Saturday, January 20, 2007

Designing Pattern And The Price Of Gas!


Hi, everyone. You may be wondering what this story is going to be about since my title is "Designing a Pattern and the Price of Gas." A lot of people have asked me how many steps are involved in designing a pattern? So, while designing some new patterns (I've got 100 in the works) for my Linda Walsh Originals website I got to thinking. Why, not write an article for my Linda's Blog.

What does all this have to do with the price of gas? Bear with me, please. Hint, I could have said "and The Price of Cold Cuts, or The Price of Cereal!" Getting the idea yet? Okay, enough of a sidebar, back to the story.

Let's think about what's involved from start to finish with regards to creating a doll pattern. So, here we go step by step:

Step 1) Before you can make the pattern you have to make a preliminary sketch of the doll. Some of mine are pretty crude. Leonard DaVinci I am not.

Step 2) Measure for the size of the doll you want and create the preliminary pattern pieces. Start with the body pieces and go from there. Nothing fancy needed here. Tissue paper would do (and sometimes does). They're only preliminary so who cares what they look like.

Step 3) Make a list of the items needed to make this doll making sure to keep accurate records of the number of items needed, measurements of everything involved, and what types of materials to buy. This is my least favorite part as I hate to measure. It's also the most time consuming step.

Step 4) Get in the car and purchase all the materials and accessories. A, Ha! Here's where the price of gas comes in. Now a days with the cost of gas the way it is, it costs you a lot of money to get in the car. Plus, it's not going to get any better. Isn't life grand? And, they say there's no inflation? Have "THEY" gone to the grocery story lately and bought a pound of cold cuts or a box of cereal! I doubt it. Okay, Linda, get off the soap box.

Step 5) Cut the doll out using your preliminary pattern pieces.

Step 6) Sew the doll's body together and sew all her clothes. If need be you may need to adjust your preliminary pattern pieces during this stage so the clothes fit the doll's body accurately.

Step 7) Put the doll together. This is the fun part. Where's my glue gun?

Step 8) Take a digital picture of your creation and load it into your computer. I love this step. Sometimes this may take more time and money as you may need to create a nice little scene for taking the doll's picture. I just love to create little scenes. God forbid you need to get into the car again. More Gas!

Step 9) Design and create the doll's pattern front and back cover. One of my favorite steps, as I just love to design. This is where Step #3 comes in. Your need to include all the supplies needed to make the doll on the back cover so the customer knows what to buy. For an example, see my Pattern Examples Page.

I use Microsoft Publisher 2003 , Microsoft Picture It, and Adobe Photo Shop Limited Edition for this as I've found that you can easily move your .jpeg picture from one program to the other. I enhance my doll picture in Microsoft Picture and create my .jpeg file. I use Adode Photo Shop Limited Edition as it's the easiest program to use for re-sizing your image. Finally, I use Microsoft Publisher 2003 to create my Linda Walsh Originals pattern front and back covers. I've written this paragraph in very general terms. You could easily write a book, or thousands, on the use of all three of these programs. That's for the program experts, whoever they are.

Step 10) Prepare and type all the instructions in a word processing program so someone knows how to make the doll. Don't try and write this long hand. You'll get too tired and it will take way to long. Make sure your instructions are clear as people can't read your mind. For an example, see my Pattern Examples Page.

Step 11) Create the illustrations (or I like to call them diagram pages) to go along with your instructions. If you're like me I'd rather look at a picture than a paragraph of words. For an example, see my Pattern Examples Page.

Step 12) Create all the final individual pattern pieces so someone can cut out and make your doll. Make sure you include any specific instructions they may need for that particular pattern piece. For an example, see my Pattern Examples Page.

Step 13) Merge everything together to create one big pattern file in your computer so that you can easily print your pattern out. I use Microsoft Publisher 2003 for this as it's so versatile and I've been using it for decades. I'm old school. I hate to change unless I have to. Just because something isn't "the latest" doesn't mean it still isn't good for your particular application. Plus, you've already created your Pattern Front and Back cover in Microsoft Publisher 2003 in Step 9. All you need to do is add the rest of the pages to this file.

Step 14) Once you've merged everything (front and back cover, instruction sheets, illustration sheets, and individual pattern piece sheet) you can also easily create your .pdf file so that you can electronically email an E-pattern. You can do this in Microsoft Publisher 2003 too. A, Ha! No Gas involved here. No wonder I like E-patterns.

Step 15) Print the pattern cover. Unless you have a color laser printer this will take you a few minutes. So, go get a cup of coffee, or something. Maybe, make yourself a turkey sandwich. With the way things are at the grocery store your sandwich will cost you more than you'll be able to sell your pattern for. Where's the logic in that? We're only on step 15 and it's already cost you a TON of your time and your money! Don't forget to fold the pattern cover in half so it looks like a booklet.

Step 16) Print the instructions, diagrams, and individual pattern piece sheets and then fold them in half to fit inside your pattern front and back cover booklet. Please don't do this while you're eating. I don't know why, but customers don't like getting patterns with mayonaise or mustard on them.

Step 17) Put the entire pattern together and fold it into its' resealable bag. Almost there. Take a deep breath!

Step 18) Oops! Need to do some record keeping. Log the doll and the doll pattern into the records you are keeping. You want to keep track of what you've made don't you?

Step 19) Determine what the pattern may or may not sell for. Oh, boy! Research! I just love researching on the internet, don't you? While you're doing this think about the price of gas, the price of a pound of turkey breast, the price of a box of cereal, etc.

Step 20) Decide where to market and sell your pattern and maybe even the doll. This step could also fill a book.

Step 21) Hopefully, sell the pattern and maybe even the doll and then record your sale. Gotta keep these records!

Step 22) Once you've sold the pattern then you need to put it into a manilla envelope and mail it to the customer. That is, unless you sold an E-pattern in which case you are going to email your .pdf file to the customer as an attachment. No need to get in the car, couch potato breath, for this type of sale.

Step 23) Finally, you have to get into the car, again, (here we go with the price of gas again!) and drive to the post office, or UPS, or Fed Ex, or whoever, etc. to mail the envelope to the customer.

Boy, I'm tired just thinking about this. Gotta go take a nap. Plus, I'm exhausted from waiting in line for hours at the local gas station offering 5 cents off per gallon, today! Oh, Linda, stop your complaining. You're on a soap box again.

Posted by Linda Walsh Originals - "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"

Step 22) Once you've sold the pattern then you need to put it into a manilla envelope and mail it to the customer. That is, unless you sold an E-pattern or Instant Download E-Pattern in which case you are going to email your .pdf file to the customer as an attachment or they are going to download it themselves, respectively. No need to get in the car, couch potato breath, for this type of sale.

Step 23) Finally, you have to get into the car and drive to the post office, or UPS, or Fed Ex, or whoever, etc. to mail the envelope to the customer. Here we go with the price of gas, again!

Boy, I'm tired just thinking about this. Gotta go take a nap. Plus, I'm exhausted from waiting in line for hours at the local gas station offering 5 cents off per gallon, today! Oh, Linda, stop your complaining. You're on a soap box again.


Copyright © 2006 - All Rights Reserved - Written By Linda Walsh of Linda Walsh Originals, Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns, and Linda's Blog. Linda is a doll maker and doll pattern designer. http://lindawalshoriginals.com

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