When was the last time you sat here?
Maybe it was just a few days ago, or sometime this month? Maybe these chairs, that long beige table and pile of thick catalogs, bring back memories of sitting here with your mother or your auntie or your son, planning what you’ll make for a recital or the prom or a wedding?
What is this mushroom-colored seating for ten? It’s the pattern table at JOANN, of course. This is where you sit when you’re in search of the perfect pattern to make. Thumb through those thick tomes full of pictures of models wearing garments designed by McCalls, Butterick, Simplicity, and Vogue, to locate just the right style. Then use one of the little pencils to jot down the pattern numbers before you head overt here:
To the matching beige filing cabinets that house all of the patterns organized by number.
I will admit that I’ve never sat at that table. I’ve walked by this area of JOANN hundreds of times and always just scooched past on my way to the wall of thread, or rack of magazines. But I’m fairly new to garment sewing. You may have a different experience.
I was at JOANN this morning and noticed that some of the patterns are displayed in racks right near the appropriate fabrics, like these:
Many people who are just starting out with sewing go to JOANN to shop. They may not know yet about independent fabric shops in their area, or may not want to spend a lot of money on a hobby they’re just beginning. I’m thinking about this audience in particular and how they feel about the catalogs and the cabinets.
So here’s my question. Is it time for a new retail display system for the legacy sewing pattern brands? And if it is, what would that look like?
“People still flip through the catalogues? I haven’t looked at one in years. I do ALL my pattern browsing online. I make up my shopping list from my PatternReview wishlist, then sail right to the filing cabinet.”
“There are so many patterns they stock, I don’t think there is enough space for them all to be out– a ‘curated selection’ next to appropriate fabrics makes sense too. If they do that to my patterns, though, I will be beyond frustrated as I buy no fabric there, and do not want to traipse through their fabrics to find the patterns I want to purchase.”
“I’d sure hate to have to hunt through all the end caps in the store hoping to find the pattern that I could probably locate in the filing cabinet in about 15 seconds.”
“Oh no! Flipping through the pages of those big books (especially when the next season volume hits) is half the fun!!!!!”
“I jot manufacturer/pattern number on my phone & when I’m done scouring the books, I head to the cabinets. I really LOVE digging through in search of my pattern, in my size. When there’s a great sale, I go haywire!!!”
“Yes, the patterns need to come out of the cabinet. I am used to the old system but went pattern shopping with my teen daughter two weeks ago so she could make a dress. The filing cabinet/pattern book system was so counter-intuitive to her. Maybe there could be an interactive iPad system.”
I’m curious to hear what you think? Do you love it the way it is now? Hate it? How could it better serve you, or others at different phases of their sewing journey?