Hey, all! I thought it would be nice to share with you the process I go through to publish a pattern from start to finish. I know everyone’s process is slightly different, but I want to share what I do so that you’ll be encouraged if you’re just starting out and maybe give you an idea of how you could be doing it.
Design the animal
First, of course, you have to come up with an awesome sauce design. One that people are going to love and beg you to publish a pattern for. Actually, even if they don’t beg you for the pattern, you’ll want to publish your awesome sauce design anyway. Because it’s awesome. (Need a few tips on designing? Check out my design series HERE.)
As I design my animal, I write down the pattern in a little notebook. Trust me, you will want to do this. Don’t ever think, “Oh, I’ll remember this pattern. There’s no way I could forget it.” Just give it a few days. You’ll forget it. I speak from painful personal experience. And going back and dissecting the animal so you can write the pattern down after you forget it just isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Write it out
Now we have the pattern written down in a notebook and a truly delightful design. What’s next? Transfer that pattern to the computer! And by transfer, I mean type it out in a Word document.
This is one of my personal favorite steps because I LOVE typing! I’m a Touch Typist and I find typing to be extremely relaxing.
How do you format your pattern, though? There are so, so many ways you can do this that there is literally no wrong or right way. Whatever works best for you, whatever you feel comfortable with. Go for it and don’t feel like your pattern format is inferior to others. Be confident.
Take step-by-step photos
Once you have it written out in your bea-ootiful format it’s time to take some step-by-step photos.
Now, I know that some people take their step-by-step photos while they’re designing the animal but I’ve only done that a few times when I’m on a super tight time crunch. There are a couple of reasons that I don’t.
First, I’m super impatient and taking photos while designing would just delay finishing the animal. Second, (and most importantly), making a second animal to take photos of the process gives me time to tweak the pattern and redesign anything I didn’t like about the first one. I think it’s really important to make a second animal before publishing so that you can make sure your design is extra perfect.
How detailed should you be in capturing the process with pictures? It depends on how complex the pattern is. There are certain pictures I’ll always add regardless of complexity. Those would include a picture of the head with just the eyes, a picture of the muzzle/face once it’s completed, a picture of the body once attached to the head, a picture of how I sew the arms closed and one of me sewing the arm to the body. Same with the legs. Any other pictures would be for things unique to the pattern that could be confusing if they were only written out.
Send it to testers
Now it’s time to send your masterpiece to testers! Are testers really necessary? I don’t want to say that you couldn’t publish a pattern without using testers, but I will say that your pattern is going to be WAY better if you do send it to testers. Here is why I believe that.
To you, your pattern is perfect. You’ve been staring at it for days and you’ve grown used to all the inconsistencies and problems. When you send it to testers, you’ll be giving fresh eyes a chance to catch those issues. And they’ll also be able to tell you if what you’ve written makes sense to them and is easy to follow. Finding testers is really easy too! If you’ve got an Instagram or Facebook page, just put the word out that you’re looking for testers and you’ll have *way* more than you need in a matter of hours!
I always give my testers two weeks to complete testing, but the time you give your testers is totally up to you. Just make sure you’re both on the same page.
Yes! This is the best part! The pattern has come back from testers and all the mistakes are fixed. Your masterpiece is perfect. All that remains is to publish it. So do it!
Now post all over your social media accounts about your new pattern!
Sit back. Relax. Repeat the above steps.
That’s all for now! I hope you enjoyed going through my process! Make sure to tell me what your pattern writing process is! I’d really love to hear!
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