For the last few weeks I've been quietly working on a special project, and yesterday I finished!
If you've ever considered making your own PDF pattern to sell, read on...
I've shared my pattern making secrets, tips, and experience in this 20 page document. It covers the things I've learned while making patterns for the last 5 years, plus instructions for how to use OpenOffice to format a PDF sewing pattern.
Let me tell you part of one of my secrets--OpenOffice (OO) contains a special feature that makes it IDEAL for putting together a PDF sewing pattern.
I discovered this feature by accident and it has really helped me out a lot in the last 3 years. It took away one of the most frustrating aspects of creating the pattern document. Of course, it is possible to make a pattern in other programs, but it isn't nearly as simple. Before I knew about this feature, the final formatting of the pattern document was by trial and error, with a big dose of "hope this works!".
This information isn't easy for me to part with, since pattern making is how I support myself, but there is a method to my madness. In the coming days I'll talk more about the reasons for sharing this information.About half of the document goes over the specific instructions for applying the different formatting you'll need to use to make a pattern. Screen shots show the menus for the more complicated parts. They aren't actually all that complicated, but it helps to have visuals.
These are all the formatting tools I regularly use to make my patterns. It took me time to consistently and easily remember how to do some of these things, so I think you'll appreciate having this document as a reference while you write your pattern. I should have written them down for myself long ago!
The other half includes:
- What the pattern user needs
- Basic overview of the pattern making process
- General photo info - test photos, file formats, number of images, image size, etc.
- General info about the pattern pieces - how I make them, margin guide, text to include, etc.
- Setting up and saving a template so your document will be ready for future patterns
- Tips for writing the instructions - style, voice, font considerations, etc.
- Inserting the instruction images
- Inserting, testing, and troubleshooting the pattern pieces (the hardest part!)
- Exporting to pdf
- Testing the pattern
- Lots of tips from my own experience
It does NOT contain instructions for taking or making your images. You'll need to know the basics of how to use an imaging editing program. This is pretty common knowledge these days, and you really only need to know the basics--crop, enhance, add text/graphics, and how to use a few other simple tools in the editing program.