Falling down a rabbit hole of geekiness

Falling down a rabbit hole of geekiness

My latest sewing adventure is less a sewing one, and more digital design skills one. I've been designing patterns for kids clothes for about 18 months now. A couple have been published in Love Sewing Magazine and the rest have just been for my kids, family and friends. So far I've been teaching myself. I've been looking at how garments are constructed, applying my knowledge of sewing techniques and patterns, looking online when I run into knowledge gaps and a good bit of trial and error. When putting together the instructions I've been able to draw on my professional skills in distance learning and publishing. There has been a lot of trial and error.

As much as I've enjoyed the technical drawing, maths and general geekiness of hand drawing pattens, I'll have to admit it's not very efficient or flexible. A few months ago I decided to up my skills and learn how to properly digitise my patterns. I was originally going to try to teach myself how to use Adobe Illustrator using freely available info online. Then I stumbled across this online module from Lauren Dahl from Pattern Workshop. I was aware of her work through Instagram and decided that the price to learn specific Illustrator skills relevant to pattern design was definitely going to be worth it. Plus the lifetime access to the content, and all the other bonus material about getting up and running as a pattern designer. I've also found a great book on designing patterns for kids' clothes, including downloadable slopers and blocks. I'm learning so much.

Pattern Making for Kids' Clothes by Carla Hegeman

Now, with my Technology-Enhanced Learning professional hat on I could make a few suggestions on the learning design. It's mostly videos of how to do specific things in Illustrator. If you were just using this on its own it would be very assimilate and quite tedious. But Lauren is great and I'm overlaying the course with my own activities: specifically trying to get my five patterns digitised, graded, tested, modified and tiled. So far I'm loving it.

As always I don't really have enough time, but I'm squeezing it in where I can and now have five patterns in prototype digital form. I'm busy testing the patterns myself, before grading and writing all the instructions. I'm hoping to find some lovely sewists to help me test them soon, so watch out for that.

The really exciting part is working out where to take all this. This seed of an idea is starting to germinate and with the help of some great people around me it's starting to grow. I'm hoping to Share morE With you over the next few Months with the aim of launching something very Exciting in September.

Watch this space,
Alice x