As a quilter whose “sew for me” time is a precious commodity, nothing is more AGGRAVATING than sitting down to start a project only to discover I have issues with a pattern I downloaded as a pdf file. I mean, at least in the store, I can open the pattern up and look through it before purchasing.
Four friendly suggestions from this tech editor for quilt pattern designers:
- Format the pattern so that there are no pages with only a single line of text and the rest of the page is blank. At the very least, insert a statement like [THIS SPACE IS INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK].
- Patterns with lots of half-square triangles and other intricate bits of piecing require using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance. Put a reminder in the general directions section near the beginning of the pattern. [Use of a scant 1/4″ seam allowance is recommended for best results.]
- If your pattern makes use of a special notion or technique – say HSTs using triangle papers – clearly state this on the pattern envelope IN LARGE PRINT. If offering the pattern as a pdf download, make it clear in the description that triangle papers are needed for this project – especially if fabric requirements, cutting directions and piecing directions are written exclusively for the use of triangle papers. (You may also consider putting an errata sheet on your website listing modifications for sewists who use a different HST construction method.) Putting an asterisk and mice type at the bottom of the fabric requirements grid suggesting triangle papers for HSTs doesn’t really help.
- There should be at least 3 photos in an online ad: front of pattern envelope, back of pattern envelope, and a snippet from the sewing instructions featuring any specialty tools or techniques used in the pattern.
Hiring a tech editor doesn’t guarantee a 100% foolproof pattern – but it does mean another set of experienced eyes has reviewed your pattern and lessens the likelihood of glaring errors that will significantly impact your customer’s sewing project.
A fun time and successful result using YOUR pattern increases the chance that the customer will buy ANOTHER pattern from you.
So, hire a tech editor to help make you look good in print!
In case you were wondering, I am now accepting tech editing projects for January 2018. Easy to intermediate patterns require 2-4 hours to edit and have a 1-2 week turnaround time. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org