I announced my first plush pattern for sale on December 25th, 2013. There wasn't much educational content when it came to creating patterns themselves for sale and what information was out there usually involved clothing. All of my knowledge of plush patterns came primarily from free or cheap indie sewing patterns which tended to only include the pattern pieces themselves and a set of written instructions.
My standards then vs. now have certainly changed, as has the expectations of customers. These days I include exact sewing lines, seam allowances, material amounts, cutting guidelines, written instructions, full color photos, and in some cases even free videos for those who learn better by seeing someone else do it. There's also instructional pages for printing and resizing, working with minky, and some basic plush sewing information.
Not only do these changes make the pattern easier to use (especially for beginners), but it also reduces the amount of questions I need to individually answer. So by putting in more work upfront I reduce the amount of work I need to do in the long run.
I'm also taking the time to make some changes to patterns to clarify areas multiple people have had issues with and to correct minor problems when I find them such as typos.
In addition to pattern updates, I'm changing the listing images to a standard format for all patterns. People frequently purchase my patterns thinking they are getting a finished plushie. (I'm not kidding when I say this happens at least once a week.) Even though all patterns say they are a sewing pattern right on the front image, in the title, and throughout the description, it was still happening. Part of the problem is people weren't reading the text, they were impulse purchasing based off the images.
To combat this, I've moved important information onto the images themselves. Hopefully this will help reduce the amount of people who think they are getting a finished product.
In the future I will also be adding a photo of the printed pattern sheets fanned out (along with information about how many pages there are total so you can plan for printing) and a short video turnaround of the finished plush, but those aren't currently a priority.
This brings us back around to my current goal of updating my patterns to bring them more into line with my current standards.
These are subject to change, but for now here's the plan:
The following patterns are already moved to the newest layout:
• Tiny Dragon (Added seam allowance, cutting layouts, moving to minky fabric, new photos, and new written instructions. The base pattern has also received some minor edits to the head and belly area to improve the appearance with minky)
• Beginner Bat (Received a cutting layout)
• Opossum (New pattern)
• Stingray (Received new instructions + images and a cutting layout)
• Whale Shark (Received a cutting layout)
These are in the newest layout, but need the new instructional pages added:
• Flamingo Floaty
• Fresno Nightcrawler
These will be moving to the new layout with no major changes:
• Shoulder Dragon Pattern
Moving to the new layout with big updates:
• Dino and Loch Ness (Will be split into 2 patterns. Needs seam allowance, cutting layout, photos for instructions, and new written instructions. Both will have updates to remove the neck dart and nessie will have changes to the fins and tail. The dino may get a new dino friend to keep it a 2 pack, this isn't settled, though.)
• Fox and Cat (Separating the 2 into 2 different instruction sets)
• Gryphon (Adding seam allowance, cutting layout, new photos, new instructions, and I'm adding optional ears to the pattern)
• Narwhal (Adding seam allowance, cutting layout, taking new photos, writing new instructions)
• Sitting Kitty (Will have more photos of the leg steps, that's where most people seem confused)
• Sleeping Cat (Removing the thread sculpting for the mouth to make it an easier pattern, adding marks for eyes + new photos)
• Betta Fish (Adding a cutting layout, re-writing the instructions, replacing illustrations with photos)
• Cockatiel (Adding seam allowance, a cutting layout, re-writing the instructions, taking new photos on a white background)
• Crow (Adding seam allowance, needs some pattern edits to help with pieces lining up, cutting layout, new photos and instructions)
• Deer (Adding seam allowance and a cutting layout)
• Jointed Dragon (Adding seam allowance, cutting layout, photos instead of illustrations, and new written instructions. Also including information about jointing with plastic doll joints instead of thread jointing.)
Will be retired:
Unfortunately these patterns don't receive enough interest or sales to justify the time and expense of updating them. Leaving them in their current state (even the free ones) creates customer service issues as I have to constantly answer the same questions about any missing or unclear information and it eats up time and energy that could be spent elsewhere.
These patterns will be on sale for $3.50 from now until March 13th when they will be retired for good. (Except the free ones which remain free)
• Halloween Cookies
• Love Squid
• Free Potion Bottle Pattern
• Free Cardinal Pattern
• Free Witch Hat Pattern
I always have more ideas than I do time, but these patterns are all possibilities for upcoming patterns.
• Bee Update
I'd love to update the bee pattern and there is huge interest for it in my Facebook group (BeeZeeArt Bees), but it needs some serious TLC. A lot of the pieces don't line up properly and I never saved the striped pattern I used for the default images. It will be a huge amount of work and a difficult pattern so it's been very slow going.
• Polar Bear
I have half a polar bear sitting on my desk. There's not a ton of demand for it, but I want to make one for personal reasons.
Frog. That's all.
Bought the fabric, I just need to do the thing.
They're so cool! I might pack this one with the dino pattern if I manage to get it done in a reasonable amount of time.
Because my avian overlord demands it.