I have been kicking around the idea of writing up a pattern or two of my bears and making them available for sale. I was wondering if anyone who has done this before might have any "pointers" or suggestions on what to do and what not to with with a project as this.
I appreciate your input.
Be sure to include a materials list and appropriate skill level.
The more pictures/drawings you can include the fewer emails and phone calls you'll get if you are doing a beginner level pattern.
Detailed explinations are good but not TOOOO many words... people in general don't take the time to read any more.
When I wrote my first couple of patterns I made the bear start to finish and took notes as I went. We make hundreds of bears but it's so automatic for us now that you have to be sure when writing instructions that you include EVERYTHING.
Be sure to include copyright info!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Consider putting a copyright notation on every pattern piece... just as a reminder to the person using it.
I made bears from a number of different patterns for the first few years I was bearmaking, and the one thing that frustrated me most was when there was no way to get the bears to look like the photo on the front of the pattern given the instructions that were included. If you're going to put a photo on the front of a 'beginners' level bear, make sure it only uses beginner level techniques, or at least take a photo before you do all the additional extras such as needle sculpting, scissor sculpting, shading etc, then say what you did (briefly) to achieve the higher level look. That way people will be able to see what to work towards, and what techniques to research. Basically just make sure you say what you did! Retrospectively I can see where the patterns I got most frustrated with years ago differ from the photo, and can see all the little extras the artist included on the final one, but as a beginner I hadn't a clue, and I was only making 3-4 bears a year, so it was rather a shallow learning curve!
I can't help you with writing patterns but I can comment from a pattern buyers perspective. If you have advanced technique shown on your bear a short explanation on the technique would be appreciated. If you don't want to share your techniques then please don't include them on the bear, then you won't get emails on the subject.
One of my pet peeves about patterns is that the picture doesn't match the explanation - something else was done during the process that was left out or a different technique was used. This can be frustrating especially to new bear makers. Now that I have made a few bears myself I can actually pick out the difference between the pattern explanation and the picture!
The other thing I cannot stand is bear patterns with picture of the bear in an outfit and the outfit pattern isn't included. If you must do this make sure there is a picture of the bear with no outfit on because that's the pattern your trying to sell.
Excellent advice girlfriends! Thank you.
I never had purchased an "actual" mohair teddy bear pattern. So I really dont know what they look like.
From my beginning, I found a couple ideas from magazines, and from a book I had purchased a book of Nancy Tillberg's. But I never used their actual pattern. I got the basic idea, and then changed it to my liking.
So, my understanding is to begin with a beginer level pattern. Lots of pics and easy but not to excessive with the instructions. Include copyright information. Be sure to include advanced technique if used. And a picture of the completed bear,bare!
Good Luck Roxanne
I have bought many patterns and I share the same frustrations. Most have been good apart from one which had directional arrows running both ways (I had to contact the artist who was most helpful) I think there's a post in the library. As it was, it meant that the gusset could go either way, or a parting could be brushed (in my case I split the gusset and turned it into a two piece as my skills were a little more advanced). So be sure to explain what EVERY marking means.
Always make sure you state IF the seam allowance is included or not; and if it is, how wide it is - This is a regular frustration of mine. Very few patterns state this clearly if at all. (Personally I prefer it not to be included as enlarging etc is made easier but for a beginner, a sew line can help a lot).
Maybe you could make up your first pattern and instructions for a basic bear and offer it free to TT members in return for critques? It may help you to get a clear set of instructions that many can understand, and also if you get people to make the bear up, they could provide photos and then you have several examples of what the finished bear could look like??
Just a thought
I've just been making a bear where the pawpads were too big and the gusset too small The trouble was I initially thought that I'd done something wrong. So I'd definitely suggest that you try out the pattern on some bear-makers, including beginners! Then any questions that people frequently ask you'll know to put the answers or additional instructions in with the pattern.
Also would be handy: length of stitches you ideally need, full list of materials and also tools that are essential. Pictures are so useful. I also agree, the pattern-made bear should match the bear on the 'tin'! Then if you have done additional work, include an additional photo at the end of the instructions to show what you could do with some extra techniques, and as has already been said, list those techniques.
A couple years ago I made 6 of my patterns available and I did like Daphne did and after drawing the patterns, I made each bear/bunny/kitty and took notes as I made them - it was hard to type up the instructions because I was afraid I would forget something so the instructions were probably too detailed! I have not made any patterns available since then because I found that someone in the U.K. had taken my patterns, copied them, and was selling them! I was so upset that I never made any more of my patterns available. I loved it when people would make them and show me photos of the creations they made with my patterns, though! It brought me a lot of joy! Even though I have been making bears for 12 years now, I occasionally find an artist that I love and I will buy their pattern, make their bear and give them design credit for the creation. I think you will find many artists do this (as I have sold a lot of my patterns to experienced teddy bear artists) and so the directions could be a little less detailed than the ones I used in my patterns.
I wish you all the best!
Wow, more great advice. It's going to take some effort on my part I can see.
One of the reasons why I was contemplating this idea was because I injured my other arm this summer and just can not use all my strength it takes to complete a bear is a sufficiant time. I have been making bears for some 10 years now. Maybe with my somewhat experience and y'all's great advice, I can get a pattern or two done.
My goodness, Roxanne . . . what did you do to your other arm? Did you ever get full use back in the arm you hurt last year? Maybe until you get your normal strength back, you could make smaller, more vintage-like bears
that don't need to be stuffed tightly. :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: