Blog Biz


It’s been a crazy year, and if I’ve been a little cagey about what I’ve been up to, it’s just my tendency to plan for the worst, and not wanting to talk about things until they are locked down tighter than maximum security after a prison riot. But… I think it’s finally safe to say that Closet Case printed patterns are about to become a reality. Unless I decide to scrap the whole plan and make a REALLY big box fort in my apartment.

This development has been a long time coming and something I’ve wrestled with over the last year or so. The reality is that paper patterns mean inventory, storage, staff, dealing with delivery services…. It’s much easier making digital products that exist in the ether and require little to no overhead to manage. But just because something is easy, doesn’t necessarily make it the the right move. In my survey earlier this year, most of you told me loud and clear that you preferred printed patterns, and as I meditated on what I wanted to do with my growing business, in my gut I knew it was the next logical step. Since then, I’ve spent the year researching, organizing and planning to bring printed patterns to you. As is always the case with big shifts like this, it took much longer than I anticipated. A June debut got pushed back to September, which got pushed back to November, due to all the million little things that go wrong and need to be dealt with when you’re dealing with a printed, forever product with no take-backs.

Closet Case Files - Printed patterns-2

It’s been alternately terrifying (business loans are no joke), challenging, and unexpectedly fun. It meant reworking the back catalog so that everything was flawless once those tissue sheets got printed, developing packaging and illustrations (which I’ll be talking about later this week), reformatting all the existing instructions and graphics, all while developing a new coat pattern that turned out to be my most personally demanding yet. But it was worth it. Right now I have 14 boxes of  folded pattern tissue hanging out in my living room and I 100% cried when I opened them for the first time and saw actual tangible, physical proof of all the work I’ve done this year.


So what’s being printed? Since I was on a budget, I couldn’t go whole hog with the entire catalog, especially since Sallie and the Bombshell aren’t quite seasonal at the moment. However,  Nettie, Ginger and Carolyn will all be available in print format, along with Clare, my very chic new winter coat pattern. I am still waiting for the envelopes and booklets from my printer, and after a few epic days of stuffing this weekend, we hope to have them available for sale on Monday. I say “we” because I finally have a little help around here; Roxanne is my awesome part-time assistant and she will be taking care of customer service and order fulfillment from now on. I’ll have to give you a better introduction later because she has made my life so much easier.


One of the biggest worries for me going forward was affordable order fulfillment. Since I live in Canada, I spent a lot of time thinking about how to make shipping as affordable as possible for my customers since the vast majority of you live in the US and around the world. I think I came up with a great compromise. Fear not Americans! Everything you order from my shop will be mailed from within the United States using the United States Postal Service; I have hired an army of drones to take your packages across the border! Well, more like a legit courier company who ships out for me twice a week. What this means is that shipping will be comparable to other US based pattern companies.The courier fee is worked into the overall price, but overall it is substantially less expensive and much faster than using Canada Post, and there is no worry when it comes to customs fees.

For my international customers, I will be shipping using Canada Post since our international shipping rates are actually much better than the US (along with our maple syrup, but let’s not get political). As for my fellow Canucks, obviously I will be shipping via Canada Post. Now that Justin struck down that community mailbox thing, you won’t even have to walk far to get them (apologies for a totally topical in-joke about Canadian bureaucracy).

If you own a retail brick and mortar or online store and would like to carry Closet Case patterns, we are also ready for wholesale. We won’t be shipping out until next week, but you can apply to have your account set-up now by filling visiting this page and filling out our wholesaler form (be sure to read our wholesaler terms while you’re there).

I’ll be back later this week to talk about the new packaging and illustrations of my patterns since that was a pretty epic journey on its own… and hopefully by this time next week I’ll be ready to start shipping printed patterns straight to you!

  • Susan Buchanan


  • Congratulations! This is big exciting news!

  • Carly

    Congratulations! The illustrations look wonderful and I can’t wait to buy your new pattern on paper.

  • Hélène

    Bravo! The pocket illustrations look fabulous. Lâche pas!

  • Denise

    Yes! I’ve been hoping this was what you were up to!

  • Emily Ribbons

    Those illustrations are gorgeous! Might treat myself to the Ginger pattern 🙂

  • Camelia de Bruin

    Congratulations! Very nice illustrations! Good luck !

  • I am drooling over those illustrations. Congratulations!

    • Wait till you see the complete package! She killed it.

  • kellicousins

    So exciting! Congratulations!

  • Ooh la la! Illustrated Heather Lou is a total fox! A baberoni! Congrats! I think a Nettie dress is in my near future. Has anyone done one in a sweater knit?

  • Congratulations on the next of your business. Wooohooo


    Looks amazing! Congratulations! Just the thing I want to give myself for christmas. Love the luxurous feeling of ordering treats by mail from overseas. /Hugs from Sweden.

  • Congrats Heather! The envelopes look amazing and I’m sure the insides will be just as good!

    • Thank you for your support (as always) Heather!

  • Helene

    Congratualtions! ohgodohgod I want to see the coat!

  • Kalle Thompson

    Wonderful! The timing couldn’t be better…I’m heading over to the wholesale info page now!

    • Awesome! It may take us a few days to process your account but we’re working on it!

  • AuntyMaimu

    If you build that fort, can I come and play???

    Just built it before you ship, YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO!!!

    I am so happy that things are moving onward with your business. Fingers crossed that it will go well and smoothly.

    • Thank you Maimu! And thank you for being such an amazing resource and support this year. Could not have done it without you. xoxo

  • Yay! Congrats, Heather!! I’m one of the, I guess, few who enjoy PDFs – but your illustrations are seriously beautiful. And I’m sure the tissue inside is amazing too. 😀 This is very exciting!

  • Congratulations! What a wonderful step for your business!

  • Kathryn

    Oh yay! I bought the PDF Ginger a year and a half ago, and still havent takenit to Staples to get it printed, even though I have two lengths of amazing flannel-backed stretch denim waiting to become Edmonton Winter Jeans, and Edmonton Winter will blow in any day now. I am so excited about this that I will be more than happy to buy Ginger again! And probably the new coat pattern too, because I can just feel in my bones that it will be awesome. A thousand Congrats, and I will watchi this space on Monday! ❤️

    • Kathryn

      Please forgive my typos.

    • Congratulations Heather Lou – being another Canadian hailing from BC I’m thrilled to see another independent Canadian designer hit the printed pattern market! I am one of those who ONLY buy printed patterns so I’m excited to see your line unfold. I wish you all the success in the world 🙂

    • OMG I NEED EDMONTON WINTER JEANS!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn’t even know flannel backed stretch denim was POSSIBLE!

  • Michelle Rose

    Congratulations! I love the illustrations, too! I’m prefer PDF patterns for things like simple knit tops, but for more complex things (jeans, jackets, coats), I highly prefer paper patterns, so I’m really looking forward to having that option for your future releases!

    And as a tester, I’m really happy to hear that the coat is on its way. I love mine and am glad that I’ll finally be able to talk about it soon!

  • Mariah

    That is such great news! PDF patterns are a blessing (instant gratification, no shipping cost!) and a curse (more work, more room for inaccuracies, and home printers are all infested with demons). Can’t wait for the new coat pattern!!

    • It’s always nice to have the option for both, thats fersure.

  • Tor Freeman

    Yay congratulations!

  • Huge congrats lady! I know how epic this is! And I have that same box fort in my place too 🙂 xoxo

    • Thank you Christine! And thank you for your advice and help this year! xoxo

  • Peta Louise

    Congratulations Heather! This is sure to be a huge success for you, and deservedly so given all the hard work you’ve put in. Also, the pattern cover illustrations look amazing!!

    • Thank you Peta! Can’t wait to show you guys all of them.

  • Iris

    Congratulations and blessings on a great new adventure and continued success!

  • Congratulations! Personally I prefer digital patterns but it’s so nice for everyone to have the choice and this must have taken so much work! Also, you are definitely better suited for the business works than me. There’s no way I could be trusted to make the right decision between expanding my business or making the mother of all box forts

  • That is so exciting! Paper patterns AND hired help? Yippee for you!

    • Thanks Gillian! She doesn’t sew but we can’t have it all 😉

  • Ryann Cheung

    Congrats!!! So awesome to see your little business taking this next big step!

  • YES!! I’m so excited!!!

  • Congratulations! On both the assistance and the printed patterns (the art is beautiful), and I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing the coat pattern!

    “along with out maple syrup, but let’s not get political” does this mean we can request maple syrup as an additional extra to the pattern?

    • I soak them in maple syrup before they leave the office. It’s like spraying them with perfume, but stickier.

  • Elisabeth M. Schoopp

    Congratulations! It must be so exciting to hold your printed patterns.

    • It really really is! Except I’ve literally been packing them for hours so it becomes less exciting, haha.

  • Francesca Amodeo

    Alrighty! It must have been a nightmare – so glad it’s almost over:). I can’t wait. I’ve realised part of the problem for me with PDF patterns is that I’m too bloody anal when it comes to patterns – I want everything to match up perfectly, and there’s always something that doesn’t however brilliant the PDFs are – I’ve cut lines a little too thinly, whatever! So i only buy PDFs if they’re for something simple and small or I absolutely can’t get the patterns anyway else…… like your Nettie:). Which I will be happy to buy again, to have that in print. And I can’t wait to see your new pattern! Congratulations for taking this giant leap – I am sure it will pay off in the long run:).

    • Thank you Francesca! Hope to save you some taping 😉

  • Congrats! This is so exciting. And printed patterns definitely make a nicer Christmas gift than PDFs 😉

  • This is so exciting! I’ve just had my birthday and have been eyeing up Ginger and Carolyn for ages, and now I can treat myself to some lovely paper patterns! Congratulations! (That’s a lot of exclamation marks, sorry)

  • Sophie

    Congratulations on your new babies! Those illustrations are tdf. Cannot wait to pick up a copy of the Gingers! xx

    • I had to google tdf but I thank you, haha.

  • sallieforrer

    WEEEEEE!!!! YAY!!! I’m so happy for you! I’m so PROUD of you! You’ve accomplished SO MUCH over the past few years and it has been such a pleasure to watch your business grow and mature and to help in whatever small ways I can to make your dreams take shape! The patterns look so SO good! Once again, your design sensibilities are so freaking ON POINT! And virtual high-fives to Roxanne! Such a big step to bring on help.
    Wish I could be there to pop some champagne and toast the new Paper & PDF age of Closet Case Patterns!!! Congratulations love!! xoxox

    • Literally could not have done it without you. xoxo

  • Congrats! They look beautiful. I am still a PDF girl, but might be swayed to pick up a printed copy one of these days. I have the Ginger jeans on my to-make list, and perhaps that will sway me to the printed pattern camp!

    • They are great for big coat patterns, just sayin’ 😉

  • Congratulations! What wonderful news. can’t wait to hear your story about it all.

  • Amy

    I’m sooo excited for you! I’ve got to own these as collector items ;). I’m familiar with print publishing and its costs, and am just amazed that any small business can get off the ground with print these days. But there’s no doubt about it, having something in print, that tangible proof of your work, is incredibly satisfying. And congrats on getting assistance! Just having someone around to verbally troubleshoot will take so much load off your brain. I’ve been waiting to see your beauty of a coat!

    • It’s not THAT expensive if you don’t get really fancy with packaging. But the minute die-cutting enters the picture its astronomical. Sigh.

  • Caroline Hutton

    Love that you are on a first name basis with the PM 😉 Congrats on the paper patterns! I will happily be picking up the ones I have missed.

    • Well I DID meet him once in my metro! He was hanging around awkwardly at the top of the escalator waiting to talk to his constituents (he’s in my riding) and I walked by him, went through the turnstile, and then yelled at myself of the missed opportunity and went back to talk to him about the environment. He’ll always be Justin to me!

  • Debi_myhappysewingplace

    Wow! so Exciting!!!

  • Congratulations Heather… those illustrations are gorgeous! Great work!

  • Congratulations

  • Esther

    do you think there’ll be Montreal stores that will carry your patterns? Effiloche maybe?

    • Eventually I’m sure; I just haven’t ha da chance to get in touch with them!

      • Esther

        thanks for the info!