My goals for 2016 are as follows…

I have a confession.  I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions.  I guess its because with my creative brain, I can’t seem to stick with something long until I move onto the next thing.  My husband jokes that I have a two week turn around on things. I am super into something for two weeks and then I’m on to the next craze.  While I’d love to say he was exaggerating, it is kinda true about me with certain things.  But I do have a few exceptions… my family, my love for a good cup of coffee, and my love for sewing.
Despite my hang ups on commitments to fads and new years resolutions, I love a good goal list.  For my 2016 sewing goals, I feel like putting together a list for the upcoming year make the chances for reaching them much higher.  So instead of New Years resolutions, here are my goals for my business in 2016:

  1. Blog More:  I never blog because I feel like I’m a horrible writer.  And then I blog and people tell me how much they enjoyed it and I feel like I should do it more often.  So in 2016, I plan to actually plan out blog posts instead of just blogging when I release a new pattern.  Which leads me to my next post…
  2. Send More Emails.  There’s actually a second part to this. I want to also send emails that are worthy of sending.  I’m so guilty of just sending emails talking about the current sales or releases.  While those are nice, I’d love to put a little more of me in the emails.  No one wants to read a bunch of emails that only talk about a sale.  How boring is that?
  3. Make More Connections: I want to branch out and make more connections in the sewing world.  We have a bunch of pattern reviews marked for 2016.  Plus I want to interview a few boutiques or testers and feature them here on the blog.  (PS… Do you want to be interviewed???  Contact me!  We will set something up.)
  4. Release More Patterns:  This is a given, but I want to release more designs in 2016.  My goal for 2015 was 12 patterns, and I would love to be able to release another 12 this year as well.
  5. Take More Time Off: Now this doesn’t mean I want more time away from my business, but I am very guilty of working so much during the day that my girls go crazy with cabin fever.  I want to have one day a week that I do nothing but play with my children.  Before I know it, they will be gone away to school, and while I will love the uninterrupted time to work, I will miss having the freedom to just take them out for ice cream for no other reason than I love them.
  6. Host a Sew-A-Long: While it may seem crazy to most, this one kinda scares me.  I don’t know why.  I guess its because I’ve never done one before.  Maybe its also because I’m afraid no one will sign up for one.  Either way, I plan to dive in and host my very first Sew-A-Long in 2016
  7. Release More Women’s Patterns:  While I have a few simple ladies patterns out now, in 2016 I plan to concentrate on releasing more women’s patterns.  My first planned release is the much anticipated Rebel Woman Party Dress that will be a mommy version of the very popular Rebel Girl Party Dress.

So what do you think?  I’m actually pretty excited to look back next year and see that I’ve meet every single one of these goals.  I know I can do it!  What are your goals for 2016?  Where do you hope to be this time next year.  Let me know in the comments!

2015 Year In Review: BSD by the Numbers

2015 is almost over!  Can you believe it?  I swear this year has flown by for me.  I’ve spent the past few days reviewing how the year treated me. How was it for you?  This has been an exciting year for me!  For one, Bella Sunshine Designs was launched which after a year of planning was a super big deal to me.  I went from dreaming of being a fashion designer to living the dream.  Who wouldn’t be happy about that progress?

I had several goals for this past year.  I’m happy to say they were all met!  I wanted to finally start my business; I did.  I wanted to have 12 items in my shop before the end of the year; I did.  I had sales goals I wanted to reach; I not only met them, I surpassed them! It was a good year for me.

Because I love it when people are super transparent with this business, I want to do that will mine.  Here’s a little summary of how I did in 2015:

This site had over 140,000 page views.  While that number is peanuts to bigger blogs, for my first year in business, it overwhelms me!

There were over 20,000 users on my site in 2015.

I had over 4,000 orders in 2015.  That number seriously makes my head spin.

I have almost 1900 people in my Facebook Group.  It’s so fun to see everyone share what they are sewing that I’m so thankful that I have such a great group of people there.

And all this was started at the end of February.  I just can’t believe all this happened in just 10 months! 2015 has been a blessed year for me.  I cannot wait to see how 2016 turns out.  I have a feeling that my business is going to explode in the new year.  Check back on Thursday to take a look at my goals for 2016.

How was 2015 for you?  Anything exciting happen?  Let me know in the comments section.

Gabriella's Winter Wool Coat - PDF Sewing Pattern by Bella Sunshine Designs for sizes 6m through girls 12 - Oh this coat is so beautiful!  I love the twirly back and how gorgeous the inside is! I can't wait to sew a coat. Putting this on my must buy list!

NEW RELEASES: Gabriella’s Winter Coat & Adeline’s Dress & Tunic

It’s been a crazy couple of months here.  After my entire immediate family got done celebrating their birthday’s there was Halloween sewing and a bunch of family (13 people to be exact in addition to my brood) over for Thanksgiving at my house.  I’ve hired a couple new designers that I’ve been mentoring (who shall be announced as soon as their first design is released).  Plus I’ve been busy, busy, busy designing TWO new patterns for you guys!  I don’t sleep much, in case you were wondering.

First let me present the one that started on back in JULY: Gabriella’s Winter Coat.  Now it may seem strange to design a winter coat in July (or maybe to you Aussie’s that’s not so strange), but my first sketches were done while I was on vacation in Buffalo, NY over the summer.  Maybe it’s because I live in Florida and rarely get much winter coat time, but I had a dream of making my little girl a wool peacoat.  You know, just like one you would see in a high-end children’s clothing store.  So many coat patterns for children that I see in the market do not have that traditional, closed coat lining that includes a facing, so I knew that’s what I wanted in this design.  I have to say, after sewing it EIGHT times to get the fit right, one round of pretesting and one round of full testing, I am pretty proud of this one.  And the results are stunning…

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It really is a garment that’s just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside.  I literally sighed when I was making it.  It just is so beautiful and dream like.  It’s exactly what I was hoping for.  While this pattern is not suitable for beginners, it looks a lot more intimidating than it actually is.  My testers were so excited when they finished.  A lot of them couldn’t believe that they actually sewed a real winter coat.  Here are a few of my favorite tester shots:
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Now you can’t have a shiny new coat without something pretty to go under it!  The other release I have for you today is the Adeline Dress & Tunic.  This simple color blocked garment has two length options and two sleeve options.  The elastic in the sleeve gives a nice little ruffle without overpowering the entire look.  It sews up quick which is perfect if you don’t have a Christmas dress made yet.  Take a look at the Holiday dresses I made for my girls this year:

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Cute huh?  And as normal, my testers blew this one out of the park.  Check out my favorite photos of their creations:

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So many different looks with just one pattern.  I love it!  It even pairs great with the Bow tie Leggings & Shorts:


If you don’t already have that pattern, you should pick it up.  It’s one of my favorites and a super quick sew.

Both Gabriella’s Winter Coat and the Adeline Dress & Tunic come in sizes 6M to girls 12 (undeveloped) so the pattern will last you a long time no matter what size you girls are in now.  Be sure and grab them while they are on sale for the new release.