In 2016, The School of Making successfully expanded our Swatch of the Month Club and other hand-sewing programs into a larger experiment—Build a Wardrobe. This project offered our maker community the opportunity to take things they have learned from our Studio Book Series, workshops, and our Journal and create pieces they could fold seamlessly into and help sustainably grow their personal wardrobes. Because of the positive feedback we received, The School of Making is pleased to offer a 2017 subscription to the Build a Wardrobe series, featuring a new set of four patterns.
Participants will subscribe for an entire year’s worth of content that can be created from start-to-finish using techniques and guidelines from our Alabama Studio Book Series. Each quarter, we will introduce a new DIY garment pattern that you can take and make completely your own. Subscribers receive a select printed pattern, instructions, and enough fabric to make basic versions of each garment in their chosen colors. (Thread, notions, and digital pattern versions are also included.) This quarterly series offers participants flexibility to customize each garment, with as much or as little embellishment as fits their taste and personal wardrobe.
As with the 2016 program, those who subscribe will also have access to order custom DIY kits for each of the four new garment patterns at a discounted rate. These new DIY kits are exclusive to subscribers during the 2017 Build a Wardrobe program. As with our 2016 programming, subscribers can custom order kits beginning with The Factory Dress—in five lengths—during the first quarter of 2017, with the new patterns being added every quarter.
When you purchase your membership to Build a Wardrobe, you receive:
- Digital inspiration and information packet of garment and treatment ideas for your wardrobe
- Digital link to a form where you will choose your fabric and thread colors for the year
- Discount coupon for 25% off stenciling supplies for those who want to stencil their garments (one-time use)
- Subscription to an exclusive quarterly Build a Wardrobe newsletter
In January (the first quarter), we will introduce the Factory Dress pattern with five length options. Subscribers will receive:
- The Factory Dress Pattern in both printed and digital format. This pattern provides 5 length variations for the garment body (top, tunic, 40″ dress, 47.25″ mid-length dress, and 55.5″ long dress) and all necessary instructions.
- 7 yards of our 100% Organic Medium-weight Cotton Jersey in two colors (3.5 yards each color)—enough to complete a double-layer 55.5” Long Factory Dress or any variation of your choice
- 1 spool of thread in the color of your choice
- Exclusive digital link to a Custom DIY form that gives you the option to purchase DIY Kits for the Factory Dress—cut and stenciled to your specifications
In April (the second quarter), we will launch the Car Coat pattern, with three lengths, two sleeve lengths, and pocket variations. Subscribers will receive:
- The Car Coat Pattern in both printed and digital format. This pattern provides 3 length variations for the garment body (cropped jacket, jacket, and coat), 2 sleeve length variations, pocket variations, and all necessary instructions.
- 6 yards of our 100% Organic Medium-weight Cotton Jersey in two colors (3 yards each color)—enough to complete a double-layer 40” Car Coat or any variation of your choice
- 1 spool of thread in the color of your choice
- 8 17mm snaps
- Exclusive digital link to a Custom DIY form that gives you the option to purchase DIY Kits for the Factory Dress and Car Coat—cut and stenciled to your specifications
In July (the third quarter), we will feature the Wrap Dress, with five length options and five sleeve options. Subscribers will receive:
- The Wrap Dress in both printed and digital format. This pattern provides 5 length variations for the garment body (top, tunic, 40″ dress, 47.25″ mid-length dress, and 55.5″ long dress), 5 sleeve length variations, and all necessary instructions.
- 7 yards of our 100% Organic Medium-weight Cotton Jersey in two colors (3.5 yards each color)—enough to complete a double-layer 55.5” Long Wrap Dress with long sleeves or any variation of your choice
- 1 spool of thread in the color of your choice
- Exclusive digital link to a Custom DIY form that gives you the option to purchase DIY Kits for the Factory Dress, Car Coat, and Wrap Dress—cut and stenciled to your specifications
In October (the fourth quarter), we will feature the Drawstring Pant/Skirt, with three length options and pocket variations. Subscribers will receive:
- The Drawstring Pant/Skirt Pattern in both printed and digital format. This pattern provides 3 length variations for the garment body (short, cropped, and long), pocket variations, and all necessary instructions.
- 5 yards of our 100% Organic Medium-weight Cotton Jersey in two colors (2.5 yards each color)—enough to complete a double-layer Long Pant or any variation of your choice
- 1 spool of thread in the color of your choice
- Exclusive digital link to a Custom DIY form that gives you the option to purchase DIY Kits for the Factory Dress, Car Coat, Wrap Dress, and Drawstring Pant/Skirt—cut and stenciled to your specifications
As with our previous subscription programs, anyone can join at any point in the year. By participating and purchasing materials via Build a Wardrobe, you will automatically receive approximately 25% off the total retail value of the materials—plus the printed pattern and notions needed to complete your garments and free domestic ground shipping. International orders may incur extra shipping fees.
Each quarter, we will release the Build a Wardrobe garment pattern with instructions for sale in print or as a digital download on our Studio Books + Patterns page.
Throughout the year, we will be offering several of our own takes on each garment, using a variety of techniques, colorways, stencils, and embroideries. Use those as inspiration or tailor the garments to your own unique style. Follow along on the Journal and on social media using the hashtags:
Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns remains the ideal guide for altering patterns and perfecting individual fit. The rest of our Studio Book Series provides excellent resources for embellishing these four basic garments to create one-of-a-kind wardrobe essentials.
As with most of our patterns, each of these new styles are created with multiple length or style variations—allowing each person to choose the version that fits their personal figure best.
We chose patterns for the year to pick up where our 2016 subscription left off. If you make a basic of each variation of every pattern offered through Build a Wardrobe, you can end the year with 47 hand-sewn garments—adding to your handmade wardrobe. Pattern possibilities, by the numbers:
- Factory Dress – 5 garments (top, tunic, and 3 dress lengths)
- Car Coat – 3 garments (3 length variations X 2 sleeve options)
- Wrap Dress – 30 garments (5 length variations X 6 sleeve options)
- Drawstring Pant/Skirt – 6 garments (2 pattern variations X 3 length variations)
We’re always amazed by what our maker community creates, and we can’t wait for another year of wardrobe-building creativity. For those that still wish to participate in our current program, please note—the 2016 Build a Wardrobe program is only available through the end of the year.
P.S.: Starting in January 2017, all of our 100% Organic Cotton Jersey yardage will be sold and shipped unwashed. Please note that our jersey does shrink slightly, and always wash before use.
View our current Build a Wardrobe program here.
Pants!! A wrap dress!! And the Factory Dress!! The car coat is super cute too. Thank you for making these patterns available. Can’t wait to try them out.
Love all these patterns! Do you anticipate that all your standard fabric colors will be available by then?
We’re expecting all fabrics to be back in stock by mid-January. If you choose a backordered fabric for your first quarter, we can ship it as soon as we receive it.
We are expecting to have all fabrics back in stock for the remainder of the year.
These are amazing!
I was wondering as well if particularly the colors will all be available to order for the special custom DIY kits?
Also, will there be any new stencils for the custon Diy kits for members?
We’re so glad you like the patterns. We’re very excited about all of the new styles as well. All fabrics are expected to be back in stock by mid-January. If you choose a backordered fabric for your first quarter, we can ship it as soon as we receive it. We are expecting to have all fabrics back in stock for the remainder of the year.
We’ll be launching new stencils throughout the next year. More information about those will be on the Journal in January, so please check back then.
These items look great.
Is there a deadline for signing up for “Build a Wardrobe 2017”?
Thank you for the kind words. You’ll be able to sign up for Build a Wardrobe 2017 at any time throughout the year. It will no longer be available after December 31, 2017.
Can you explain a little bit about how the Custom DIY Kits work? Are these a second kit that subscribers can purchase, or is it an “upgraded” version of the the subscription, where you essentially pay extra to get a kit that is precut and stenciled?
Thanks so much in advance!
When you subscribe to Build a Wardrobe, you will receive an exclusive link to order DIY kits made using the Build a Wardrobe patterns before they are released to the public. They are purchased in addition to the subscription. However, they are only available to Build a Wardrobe subscribers. The 2017 Build a Wardrobe silhouettes will be added to our existing Custom DIY form in January of 2018.
Please let us know if you have any additional questions. Thanks!
I’m doing a happy dance but I wish the pants was the first pattern up.
Love the garments. Would you consider putting notches on the pattern pieces to make it easier to join pieces?. It’s really helpful when easing the curved pieces on the princess seamed garments together.
Thank you for the kind words and helpful suggestion. We will pass that along to our pattern development team as they work on upcoming projects.
Due to the nature of our knitted jersey fabric, our princess seams do not have any extra ease in them as a woven pattern would—so, the length of your seam on each piece should be exactly the same.
To help ease in the curve, we recommend our method of “pinning the middle”. You will start by pinning the beginning and end of your seam. Next, pin the center of the seam. Add a pin in the center of the first pin and the middle pin, and the middle pin and the end pin. Keep adding pins in the middle of the space between the already placed pins until the curve is eased in and your seam is secure for sewing.
We hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!
Do we pick a color for each garment or do we have to stay with one colorway all the way through the year?
You will receive a link to make your color choices for the year. The color selections are totally up to you so you can choose what best suits you and your wardrobe. For each quarter, you will choose a top layer color and a backing layer color to use for either a double-layer garment or individually for single-layer garments.
Please let us know if you have any other questions.
Will the kits be already stenciled? I’m very interested in the program!!
The exclusive Custom DIY Kits come cut, stenciled, and ready to sew, as with all of our DIY Kits. The fabric you receive as part of the quarterly Build a Wardrobe subscription does not come stenciled, but you can choose to stencil and customize your garment however you would like. You’ll receive a special discount for 25% off of stenciling supplies that you can use in conjunction with the patterns. Let us know if you have any more questions. Thank you!
can you tell me how much it would be for me here in switzerland?
Someone from our Customer Service team will contact you on Monday. Thank you!
So the pattern for the wrap dress will be available, but not until Jan 2018? (Slight begging to make it available sooner).
The pattern for the Wrap Dress will launch in July 2017 for our third quarter of Build a Wardrobe. If you are a subscriber, you will receive enough fabric and thread to make one in addition to the printed pattern. The digital Wrap Dress pattern will be available for purchase and download from our Resources page at that time as well. Wrap Dress DIY Kits will not be available through Custom DIY until January 2018—unless you are a Build a Wardrobe subscriber.
Please let us know if you still have any questions.
Will the fabric color choices include limited edition colors, or just the standard colors?
The fabric color choices for Build a Wardrobe include our 25 staple colors (which you can find here: http://alabamachanin.com/100-organic-medium-weight-cotton-jersey). Let us know if you have any further questions.
Hello, I am interested in the Build a wardrobe program for 2017. After reading thru the specs, I want to be clear what pieces will actually come printed and cut as kit has come in the past. I completed a Skirt this year, and would like to make more in 2017. I am excited to hear back from you so I may order.
Build a Wardrobe subscribers will receive a printed paper pattern and enough unwashed fabric and thread each quarter to complete a garment from start to finish at home—meaning that you have the freedom to alter your pattern, stencil, and embellish your garment however you like. As a subscriber, you will have the option to order exclusive Build a Wardrobe Custom DIY kits—in addition to your quarterly shipment—cut and stenciled to your specifications.
Let us know if you have any further questions.
This years line up is amazing! It is incredibly generous of you to release your patterns and as a home sewer, I am incredibly grateful. Thank you for all you do to keep this skill alive and interesting and useful! Can’t wait to get making! 🙂
Ditto Jane’s comment!
Could you ell me how much it would cost for shipping to New Zealand please.
Is it possible to add sleeves to the factory dress? Would I just need to order extra fabric to do that?
Is it possible to add sleeves to the factory dress? How would I go about figuring out how much extra fabric to order? Thanks!
I too am interested in sleeves for the factory dress and am also perhaps a little too eager for the pattern. When will it be available for purchase.
I am really excited about what you are offering here and am interested in the School of Making for 2017. I am a complete beginner and don’t have experience sewing. Is this a good place to start for a beginner?
Thank you for your feedback!
Thank you for your interest in our Build a Wardrobe program. With a Build a Wardrobe subscription, you would receive fabric, thread, and a pattern—so you would be creating each garment yourself, from start to finish. If you are a beginner and are looking to gain sewing experience before tackling a larger project, I would suggest that you start with one of our beginner level kits found online. We have some smaller DIY kits for the home that are a great place to start as they have minimal construction requirements and give you the opportunity to feel comfortable with our stitching techniques on a smaller scale. If you wish to make a garment, our Magdalena Placement Poncho DIY Kit is a great place to start.
I would also recommend that you start out with one of the books from our Alabama Studio Series if you’re looking for instruction and a place to get started. Alabama Studio Sewing + Design is the most comprehensive collection of garment construction and embroidery instructions that we have out now. It also includes patterns for some of our beginner-level garments that would provide great practice in cutting out a pattern and garment before moving on to something more advanced.
I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any further questions. We’re always excited to encourage new makers, and we hope you find a project that suits you.
Interesting concept. New to Alabama Chanin-
If I sign up for subscription and tool bundle will this include shipping to 98001?
Will proceed if shipping is included.