Monday, January 20, 2020

Pattern Designing: from pencil and paper to Illustrator

valspierssews doll clothes patterns
This is where I spend a lot of time. I can scoot my chair between the sewing machine,
overlocker, desk and computer.

If you want to draft lots of patterns quickly and easily you need a computer program.
If you are a keen designer of doll clothes for yourself it is easy to use paper and pencil and you don't have to learn how to navigate that drawing program.

If you have a growing doll clothes pattern business then you may have something in between the latest version of the best designing program and a drawing program not really made for drafting patterns.
This is where I am at the beginning of 2020.

I started my designing business using paper and pencil, then I scanned in the drawings and made them into a PDF file to put on what used to be Craftsy. My instructions were done in Apple Pages as paragraphs with some images between. The Applique Tote was the first pattern I published. It is not in the shop now but I have it on my one day list to revamp and republish.

I moved onto using a drawing program called Fireworks to draw pattern pieces for a while. I knew about Adobe Illustrator but I didn't really want to learn a whole new program. It is quite draining on the brain learning something so new. So I stuck with fireworks for a while. My drawing got a little better. This little skirt is also one of my first designs. Once again , it is not in the shops but is on my one day list.

A few years ago we bought ourselves a cutting machine that worked with svg files and this inspired me to start getting my head around Illustrator. Fortunately I had an older version on my computer that was part of the Adobe suite I got when I was a teacher. By this stage it wasn't possible to buy Illustrator outright. It is a subscription model now and $20USD a month is just a bit out of my comfort zone at present.

Also I am not too keen to rush into the latest illustrator because it is quite different from my little old version and I will have to allocate quite a lot of time getting up to speed.

It has taken me 3 years to get to this point. I am quite proud of my efforts to improve my drawing and my layout design for the instructions. I am now including the doll in lots of my drawings and I even had a go at adding some scenery.

It takes me hours to create these diagrams even now that I have lots of experience but I just love the way they look. While I am working I can hear the birds and see them when they go in the bird bath and I can step out the back to rest my eyes. I love working hard but I love to rest hard too.

I will go into more detail about how I actually draft pattern pieces in my next post about "Business works"

Make sure you have a look at my free patterns and my paid pattern club HERE. This is where all my creative energy is directed. You can enrol in teachable first or enrol through either the free pattern resource library or the pattern club. Click on each to find out more. Visit my Teachable site.

Happy Doll Dressmaking,