Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Filing Your Patterns

When I just had one pattern and even two patterns it didn't really matter what I called my folders or what went where. Now I have 7 patterns and I knew I just had to come up with a consistent filing system.
There are lots of different files created when I work on a design.
Each folder for a design I always name as pattern number, category, name. For example

1402 Snugfit Anna
1414 Knitfit Lucy

Inside each folder I have the same set of sub folders. So if I want to see the page I am working on for the instructions I look up: png file - Instructions - Landscape and pick a page.
The A4 files are retired but I still keep them while I have space.
Sometimes I am working on more than one design so I realised I needed to include the pattern number in the page name.

If I want to put a photo in the instructions I file it like this:

I hope to make iBooks instructions for my patterns as well so I figured it would be easier just to make iBook galleries of every step the first time round instead of having to sew something again because I only has a few photos.

If your eyes aren't quite glazing over yet I have a suggestion for filing your downloaded doll clothes patterns. It is probably better to file them under designer rather than try to decide what a particular outfit should be filed under such as skirt or blouse etc. You could make some divisions like that in each designer folder.

It is worthwhile having a think about filing. I made notes and revisions over a week or so as I used the files and found the best way to sort them out. I may have to click through 5 folders but I know exactly where to lay my hand on something.

I think the old saying 'A stitch in time saves 9' is very appropriate for filing :)


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Not Just a Witch Pattern - This is a Valspierssews Doll Designs Witch

After Halloween I will rename Snugfit Witch to Snugfit Wanda. This is because the pattern is not just a witch costume. It is a part of the Doll Designs range and the pieces can be used in lots of different ways. As well, it is part of the Snugfit range so the pieces can be swapped around with other Snugfit patterns.

With just the 1417 Snugfit Wanda pattern pieces you can make these two beautiful dresses.

Here she is with the cute Tote Basket you can make using the Applique Tote pattern 1401.

Typical of my Doll Design patterns The Applique Tote 1401 has a free related Fashion File with lots of ideas for making up the pattern.
The Snugfit Witch (aka Wanda) will also have a free Fashion File with basic instructions on how to get the different looks. I even have a Christmas Elf costume idea with the pointed peplum. Coming soon.

If you have Snugfit Anna Blouse 1402 you can combine the blouse bodice with the witch sleeves and get double use out of the black skirt to create this gorgeous old fashioned look.

So it is a good idea to pick up the Snugfit Witch while it is on special for only $1.00 USD. Only until Halloween then it reverts to $1.50 USD.

If you haven't taken the plunge into internet shopping you can't get much safer than PayPal for the checkout and you don't have to have a PayPal account even.

Visit my Craftsy Store.

Visit valspierssews's Craftsy Pattern Store »


Monday, October 6, 2014

Reaching for Perfection

1404 Snugfit Carol Dress - View 4 Peplum top
Look out for it soon.
I am a perfectionist. This doesn't mean that everything I do is perfect but it does mean that I can't let something alone until it meets my standards. This is how I feel about the doll clothes patterns I am making to sell.
When I decided to create them to sell, my aim was to make something that I wanted and couldn't find in the market place.
With a few patterns under my belt I realise that there are a few improvements I can make to make them more user friendly i.e. easier for me to use. My aim is to create something that if I was buying it I would say "Wow! This is great value for money, so nice to look at and easy to use and the garment I made fits perfectly. I will be making this again. I'll be happy to buy more patterns from this person."

So far I have only been able to say that about the doll knitting patterns I have bought and the applique quilt patterns I have bought.

What improvements am I making?

For starters I have come to realise that even though I don't particularly like photos in the instructions - I prefer diagrams - people younger than me who have grown up with photo and video tutorials seem to like photos better. Rather than make it all photos or all diagrams I have decided to make an extra gallery of photos that cover every step and include them in an iBooks book along with my regular instructions. iBooks can only be read in an iPad but that's OK with me. I love the iPad and wouldn't use any other tablet.

Since playing with iBooks Author I can see that all my pattern instruction pages need to be landscape so they look great on the iPad or any tablet.

My Ipad stand works best when the iPad is sideways. So now I am making my next pattern as a landscape PDF. It will still have all the great features that I do in portrait such as the pattern pieces and the envelope and the divider page for your file folder. Just the instruction pages are landscape.

There is not too much colour. Just enough to define the chapters and sections so it still looks great printed out.

Each page is identified so if you find a stray one on your cutting table you will know where it goes.

I can't do much about my photography until I can get out the good camera and tripod (after I move house) but I am going to enrol in a Craftsy online class on photography to help me improve my photos. I have put a link to the class in my sidebar. I haven't bought it yet but I will let you know what it is like soon.

Because I need to update my earlier patterns to the new format and tweek the instructions a bit I have decided to update them all around the end of November. If you have already bought one you automatically get the update to download in your Craftsy pattern library. If there are more improvements I will update again 3 months later. 

Have a look in my Craftsy shop. The Witch and Princess outfits pattern is only $1.00 USD for the month of October, then it goes up to $1.50.

Visit valspierssews's Craftsy Pattern Store »

If you like the iPad stand. See my blog post and a link to the tutorial.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Craftsy Paper Craft

Jillibean Soup Halloween Kit
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Halloween is just around the corner. Get ready for spooky fun with one of Craftsy’s NEW paper crafting kits!

Work with your frightfully fun kit and learn how to create stylish Halloween decor projects with exclusive video lessons. Paper crafts expert Ronda Palazzari will show you how to use Jillibean Soup's paper pads, black glitter beanboard alphas and festive embellishments to create a witch’s hat, pumpkin centerpieces and even a spooky banner!

Support Craftsy because they let Indie Designers sell their Patterns with no charge and no commission.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Progress on a new pattern and WIP Wednesday

Continuing on with my classic doll designs my next pattern is a waisted round neck dress. This latest pattern is called Snugfit Carol.
I have been having lots of fun in the studio lately. In between sewing the doll clothes I like to come back to some patchwork. All my big projects are on hold just a bit longer until we move into the new house so I have been working on some tiny patchwork for a new patchwork tote bag to go with the latest doll dress I am making. Well, I hope it goes anyway. Checks and florals seem to be in these days.

I am still playing with my gathering foot. The red dress with ruffles is coming together slowly.

I have been trying to write some instructions as I put the ruffles on but it is a bit of a challenge to fit them just right so I may need to do the ruffle dress all over again once I get the kinks out.

Lastly, and very exciting for me is my rediscovery of iBooks Author. It has been on my computer for years now just waiting for the right project. I can't believe how perfect it is for sewing instructions.
With iBooks Author I can make interactive iBooks for my Doll Design instructions. Here are a few screen shots of the iBook for Snugfit Anna that I have been working on.

Once you download it to iBooks (iPad only) you can tap the galleries to enlarge the pictures and swipe through them. You can tap the instruction pages to enlarge them. There is a contents page for easy navigation and you can also add pop up notes by highlighting the text on a page and writing your own notes.
I hope to release an iBook for Snugfit Carol when I publish the pattern later this month. I just need to find out how to get it up on the web for people to download. I am hoping my internet provider can host the iBooks for me.

As well as all this I am also busy working on the Fashion File to go with my Snugfit Witch pattern. At some point I will have to stop making up new garments to make with the pattern and get it published.

I am linking up with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced today. Such a fun linky party.