Useful info & random thoughts

About custom handmade stuffed animals, crafted with love

To edit or not to edit a pattern…

2 October 2023 by Pam

There is a lot of work that goes into creating a new pattern. Regardless of whether it is based on something (you have) created before or not, it takes a lot of designing, testing, editing, testing, finetuning, and testing again (and again, and again). This is why pattern designers generally do not allow changes to their patterns to be made, and rightfully so. Over the years I have come to appreciate all the work, time and money that goes into creating, selling and protecting things you’ve made. It is something that many people who have no experience with this, do not or cannot fully understand and appreciate.

But I used to be one of those people. I started making small changes to one of the more successful patterns in my repertoire. I had dutifully purchased the pattern (DO NOT share patterns, please always buy a pattern yourself!) and liked it, but it was designed as a quilting pattern with many extra layers and steps I did not need or even want. I liked the shape of the animal, but did not want the extra quilted lines and all that.

After the first couple of iterations of that particular pattern, I started making it more to my personal liking. A few changes here and there, and the long journey of creating the perfect mane and tail: yes it’s the horse pattern I’m talking about. Created by the wonderful Kathy Barbro from Rumpled Quilt Skins. (Check out her shop, she has got some really fun patterns! I made the cow for my son, it was great fun.)

Back then, I figured it would be OK to do this. After all, it was just little me, creating a few stuffed animals. I wasn’t into quilting and there was nothing in the text warning me not to make changes. Actually, there wasn’t even something written in there about it being OK (or not) to sell products made from that pattern. Or even a requirement to acknowledge the pattern creator when I sell. And of course, if it’s not mentioned or covered, it means that it’s OK to do it, right? Right?!

Well, at some point I finally put on my big girl pants and approached Kathy to ask if I could get her permission to make changes to her pattern. It felt like quite a big risk – what if she said no? This was without a doubt my bestselling product and if she said no, I’d have to stop making my horses, unicorns and alicorns. I had tried to create my own pattern before and it is really exhausting and very time consuming – I haven’t finished it still. But I felt it was the right thing to do, so I asked. And yes, I was fully prepared to stop using that pattern if she’d said no. It would have been incredibly tough, but I would have done it.

However, she’s a very nice person and she not only liked my horses, she was also fine with my changes. I feel incredibly lucky that it went like this and I’m grateful. Don’t be like me, however. Don’t make any unauthorized edits to a pattern somebody else made. If you want to be creative, put in all the work yourself and create your own pattern (and then see how you feel about somebody else making a profit off of what is basically 90% your work). Creators deserve more appreciation for what they do, period.

Less is more

23 June 2023 by Pam

Summer is here and I’m enjoying it!

It’s only two more weeks until the summer holidays will start. Six weeks of no school – that means we get to sleep in on some days, and have time for fun activities and a week of vacation in France…. Read more »

Happy new year!

3 January 2022 by Pam

Even when we have no idea whatsoever what this year is going to be like, that won’t stop us from making resolutions (if you’re the type of person who does that – I’m not) or just looking ahead and make plans.

I don’t “do” new years resolutions because I firmly believe in applying any resolutions Right Now instead of postponing them…. Read more »

Looking forward

6 September 2021 by Pam

Whoa – before you know it, it’s September! My kids are (thankfully) going back to school, sports have started again too (much to the delight of my youngest who has “finally” – she’s 5 – started swimming lessons) and I’m looking forward to spending a bit more time on sewing stuff :)…. Read more »

Pace yourself

27 May 2021 by Pam

I usually tend to think that whatever happens, it’ll be all right. Some way or another. And it usually does, confirming that I’m right. Usually.

But every now and then things don’t go as expected and that throws off the existing balance enough that it takes more time to recover that balance –… Read more »

Growing pains

18 January 2021 by Pam

First blog of the year!I vividly remember admiring the women (I’ve looked, but haven’t found any men to refer to) in the babywearing community who had managed to set up their own shop, working with treasured wrap materials, making keepsakes for their customers. I ordered from a quite a few of them –… Read more »

Creative process

10 October 2020 by Pam

I’ve thought for a while about this blog post. It started out as a post about pricing. But I didn’t want to seem defensive about my prices. They are what they are. I try to keep them low yet still make it worth my time and effort…. Read more »

Waiting list

22 September 2020 by Pam

When I started making stuffed animals, I had seen other makers creating their wonderful animals, bags and other items using wrap scrap. I had also seen their prices and their waiting list and was secretly hoping that I might one day be as successful as they were…. Read more »

Adding “new” patterns to the zoo

31 August 2020 by Pam

I was asked if I manage to ‘nail’ patterns the first time I make them (I wish!)… and I thought it’d be a good subject for a blog entry.

The short answer is: no, I don’t. Depending on the pattern and the maker, I usually manage to make something that looks decent and sometimes they even look really good ;)…. Read more »

Transparent pattern pieces

16 August 2020 by Pam

I love to fiddle around with stuff. Make it júst so, have things aligned in an esthetically pleasing way. This doesn’t only go for pattern alignment, but seams too – there are few things as satisfying as perfectly aligned seams.

Paper & cardboard pattern pieces

Usually when I prepare a new pattern,… Read more »

Super size me

2 August 2020 by Pam

I have been resizing patterns almost from day one, when I discovered that the cute little hedgehog I thought I was making turned out to be a small-pillow-sized giant hedgehog! So I downsized the pattern to a smaller, more practical size and I’ve been doing it with suitable patterns ever since…. Read more »

Evolution of a ‘business’

17 July 2020 by Pam

A business name

A business doesn’t always start off as a business. In my case, it started off as a hobby. I like researching and thus started out with pretty good materials for stuffing and sewing. The hobby grew and at some point in 2017 I gave my budding ‘business’… Read more »

The use of interfacing

5 July 2020 by Pam

When I made my first wrap scrap creation in 2017, I knew very little about working with woven material. Actually, I knew very little about working with any type of fabric, being more of an embroiderer, and then the type that does not embroider on fabric but on Aida cloth…. Read more »