lovely way to spend a day. Here is the skirt I made.
5. The bios on the back of the beautiful patterns topped off their beautiful packaging, undoubtable creating an emotional connection with their loyal customers. Surely these must be true right? I can just imagine Charlotte getting down do a sleezey RnB beat and I’m with you Elisalex – you can never be overdressed. Sorry Victoria, I did have a chuckle at your jelly phobia! 6. Three girls one pattern – totes inappropes, but well played ladies. Here’s their ‘Three Girls, One Kim Dress’ post. (If you don’t get the reference, I’m really sorry but I won’t explain it to you!) 7. My Georgia dresses. Being the curvaceous lady that I am, I had, prior to meeting Georgia, steered clear of tight-fitting patterns. I had assumed it would take a lot of fitting a fluffing about (I am a woman of efficiency) to get any fitted dress to look good. However after only one muslin I managed to pull my first Georgia together. My second is below. This pattern gave me the confidence to sew more complex patterns. Thanks Georgia! 8. The circle skirt app. Did you know that the clever BHL ladies created an app that gives you the necessary information to make a circle skirt without a pattern. You just enter your waist size, whether you’d like a full circle skirt, a half circle or a quarter circle and if you’d like to make a mini, midi or maxi length. Everyone loves a free pattern/tutorial so check it out.
All BHL patterns are on sale for $20 until all sold. What is your favourite By Hand London moment?