Hi all – today I’m excited to announce something else I’ve had in the works for a while – PDF pattern services and classes for aspiring PDF pattern designers!
When I started trying to make my first PDF pattern, the resources were wide and scarce. I compiled some of them here, but since then I’ve learned a lot just through my own trial and error, as well as some books I’ve purchased and other internet resources I’ve found. And I now have a system that works pretty well for me. So I thought I’d take some of the guesswork out of this endeavor for others, and share what I’ve learned. Because the teacher in me might be out of the classroom, but that just means the whole population of the internet are my students now.
I now have a CourseCraft course called Creating PDF Patterns available now to teach you how to scan, digitize, format for printing, and draft within Illustrator to create your own PDF patterns. The course is taught through a combination of written course materials and video, and each lesson includes printable resources. One caveat, that I’m working on – some combinations of browsers/operating systems don’t work well with the CourseCraft platform. To remedy that, I have the first lesson available for free – so you can check and see if this course is for you, and if it’s going to work on your computer.
This is the course I wish I had been able to find when I started – it covers only what you need to know in Illustrator as a pattern designer, not all the other bells and whistles that graphic designers love about it. It is a vast program capable of a lot, but there are only a few tools needed as a pattern designer. So instead of sorting through hundreds YouTube or Vimeo videos about how to use it, and googling to figure out how to do what you want to do, I’ve focused the content for you – this is just what you need as a pattern designer.
I decided to focus on Illustrator for a few reasons:
- It’s what the most professional independent pattern designers I know use
- It’s the right tool for the right job – yes there are workarounds that allow you to use Photoshop, but I don’t think building your potential business is where you want to be using workarounds that might affect your product quality
- It’s stable software. I tried Inkscape before I committed to Illustrator, but it crashed on me constantly.
- Adobe now offers subscription services, which means that even if you can’t afford the huge price tag on the software, you can get access to it through their Creative Cloud on a monthly basis for a much more reasonable fee.
The right software and the tools to use it are an investment in your business. As businesses go, I still think a monthly subscription and the price of a course are super low startup costs.
Want to check if this might be right for you? I have the first lesson in the course available here for free!
I have a second course in development on how to grade patterns, both on paper and digitally. I originally planned to make this part of the Creating PDF Patterns course, but as I filmed I decided it needed to be a separate course. Update: Pattern Grading course is available here.
Finally, I’ve had several fellow bloggers ask me about pattern digitizing services. I am a firm believer that you need to prioritize what you’re putting on your plate, and these girls had patterns in one size but didn’t have the time or desire to learn about digitizing and grading. And I get that. So, if you fall into this category, I am also offering digitizing services now. A few things you should know about that:
- I can accept scanned PDFs or mailed hard copies and do the scanning for you
- I do not draft patterns for you based on a drawing or design; you will need to have at least one size that you have already drafted and sewn to test before requesting a spot on my calendar.
- Pricing varies based on the size of your pattern (how many page tiles), how many sizes you want graded, and how many pattern pieces there are to grade. It’s a pretty big ballpark, but to give you an idea, a simple two page one size pattern would be around $30, while a princess seamed dress with 4 pieces and a collar over 24 pages and graded out to 8 sizes would be in the $400 range.
- After providing you with an estimate, 1/2 of the fee must be deposited to reserve your spot on my calendar, and the remainder is due when I get your PDF back to you for pattern testing.
- I do not write or illustrate your tutorial or instructions; that part is up to you. I will however provide line drawings for an additional fee.
- I only accept projects as my calendar permits. Please email me for calendar availability.
- Turnaround to a pattern for your testers is less than a week once your project comes up on my calendar.
If you are interested in pattern digitizing services, please contact me by email, mellysews at gmail.com