Monday, September 21, 2009

The Pattern :: Options 1 and 2

I was writing the pattern for the Bicycle Backpack the other day and started thinking about my own habits when working from a pattern. When I purchase a pattern I usually buy the fabric at the same time. In fact I almost always buy more fabric than the pattern calls for. I do that for a couple of reasons. First, leftover fabric is hardly a "burden" and, second, I buy extra as a knee jerk reaction to my mother's fabric buying habits. When I was a kid and my mom decided that she was going to sew something for me, she would take me to the fabric shop and we'd pick out a pattern. My mom, however, always felt like the pattern makers were in some strange cahoots with the fabric manufacturers and the recommended yardages on the back of the pattern envelope were deeply exaggerated to encourage excess fabric purchases. We'd often get home and have some difficulty cutting out the pattern with our limited fabric. This often inspired creative placement of the pattern with little or no regard for grain lines. The young me often rolled my eyes at this, but now I think of it as a sweet story for my youth. Isn't it great how time smooths things out?

Getting back to my original point, when I buy a pattern, I get all the necessary notions as well. I do not want to come home and discover that I'm missing a needed ingredient.
This personal preference prompted me to offer two options for the Bicycle Backpack pattern.
Option #1 is just the pattern emailed to you as a PDF. It includes a thorough materials list, step-by-step instructions and 5 images or illustrations. Everything that you need to make the pattern is probably already in your house, except the ladderlocs. Those are the fasteners I use to make the straps adjustable. I call for 5/8" ladderlocs in my pattern and I honestly can't guarantee that that exact size is available at your local store. Some people might see this as a fun search. They might choose to Google the item and, in about half a second, have plenty of online resources to purchase ladderlocs from. Others might want to try to substitute another fastener. But others might just plain get annoyed that they don't have all the necessary materials at hand.

That's where Option #2 comes in. For a little extra I will print the pattern, mail it via USPS First Class mail and include the two ladderlocs needed to make the backpack.

I really had a good time writing this pattern. It's not my first time to write a pattern, but it is the first time I put both text and images together and drew the illustrations. At one point I said to Abi, "This is hard, but a lot of fun."
I hope you have as much fun making the pattern and I'd love to see your finished backpacks. Extra points to anyone who is wearing their backpack while riding a bike!


nomadcraftsetc said...

Thanks so much! This is very handy!

janice said...

I remember in my teenage years, my older sister doing the same thing (buying less fabric than the pattern called for), she could never match up her plaids,etc. and all the clothes she made looked, well, "homemade', not in a good way. She gave up on sewing. I am quite sure, if she still sewed, she would be doing the same thing. She told me a few weeks ago that she wanted me to teach her to quilt! Heaven help me.

dokiquilts said...

my mom does exactly the same thing when sewing--it's her thrifty side and like the above poster said, the clothes don't look quite professional :-) my mom also refuses to change her sewing machine needle--she uses them for years! (it's funny--i've been lurking on your blog for months now and it took this story to delurk me :-)

jacquie said...

i love your fabric buying mom and i shopped fabric together...i always remember her buying can never have enough fabric!

Emily said...

Well done! This is such a cute backpack and as usual your choice of fabrics is so inspirational!!!

Carolyn said...

so happy to have found you in the quilting arts mag!!! i love your projects and I'm happy you have a blog!

brown robin said...

such a wonderful looking pattern! if you have the chance, do you mind sharing where you got your light box? I'm in desperate need of one and not quite sure where to start. I remember you posting way back when about what a life saver it is.

littlegreen said...

cute backpack, love your fabrics!

DH Stitches said...

I laughed out loud at the story about your mom skimping on fabric purchases. Before I worked in the sewing/quilting industry, I always thought that everyone was in cahoots with everyone else to get me to purchase unnecessary things. Turns out, I'm perfectly capable of purchasing unnecessary things all by myself.