Sunday, January 17, 2010

Developing Doll Patterns: Electronic and Paper Patterns

There's been a great discussion over at Doll Street Dreamers, regarding e-patterns and traditional paper patterns (I get their newsletter in digest format.) Opinions vary greatly on how much designers should charge for e-patterns, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each. For example, I hadn't known that other countries use a paper size other than our standard 8-1/2 X 11 inch. This certainly affects how I draw out the pattern pieces as I begin adding an e-pattern option.

When I decided to try my hand at publishing patterns, I kept in mind those I'd purchased as examples of what to do, and what not to do. It didn't take long to find that not all patterns are created equal. I was able to identify which designers consistently created patterns that were complete, concise, organized and easy to follow - and which designers' patterns to avoid like the plague (obviously, I didn't want to be that designer.) Looking at others' patterns with a critical eye was invaluable - even something as simple as page numbers made a big difference.

Designing a new doll is fun and creative process - at least most of the time. Developing a pattern for that doll takes a surprisingly long time, is tedious, and about halfway through the process all I can think about is how much I want it to be finished.

After my first couple patterns, I found a book that has been my publishing bible, filled with tons of practical wisdom. It's called "Publish Your Patterns! How to Write, Print, and Market Your Designs" by Nancy Restuccia. I think I'll read it again today, as I know it includes information I wasn't ready for earlier. I just can't say enough about this book. If interested, click on the link below and read the reviews.


When I first built my website, I decided to include a "library" page of books I found useful in my dollmaking (including the above book.) Some are sources of inspiration, some are how-to books. You can see them HERE.

Today I sculpted and baked a second face for my Averill doll pattern and pressmold. Tomorrow I'll send it off to the Goshons to have new pressmolds made. The original sculpt for Averill had anatomic issues (hey, it was my first attempt) and I've been wanting to make a new one for a long time. Plus, I think the master is wearing out a bit, as the quality of the pressmolds hasn't been as good as in the beginning. I may take a photo of the new sculpt and post it later...

1 comment:

Dixie Sargent Redmond said...

I read this post with interest. I am looking forward to improving my first attempt. :-)

I was thinking that the anatomy in your first Averill bothers you because of all your studies to be a nurse. Probably only you are bothered.