Selling Digital Sewing Patterns – Year 2 Income Report

Selling Digital Sewing Patterns – Year 2 Income Report

Welcome to our new online sewing home!

I’m so glad to finally have been able to bring together our Just Patterns website, and e-shop and my own personal sewing blog, Sewing Tidbits. I thought that an income report for the second year of our sewing pattern project would be the perfect way to inaugurate this new space. Plus, it’s long overdue! In the spirit of continuing our transparency commitment, we are sharing numbers of our second year selling digital sewing patterns. I hope that you will find this information interesting. For a refresher, you can read our 2017 income report.

Have you ever wondered how many units of each patterns are sold by Vogue? or Simplicity? Or a popular Indie pattern business? I don’t have the answer to those questions. I always loved reading behind-the-scenes posts of other indie pattern makers but they hardly ever includes hard figures. So I thought that the best way to understand how it works was to sell patterns too! In fact, I initially wanted to start Just Patterns because I am almost as interested in the businesses of our community as I am in the technical aspects.

2018 in numbers

In 2018 we did not release any pattern, so we continued selling the same 5. We extended our selling channels from Etsy, Makerist and Craftsy/Bluprint by adding Upcraft Club and Pattern Review. In 2019, our patterns are no longer sold on Bluprint as we are part of the many pattern designers that were removed from the platform.

603 patterns sold (370 in 2017):

  • 429 on Etsy (71%)

  • 91 on Pattern Review (15%)

  • 45 on Upcraft Club (7.5%)

  • 34 on Makerist (5%)

  • and 4 on Craftsy/Bluprint (0.5%, now you realize why they closed our shop and why we are fine with it!)

Our bestsellers have remained the same, with a strong lead by the Kate Bias Top and the Stephanie Skirt:

  • Kate Bias Top: 215

  • Stephanie Skirt: 156

  • Christy Slipdress: 89

  • Linda Wrap Dress: 80

  • Yasmeen Skirt: 63

At full retail price of our patterns, this represents $2,381. But this is without counting sales, commissions, transactions fees, etc. In effect we received $1,567.48, which means that selling platforms and payment fees, commissions, and sales amount to $813.52 or 34% of total sales. Our $1,567.48 breaks down as follows:

  • $1225.31 on Etsy (78.2%)

  • $193.66 on Pattern Review (12.3%)

  • $91.94 on Upcraft Club (5.8%)

  • $34.72 on Makerist (2.2%)

  • and $21.85 on Craftsy/Bluprint (1.4%)

$476 of direct expenditures:

  • $392.77 for Adobe softwares (Illustrator and Lightroom). I had not included it in last year’s report, but I think it makes more sense to include it, especially since I only use Illustrator for Just Patterns.

  • $84 for website maintenance. This will increase significantly in 2019, since we started using Squarespace but hopefully the advantages will outweigh the expense.

  • $0 for digitizing and our CAD software since we did not do any new pattern development. For the CAD, we use the cloud version of Pad Systems which allows us to pay month by month. At this stage in our venture it makes more sense than buying an expensive license at once.

Highlights

In terms of sales, I think our growth was remarkable considering the limited amount of time that we could dedicate to this project last year. The number of patterns we sold increased by 63% compared to 2017 and we managed to keep our costs down.

Getting listed on platforms like Pattern Review and Upcraft Club was also a good move. Although the commissions are important, I think it does a lot to increase our visibility and brand recognition.

Finally, we got very good feedback from our customers. The most encouraging part is the frequency of repeat buyers. They start with one patterns and come back for more a few months laters, which shows trust in our products. We also got good reviews on Etsy and on Pattern Review.

Our next post will include the lessons learned last year and the changes we are making to address them. Let me know if you have any questions in the comment below, I will do my best to answer all of them!

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