Blog Biz

Rebranded! A Big Facelift for Closet Case Patterns

Ah! Today is a big day for us. I feel like I just built a new house and am inviting you inside to look at it for the first time (and then judge the hardware I chose for the cabinets and the tile on the bathroom floor). Since I don’t own an actual house, my little corner of the web has been more or less “home” since I started blogging in 2011, and it’s just undergone its biggest makeover to date.

The biggest change is that we are officially dropping the “Files” part of Closet Case Files. From now on, we will be solely known as Closet Case Patterns. It was a little confusing with the two names (one for our pattern line and one for our blog), and I felt I had outgrown Closet Case Files without really knowing where else to go. Ditch Closet Case entirely for something new? Go for something more generic like Closet Case Studio? In the end, the branding team I worked with persuaded me to stick with Closet Case Patterns, so that’s where we’re at. This won’t affect much for you – we’ve redirected our URLs and all of our account names have been changed on social media. I guess my biggest request here is that if you’re tagging our patterns on Instagram, you stick to #closetcasepatterns from here on out. Closet Case Files is dead to me now. (Aww, little weird blog pun name that never made sense, you’ll always have a warm place in my heart. Now scram).

This makeover has been a long time coming, and I’ve been squirrelling money away for a while so I could pay for it. Whenever I brought up the redesign to peers or friends, most people would say, “Really? Why waste the  money? Your site looks fine.” I never really felt that way. I have patched together this business over the years with help from a few folks, and at times I felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of critical decisions that needed to be made. While I consider myself a fairly well rounded designer type, I never felt fully confidant about how things looked. I’m not a graphic or web specialist – that takes years to master – and I always felt the overall look of our brand and site could be more more functional and beautiful under a professional, critical eye. “Fine” and “good enough” weren’t really what I was after, so I decided it was worth the significant investment to hire pros. And I am so glad I did.

Ready for a trip down baad memory lane? This is what the site looked like way back at the beginning when I was using blogspot as my server. Oh blogspot. So helpful to get online quickly, so useless when it comes to design or functionality. I think I traded a handmade dress for a little graphic design help from a friend. I was so glad to leave this site for WordPress.

Closet Case Patterns // Blog & shop redesign // Old design


Here’s what things looked like until a few weeks ago. I designed this site about three years ago using a totally inappropriate wordpress theme I hacked to death, and it  got downright painful to use it as the years went on. BU-BYE.

Closet Case Patterns // Blog & shop redesign // Old design


And here’s where we’re at now. So much more functional! Much easier to navigate with big, beautiful blog post images. I am so in love. Is it wrong to want to make out with a website? *plays Barry White record*

Closet Case Patterns // Blog & shop redesign // New Homepage


The biggest changes to the site are in the menu, and I encourage you to go explore if you’re curious. Rather than use traditional drop-downs, we created big, visual “megamenus”. I think they’re much nicer to look at, and they give a fuller scope of what this business is all about (making awesome stuff).

Closet Case Patterns // Blog & shop redesign // New Megamenus

I wanted to make it super easy to get into the archives; I’ve been blogging for over six years and there is a lot of great, helpful content that kind of gets lost with the passage of time. We now have a special Sewalongs and Tutorials page that collates all our most helpful posts in one area. We also redesigned the page for all my personal makes, if you’d like to see all my personal sewing projects over the years.

Closet Case Patterns // Blog & shop redesign // Sewalongs & Tutorials

I’m also really happy with our new Sewing Classes tab; it’s now super easy to see all my upcoming in-person workshops, along with our growing list of online classes (our new jeans course is launching in two weeks!)

Some of my favourite updates happened in our online store. Using our new megamenu, it’s a snap to shop by category in the shop.

Closet Case Patterns // Blog & shop redesign // New Megamenus

The main product page is much prettier; I especially love the way thumbnail images change to the pattern technical drawing when you hover over it.

Closet Case Patterns // Blog & shop redesign // New Product Listing

I really wanted to improve the functionality of our online store and make it super easy to see pattern details at a glance. Our new product pages are much easier to navigate, and by clicking on the different tabs you can easily see the description, fabric requirements, and supplies needed, as well as more in-depth file details like page counts and sewing level for each pattern.

Best of all, at the bottom of each product listing we’ve included two big yellow buttons that will quickly take you to all blog posts associated with that pattern (making it super easy to access all the online resources we offer with each release) along with a  link to the Pinterest board where you can see all the beautiful variations our customers have made and posted to their blogs.

Closet Case Patterns // Blog & shop redesign // New Product Listing

I want to give a massive thank you to the awesome team that made this all happen. I was really lucky to find Four Oh Seven, my new web and brand designers. I felt a kinship with them immediately, and it was such a relief to fill out all their (very) detailed brand questionnaires, and then hand them the reins to figure out the nuts and bolts of how things should look and feel.  I think there is a real tendency with entrepreneurs to feel like we can do it all, but sometimes you need to realize your limits. I never could have accomplished what they did here. They are able to look objectively at the whole picture and see what needs to be done, while keeping my needs and your needs in perfect focus. It was worth every hard earned penny to bring them on board. I love you ladies.

Finally, none of this would have happened without my superhero developer, Sarah at Spun Monkey Design. She’s marvelous and amazing and I am so happy I got to work with such an awesome team of women to bring this all together!

I just love our new site so much (if that’s not obvious yet), and I’d be super happy if you had a chance to explore (and maybe let me know whether anything is weird or broken – I’ve been eagle-eyeing everything for weeks but things slip through the cracks). I’d also love to chat about the changes we made to the overall brand, but I’ll save that for later this week since it’s a lot of ground to cover in one post.

So… what do you think of the new site?!

 

CATEGORIES: Blog Biz
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  • Congratulations, the website looks fabulous and I love the ‘megamenus’. What a great idea. Best of all though, is the well written, inspiring and high quality content. You’re amazing!

  • It looks great – congratulations!

  • missceliespants

    Wait, wait. Would you say, ‘Case Closed’ on the old name? I had to do it. It looks beautiful! And, I got my Clare pattern today and look forward to sewing it in the next one to five years 😀

    • Oh man, kicking myself for not thinking of that. Amended my IG post to reflect brilliant joke 😉

  • Chloe Anderson

    Very nice! And I love love love the way the technical drawings pop up when you hover over the pattern image! The “big 4” could use some tips from you!

    • Thank you Chloe! I always like seeing technical drawings so I’m glad its SUPER clear.

  • Yay! looks great. Very chic and classic – just like your patterns!

  • Suzanne

    Looks amazing – love how it keeps a number of your “heritage” brand elements but just takes it to the next level! Can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us this year… there has already been so much!

    • Thank you Suzanne! We didn’t reinvent the wheel, just greased it so turned a little more smoothly 😉

  • Natasha Friegang

    I love the new site! It looks amazing and I love the new organizational features. I am glad you took the time to write about some of them. Congratulations!

    • Thank you Natasha! Really happy you like it.

  • Nobody realizes how crap a website can be until they crash it a hundred times in a day trying to get something to work. As the person that does this (the crashing,not the building), I salute your thrifty use of money to make a good thing better, without making it impossible to remember how to get anywhere.

    Because it’s gonna need to carry a lot of weight in the next few years!
    Happy Website New Year!

    • Thanks pal! I needed room to stretch my wings 😉

  • Looks very sharp! Nice one!

  • I love the new layout. It’s easy to navigate and pretty without being “too much” if you know what I mean.

  • Rachel

    Absolutely awesome! I’m always wary of a newly revamped website……being of a certain age I worry about my ability to adapt to the changes and find my way round. But this is so much easier than the old one! I specially love being able to find tutorials etc easily.
    (Just to let you know…there is a tiny typo in your second to last paragraph ” I’m so happy I got two work…..”)

    • That’s so good to hear Rachel. I’m glad it’s easier to get around. My web team thought a lot about the “site map” and I too hate getting all confused on new websites so it was important that you weren’t like WHERE THE HELL IS _BLANK_? (And I fixed the typo, thank you!)

  • Carla Lissa

    Congratulations….major milestone! So proud of you and your hardwork!

  • Lisa

    This all looks great, and I think the true stroke of genius is the fact that you link from the pattern to associated blog posts and Pinterest. Brilliant!

    • So happy you like it Lisa. We are already doing that before but now it’s a little more obvious since i know people like to see patterns made up before making a decision….

  • This looks great!! Congratulations 🙂

  • Amelia Wray

    This is amazing! Congratulations! I liked it before and I like it even more now. It’s so easy to navigate and definitely a stroke of genius to have the line drawing pop up when you hover over a pattern!

  • Rachel

    The new site looks fabulous! Really easy to find things. Although it was disconcerting reading the blog post with the blog screenshots – which is the actual blog and which is the screenshot? 🙂 Just an FYI, when it comes through in Feedly it has the old Twitter and Facebook links still.

    • Thank you for reminding me about that RSS issue – will fix it straightaway!

  • The new website looks great! I noticed an error I thought you’d want to know about – on the Ebony pattern page, it says “Share on instagram with the hashtag #ebonyswimsuit” – I’m guessing you mean #ebonytee or something like that! <3

  • Sathyai

    I love it! I’ve been clicking about a bit, when I try and get to the Handmade Closet bit from the Blog dropdown it just takes me to a giant (lovely) picture of your face .

  • Four Oh Seven

    All of these comments bring the biggest smile to our faces. You ROCKED it. Sarah ROCKED it. We’re actually a little sad that it’s live for the world to see and that we’re not getting emails on the daily from you anymore.

  • Hilde

    It’s awesome!