Hi all, I think we all at some point want to design our own patterns, whether it’s a beanie, sweater, baby items, whatever it may be. We tend to let it go passed us, the difficulties that come with it and no, it’s not just writing the pattern itself.
As a broke ass college student and overall broke ass person a few years ago (lightweight still am, lol) I researched for A LOT of free patterns to make things. We all know that many free patterns aren’t always great, they don’t test it, sloppy writing, doesn’t make sense, etc., but not every pattern is like that, some people actually do give really good free patterns! But, you know what I mean!
With all these experiences trying, probably hundreds of patterns, I knew what I personally wanted in a pattern and how I would like a pattern to be if I were to purchase it. I have bought several patterns and each one was very disappointing to me. I would pay $6-7 and get 1-3 pages of pattern with barely any pictures to help along the confusing parts, no measurements, etc. With free patterns, you can’t really complain, it’s freaking free! It’s like the saying, “you get what you pay for”.
THE START OF MY PATTERN WRITING
I started writing crochet patterns in 2015, the basic stuff that I was really into at the time. CUP COZIES. They were so cute and I just loved making them. It was a journey in itself to start writing because I, not only want to provide a written pattern, but I wanted to provide a lot of pictures as well, hence, the picture tutorial in all my patterns. At this time, I was learning what layout I wanted, font, and overall feel and design.
Oh man, bringing up the picture tutorial is a whole new story, but I’ll keep it sweet and simple right now. Between 2015-2017, I was constantly changing the look, the feel, and overall way of how I write my patterns. Luckily, as of mid-2017, I came to the perfect layout (for me at least) of all my patterns. I know I am not done and will probably change it as time goes on, but as of right now, I’ll stick to the one I have.
STRUGGLES – MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY
I went through struggles, frustration, and overall craziness my first year. I wasn’t sure how to lay the pattern out, how to price the pattern, I was scared of judgement, negative feedback, and people just thinking it was a piece of shit. I was at the point where I would write-up a pattern and let it sit for weeks. I would worry all the time, every time I was on social media. I would complain and have constant heart to heart talks with my BF (annoying, am I right?).
Several of my earlier patterns, were not tested by anyone because I was scared they’ll steal my idea. I was worried about posting things on social media because I was worried someone will see it, like it, and copy it. As a small timer, it’s EASY for someone who’s more popular, bigger, famous, whatever you want to call it, on IG to steal your idea and call it their own. No one is going to know who you are, so how on earth would they know you designed it first?
Fast forward a year later, more and more people are designing patterns and asking for testers to help and I always wanted to do it, but you know all my insecurities. By no means, is it anyone’s fault for the way I felt, it’s something you have to fight mentally and try to get over the obsession. Pretty damn sure, that’s why there are copyrights, plagiarism, trademarks, etc, etc. No one wants their own shit stolen.
As I got more into designing things that varied in sizes, I needed testers! I can only test on myself, so there is no way I can design something in other sizes without someone actually being that size. One day, I just said fuck it, let me try this shit out. I am not 100% sure, but I think “The Emma Puffy Pom” was the first pattern I sent out to testers and honestly, from then on, every single pattern I put out, I have had testers (unless it’s something really simple that didn’t need multiple sizes). It really helped me provide a better and more understandable pattern. It helped me see all the uniqueness of each maker from the yarn brands, style, tension, etc.. Just because I understood the pattern, does everyone else?
Even though I am used to having pattern testers, it doesn’t change the fact that they are testing my pattern in a state of unknown-ness! Does the sizing really fit real life people or just in my head? Would they understand what I wrote? Does the pictures help or am I wasting my time? The anticipation of whether the overall product would fit and feedback is killer. Feedback is good, obviously, no one likes to be told what should be changed, that they didn’t like it, it didn’t fit, but that’s the stuff you have to learn to embrace and be thankful for.
5 THINGS I’VE LEARNED
- Pattern designing LOOKS easy, but it’s not. It takes a lot of practice and testing. Just because you understand what you wrote, do other people? Never stop learning.
- Be ready for constructive criticism.
- Don’t feel like you have to stay in the trend of what everyone is making. It will be the death of you. Create and write what you want and if you happen to make something that’s trendy then good for you.
- Don’t write patterns because you see everyone doing it. You won’t make millions and it’s not easy money. It’s hard work!
- Just because YOU think your pattern is hot shit, doesn’t mean everyone else thinks the same. 80% might find your patterns really great, while the other 20% doesn’t. Everyone’s preferences are difference. Keep doing what you do.
“The truth will set you free, but first it’ll piss you off”
Everything I wrote is really short because I could probably go on and on. I am not a huge successful maker (yet, hehe) and I don’t design crazy elaborate things (no freaking clue how some people do it) and I am feeling this way? Imagine how much pressure and stress, someone bigger must be feeling! Like they say, “More money, more problems,” but the meaning behind that can be for pretty much anything. More fame, more problems. More followers, more problems. If anything is bumming you out, just chill, take a step back, and say fuck every goddamn thing. Fuck your yarn, fuck everyone around you, fuck that little ant outside. That doesn’t mean you hate everything, lol. Of course not! For me, it just helps me mentally and hypes me up! Sometimes you need to clear your head and not let anything get in your way (not even that ant). It might work for you, who knows 😀
DO YOU CREATE YOUR OWN PATTERNS? WHAT’S YOUR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!
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