There has been a discussion in the online sewing community about the size ranges offered by independent pattern companies, as part of a larger debate on inclusivity in fashion and sewing companies. As a new business we have received a few questions about our current size range, which is UK 6-20. We want you to know that we are here and listening and learning. We are six weeks old as of this weekend, so we are carefully and humbly listening in our start-up phase. We want to share with you that we are taking notes on how to improve our current products, as well as learning about what we could do at the next stage of our business.
What we do now
- We created our own size chart with the aim to be more inclusive than some other ranges available. Selkie Patterns sizes 16-20 are graded with different increments than the sizes below. Did you know that there hasn’t been a sizing census since the 1950’s? It’s incredible.
- Us as co-founders modelled our first pattern as a way of introducing ourselves to you all, but it has never been our plan to continue doing that. We will be working with women of different shapes in our future shoots to better showcase all sizes that we currently offer, as well as working with women of other ethnicities and heritages to our own.
- We used pattern testers for our first pattern of different abilities and sizes, but we will be stricter with our next pattern to make sure we test every single size we currently offer.
- We are a planet inclusive company!
We are working on our next pattern and expanding our range of sustainable textiles and our research into ethical manufacturing. To be a sustainable sewing pattern company was our main goal and sustainability is central to how we do business, but that does not have to mean we can’t offer more sizes as we go forward. We currently offer the sizes that we do based on grading the block that we use, made sure our size range was more representative and inclusive than our own experience with some other size ranges, and prioritised changing up the game on the sustainability front. That was our choice. In this debate we are choosing to listen so we can plan accordingly for the future of our business. It is of course nobody’s intention to be exclusive, but intent and effect are often two different things. We are an indie sewing company, we do stop at size 20, and so this does apply to us and so we should listen.
What we want to do
It would be ‘easy’ for us to say we will be expanding our size range to include more sizes, but not so easy to implement straight away. We would rather offer actions than words. We do want our sewing patterns to be for everybody. And every body type. When we embark on this venture it will be done in the way we do business: carefully, creatively and passionately. We currently do our sizing ourselves, but for expanding our range we think it would be best to get another person on board, so we can get it right! We admit we don’t currently have those skills, but we are super willing to learn from those who do and update our own skillset. Knowledge is power.
We will investigate with our grading company whether we can add to our current size range with the block we already use.
What we love about creating our products is the preparation. This is where you could come in: we would love to hear your feedback on Selkie Patterns’ sizing:
What is your experience with our current size range? What’s the one thing you would like us to know about making our patterns more inclusive as we go forward with our company?
You can reach us on firstname.lastname@example.org