Saying Goodbye to Paper Patterns

Written by Eléonore

The launch of our spring collection is right around the corner, and we’ve been busy making some big changes at Deer&Doe in anticipation:

Goodbye Paper Patterns

First and foremost, we are sad to officially announce the discontinuation of our paper patterns. Our upcoming collection will be released in PDF format only, and our current stock of paper patterns will be the last for the foreseeable future.

When Deer&Doe started in 2012, we had a dream of designing original, modern, and well-designed sewing patterns. We offered printed patterns exclusively for the first five years, and since then have continued to take pride in offering beautifully-packaged printed products. Over the last decade we’ve seen tremendous growth, but we’ve also seen many changes—both in our business and in the industry as a whole.

One of those changes has been a steady shift towards PDF patterns. Since offering our first PDF pattern in 2017, demand has continued to increase and PDFs now constitute the majority of our pattern sales. Meanwhile, printing, storage, shipping, and inventory management all contribute to the overhead costs of paper patterns; and printing and shipping costs have increased exponentially over the past few years. While we recognize that many of you still prefer printed patterns (and to be sure, we will miss them as well)—when faced with whether to raise our prices dramatically or streamline our business model, we’ve decided to invest our resources and attention into improving our PDF product line instead.

It would be unfair to pretend our decision was entirely financial, however. The constraints of producing and selling a physical product also had an impact on our design decisions, release timelines, and personal workloads. The limited size of paper sheets has always meant that we could only print a restricted range of sizes in a single block—something we’ve never been happy about but could not find a suitable workaround for. It also meant that we regularly had to compromise on design decisions when drafting our patterns to make sure that every piece and every variation could fit within our pattern envelopes (and trust us, we were really pushing it with some patterns!). Since envelopes were folded and assembled by hand, this process also added weeks to our release schedule even after the patterns were otherwise ready to go. Our hope in focusing on PDF patterns is that we can now design better patterns, eliminate potential release delays, and offer the same product to all of our customers, regardless of size.

So what does this mean for you if you prefer printed patterns? If there are Deer&Doe paper patterns you want to grab, now is your chance to get them before they are gone. If something you are looking for is out of stock on our website, we encourage you to check with our stockists who may still have some available.

New & Improved PDF Patterns

While it was not an easy decision to say goodbye to our paper patterns, we are also quite excited about the possibilities of PDF-only sewing patterns. For example, without the constraints of print, we no longer need to worry about the length of our instruction booklets. This will allow us to create more detailed and in-depth instructions, and opens the door for us to include digital-only resources.

In addition to the benefits we’ve already mentioned, we have also begun the process of redesigning our instructions with a PDF-first design. Two-column layouts will become a single column, different steps will be better delineated, and overall the reading experience will be improved for screens and mobile devices. If you’d like to take a peek at the new design, the Plantain tee and Sirocco jumpsuit instructions have already been updated in our PDF library.

Updates to Our Storefront

We aren’t just revamping our PDF patterns though, we’re also making some important changes to our online storefront. Namely, our two different size ranges will now be listed as separate products.

No need to worry though—anybody who purchases a pattern with more than one size range will still have access to all sizes in their PDF library. Our hope is that by splitting the products in the storefront, you will be able to browse either one set of sample photos or all the product photos as you prefer. It will also provide us with valuable sale metrics according to size range.

Price Changes

Last but not least, we’re also making some changes to the pricing of our PDF patterns. This was a difficult decision, and one that was long overdue—but the reality is we have not made any changes to our price structure since first introducing PDF patterns in 2017. As we’ve continued to improve our products and develop our skills as designers, we want to make sure that the price point of our patterns fairly reflects that.

Our new collection (and the Sirocco jumpsuit) will now be priced at 14 € per PDF pattern. Older patterns which have not received PDF updates will be priced at 12 € per pattern.

It is never easy to make major shifts to our business model, and we want to thank you for your understanding and your continued support. We are only a few short weeks away from our next collection release, and we can’t wait to share with you three new patterns we hope you’ll love!

Un commentaire

Julie, May 6 2022

This makes me so sad! Deer and Doe has been my favorite pattern company for many years and one factor has been that I could avoid the misery of taping together a pdf pattern. By the time you get it printed at a copy shop it costs way more than a paper pattern, even with shipping.

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