Thursday, May 9, 2013

pattern vs. product

For the past year or so, I have been contemplating selling pattern PDF's instead of my finished products. Now that Etsy has recently announced a new delivery method for digital files here, I am super motivated to get the ball rolling.

I am NOT a graphic designer, so I've got a lot of learning to do. I do know that you need a vector drawing program, like Illustrator, to create patterns digitally. I recently purchased the Classroom in a Book for the Illustrator we have.  I've done basic website templates before and learned how to edit the html all on my own. So I feel fairly comfortable in learning new computer tricks. I think I can, I think I can! Right?

Well, so far I just finished the most important chapter that will help me create my patterns into a digital PDF: the pen tool chapter. In case you didn't know, the pen tool can be used to take a scanned image of a drawing or pattern and convert it into a digital format. This is the backbone of digital pattern making. Once I have the pattern converted, I just have to add the instructions and pictures, etc. I still have a LOT of practice to do, but I feel way better than before I started. I actually feel like I can do it!

Here is a very rough draft of a hedgehog I drew with the pen tool. First, I scanned my drawing and then used the pen tool to "trace" the outline. Obviously, it's not done yet. I still have to add the face and body details, and fine tune the curves and lines, but it's getting there! I am so proud though!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE making things and get great satisfaction from it. But what if I could spend a lot of time and effort into a digital file now and then have the opportunity to kind of sit back and reap the rewards? It just seems that almost everyone is a crafter these days, maybe I am in the wrong market of selling finished products. Maybe I would be more successful at selling sewing and embroidery patterns. I know there are lots of etsy sellers doing the same thing. I guess it's worth a try!

What do you think? Would you be more interested in my patterns or would you rather buy my finished product?


Shannon said...

I'm right there with you, Michelle, learning how to create PDF patterns with Illustrator. Whew! It's a tough climb, but so necessary. (Have fun!!!)

Michelle Griesel said...

Whoa, really!? Yes, it's a challenge. The hardest part for me is finding the time. Good luck! Let's keep each other motivated!

Sam and Gail said...

Just found you, but thought I would add my 2 cents anyway: both. Time after time, I hear sewists say, oh I could make that myself (if only the pattern were available)... and the wannabes and non-sewists ALWAYS say, if anybody will make me one, I will pay you. Two different markets, and they both find blogs/stores like yours.

Happy stitching! Gail at

Michelle G said...

Gail, you are SO right! There really are 2 markets. I just need to decide which one, or maybe both!

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