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Using Your Own Drawings and Doodles to Make a Pattern to Sell

By Becky Jorgensen | Submitted On July 06, 2012

How to take the ideas that are just doodled and make them into a pattern to share, sell, or make real items just for yourself. How do you make a Quilt Pattern? How do you make a Patchwork Craft Pattern? How do you make a Stuffed Animal or Plus Pattern? How do you make a Tutorial from your own Pattern?

Coming up with new ideas is not a problem with me. I have a plethora of ideas constantly flowing from the mind to any scratch paper I can get my hands on. I have a dedicated book that handles most of the doodles-but sometimes it is just whatever I can get my hands on. The problem becomes making it reality. Taking it from the paper to the real deal and then what?

Let's begin at the beginning with--


I have a few sketch books + any paper i find... then I copy them into these.

Check out this earlier post on finding Inspiration, if you are working on building up your sketchbooks and ideas. Everything around us is inspiration girls. Children's books- fantastic pictures, shapes and drawings, usually in simplified form even-perfect. Magazines, craft books. Watch what is popular- animals, stitching, etc.

So first and foremost you need to get past the flat piece of paper. It's big girls. It is intimidating. But if it is in our sketchbook it is ours. Until we actually share it with someone else it is sort of private- like a journal. It is our personal zone. Don't share it unless you are really open to others ideas and critiques. I share with the kids, hee hee. They have great simple thoughts on what they like things to look like and will often give me ideas that I never thought of. They are FULL of great ideas. Sometimes you need to fine-tune them, but that is ok.

I sketch during reading time, sometimes computer time, I am guilty of thinking up new things during church. I can't tell you how many of my patterns are from this time. hee hee. It is quiet, I can listen to my own thoughts. shhh don't tell. If I don't have time to draw it, I quickly add a few notes on ideas and then later, when I do have time I can start the sketching part. Sketching is fun.

Not everything will work, but it is more than likely to draw you to something else that will. Keep something close to your bed, or reading areas. You never know when a thought will hit you. Often I find even watching t.v. I see something that I would love to expand on... so I grab it and make notes. If one is not there, I get out of bed and write it on the white board in the kitchen. One night I thought up the idea. I got out of bed like 5 times. What a pain!!! But, it worked.

Making Your Ideas Come to Life

So you have this great book of ideas, sketches, papers hanging out everywhere... now is the time to bring one to life. Sit down and start open-minded look through your drawings and ideas. What are you most attracted to? What gives your little heart a jump when you see it? If you aren't interested in it, or excited about it - it won't be finished! Don't take the time to work on something that just isn't 'doing it for you'. Save that for a later time, when you do get the interest.

For awhile I made dolls, then I jumped to animals, then I jumped to quilts... don't be surprised at the variety of sketches and ideas you might have.

When you are going through the ideas and drawings- keep track of those pages, sticky tab them, bookmark them... ect. Then weed those down to your final one or two--

Warning: **NEVER cross things out in your idea book. NEVER think any idea is too little or not good enough. ** You never know when these ideas will become real or useful or the greatest thing you have ever come up with!

* Take those one or two ideas you have drawn and start making some additional notes. You need to narrow all your ideas to have a clear vision of what your final product- in your mind- will look like. This will keep you on track when you need to make some decisions later on. Refer to this note page often to remind you of what your vision is during your construction time.

To help you with these decisions ask yourself some questions:

How large? Get some quick measurements down. What size are you envisioning it? Wide? Is it something that needs adjusting?

Does it need to be 'kid' friendly? Are there small parts?

What are your ideas for embellishments? Ribbon? Ric-Rac? Felt? Buttons? Pom-poms? Yarn?

What kind of supplies are needed? elastic? wool felt? polyfill? buttons? snaps? velcro?

What kind of materials are you invisioning using? Cotton, wool, recycled sweaters, felt, fuzzy animal prints, silk?

What is the purpose? Does it need any reinforcement? Double seems? Lined? Stabilizing material? Weight support?

Are there templates that are needed? or just measurements?

After filling another page with all the additional information you are ready to start the process of getting it to the right size and making your templates and perfecting the measurements.

If you decide that something won't work- make a note of it on this same paper. Keep it all together and somewhat organized. It will make the later steps a lot easier and less frustrating too. Lately I have learned that keeping things in it's own file is soooo handy! When I need to make something I can pull out that folder, and everything is there. You would be surprised at how many times I actually have to go to the computer and print off a new pattern-of my own!

Becky/Posse Boss
I am a sewer and quilter by trade. I currently sell patterns for many quilts and dolls. I belong to a few sewing groups and recently started a private online group.


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