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What I Learned About Drafting Dresses from Drug Design.

I never thought I’d find myself talking about pharmacy in a sewing blog but here goes.  First up I should clarify that I studied pharmacy and worked as a pharmacist for 17 years before I got into this sewing caper, so the drug reference isn’t completely random!

For a while, I felt like my pharmacy experience didn’t really help me out much with my sewing passion, they seemed like polar opposites but once I started my handmade business I found that a lot of what I learned about customer service and managing a business was relevant again!

“Everyone’s a customer”- was a customer service rule of a pharmacy chain I once worked for and I think it’s still relevant for my Handmade Business.  Being nice to everyone from the delivery man to the doctor next door (treating everyone as you would a customer) not only makes your day smoother (as people will generally go out of their way to help those who help them) it will increase sales, as when those people need to be customers they’ll be more likely to be your customers.



On the weekend I went a little nuts and made lots of different dresses because none of them was “perfect”!  The dress I was trying to design – took very little fabric, was very quick and easy to sew, was suitable and comfortable for a child to wear and was completely unique and beautiful – a real show stopper . . . . . . can you see my problem! I can’t think of any dress ever made that would fulfill all these criteria, but still I was disappointed that “it wasn’t working out”!

It was probably obsessing about details (flash backs to my prescription checking days) that made me think about pharmacy & have the light bulb moment that helped me get back on track.  In drug design they talk about the ideal drug being one that is cheap, readily available, 100% effective and with no side effects : turns out I’ve been trying to design the dress equivalent of the ideal drug!

So this week (for sanity’s sake!) I’ve decided to get back to basics – to remember why I’m so so happy to be an enthusiastic sewist rather than a pharmacist.  To dig through my fabric stash and sew because I love it, rather than beating myself up over whether I can design the perfect dress.

Have you learned sewing skills in unexpected places?
What features would your ideal dress have?

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1 Comment to “What I Learned About Drafting Dresses from Drug Design.”

  1. Shell 03/07/2014 at 4:19 pm

    I love this post Jen! I’ve been on the search for the perfect dress pattern like you describe for a while! My description is – uses not too much fabric, looks individual, great for play but with enough flounce that my girls want to wear it, a quick sew & has sleeves/sun coverage.


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