Pattern Book Progress

PDF Patterns

I’ve been on maternity leave for little over two weeks now. Besides sleeping and baby stuff, I have been busy with making PDF patterns on Inkscape. My goal is to self-publish a pattern book for the plushies I have designed over the years and am continuing to design now. Over the last five years, I’ve managed to create one PDF pattern per year (they are a lot of work), but their styles were quite different. This is to be expected I think, when you’re learning a new skill and still trying to find your own way. But if I want to make them into a book, I want them to be consistent and make up a harmonized whole together. So I have been working on that.

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Name the Stitch

If you have been reading my blog for a while you probably know that I love making plushies. I started doing that a long time ago in Japan, and like with everything I love doing I overdid it and gave myself a few nasty arm and hand injuries. Ouch. Oh well, the story of my life. After finally accepting I couldn’t hand-stitch dozens of plushies anymore, at least not without aggravating my injuries, I used a machine to stitch plushies when I was in the States. It was a change in process I had to get used to, but soon enough I loved doing that too. I have been trying to get back into it here in England, but my new sewing machine is quite crappy and frustrates me to no end. It’s the same brand as the one in the States, I bought it new, but the tension on it is ridiculous. I have tried to adjust it numerous times, but it just won’t sew my felt properly.

So now I am back to making PDF patterns to teach others how to hand-stitch my designs. Which is great because I get to play around with Inkscape and make computer graphics. I’m actually updating my old patterns into a more consistent design and working on a slew of new patterns for a pattern book which I intend to self-publish. Hopefully soon.

Blanket Stitch

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Halloween Skull Ornament Tutorial

Most Halloween parties of 2013 have already happened over the weekend, but Halloween is not over yet. So let’s make some Halloween Skull Ornaments together!

This tutorial will show you how to stitch one by hand, but of course you can also use the template below to make skull ornaments with a sewing machine. They will look slightly different, the green skull ornament in the photo above is hand stitched, the orange one is (mostly) machine stitched. This template is for your felt shapes. Print the template and resize it into the size you’d like your skull ornament to be.

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Mouse pdf pattern

I finally finished another pdf pattern, more than a year after the first one. Of course, it takes rather a long time to put one together, I knew that, but almost 17 months is a tad ridiculous. I’m trying to promise myself to quicken things up a bit and have at least one more finished before the end of summer.
I started working on new pdf patterns at the beginning of this year. I got out my markers and started drawing out some steps and ideas. My first pattern was basically a step-by-step photo tutorial with some vector images of stitches and of course the actual pattern. I still like that pattern, but my colorful drawings made me imagine a whole new comic-book-style-look for my new pattern tutorials.
I knew turning marker drawings into actual vector images on my computer would take an insane amount of time (since I basically have no idea what I’m doing and learning just by trying things out) so I was procrastinating. Then one of my lovely customers actually requested a pattern for one of my mice, so I decided to go for it. I spent nearly two months trying out different stitches on a mouse (as I had never hand stitched a mouse before), and creating vector images on my computer.
When I finished my wrist and elbow were sore from hand stitching (which I’m not supposed to be doing anymore) and my fingers were sore from pushing down so hard on and dragging them over my mouse trackpad for hours and hours on end using Inkscape. But I was happy, because I love my new pattern! Here’s a little sneak peek:
My patient customer was happy too, and was so kind to send me pictures of the adorable creatures she stitched together using my patterns. Such pictures make my heart feel light and happy!

My first pdf pattern!!

I’m so happy! I finally finished my first PDF pattern! It doesn’t even matter to me that I didn’t make my February deadline for this. I started working on this in September and it was so much work, mostly on the computer, that I kept procrastinating. So when my physical therapist told me I needed that break from sewing, I knew it was time to finish it. I can’t believe I did it!

Before being able to put it in my Etsy shop I had one more struggle with Adobe left, because it refuses to properly display PDFs created on a Mac. I sent the PDF to Yasu’s Windows computer and was shocked and frustrated to see what Adobe did to my hard work and my pretty vector images. It took me a couple of hours but I figured out a workaround via iPhoto which satisfied me. Pfew.

My PDF pattern and tutorial is nine pages long and includes a printable pattern template, a materials and tools list, a step by step picture guide (completely sewn by hand), and stitches guide.

I’m really happy with the end result, and I’m definitely going to make more patterns and tutorials. Just hope they don’t take as long as this one…