Thursday, June 24, 2010

{The pros & cons of e-Patterns}

e-Patterns are quickly becoming a popular option to purchase for sewing patterns. You can find e-Patterns all over the internet from professional to novice designers. Along with that goes a little bit of apprehension in actually committing to purchase one. Most often all you really see is the digital cover picture of the e-Pattern and you don't have the convenience of looking the pattern over before you buy it. There are many considerations to take before you purchase an e-Pattern, so I thought I would share a few pros and cons of e-Patterns, as well as showing you a bit about my own line of e-Patterns. 
the pros...
Probably one of the biggest pros is that you can save time and money by purchasing e-Patterns. You save time by getting the pattern as an instant download, or e-mailed to you within 24 hours. You save money because as a general rule, e-Patterns cost less than regular paper patterns, which have to be snail-mailed if you can't buy it locally. Regular paper patterns have the expense of printing, packaging and sometimes shipping. e-Patterns are e-mailed to you as a PDF file that you print from your home printer. You can also save them to your computer or a disk and can use them over and over again, printing whatever pages you need.
the cons...
On the downside, many people rather have a printed paper pattern just because they don't want the hassle of printing off pages, matching up parts and taping them together. Downloading e-Patterns might be problematic at times, due to slow internet connections, lack of space in a computer, e-mail issues or expired links to the e-Pattern. Other issues to contend with are that some e-Patterns being developed by designers today are in HUGE files, loaded with color pictures and pages and pages of instructions that are more like an e-Book, that an instruction file. While this is nice to view on a computer screen or e-reader, it can be very costly to print. Printing all those pictures will result in going thru a lot of ink cartridges. This is one of the major issues of e-Patterns - they are cheap to purchase, but not so cheap to print. While lots of pictures are great to look at, it's a bad trend for e-Patterns when it comes to printing all those pages.
So, you might be asking, "What makes Southern Stitches Boutique's e-Patterns so special and unique from others?" Well, for one, my instructions contain very few color pictures and more black and white diagrams, just like printed paper patterns have. This uses less ink and less memory in your computer to print and view my patterns & instruction files. The front cover always contains a digital color picture of the garment and also on the inside of the pattern file there are digital color pictures of the garment made in a variety of fabrics, when applicable, to give you inspiration.

Whenever possible, I carefully plan out my pattern pieces, nesting sizes as much as possible so that there are less pages to print off, which saves you time, ink and paper.  As you can see with the pictures I posted, there are not a ton of pages to print to get the pieces you need to get sewing with my e-Patterns. Instruction files really don't even have to be printed off. If you have a computer close to your sewing machine, or have an e-book, you can just read the instructions off from your screen zooming in as needed to view the instructions. 
Another advantage to my e-Patterns is that I electronically draw all my patterns. My patterns are all hand-drafted, then converted to a digital format. Special attention is given to detail to make my e-Patterns professional-looking with neat and clean lines. The finished patterns are split into parts that fit on 8-1/2 x 11 pages. Just print off the parts, tape them together and cut the size you need.
I gave you a Sneak Peek on my previous post of my new e-Pattern "Jack 'n Jill" that is soon to be released. Since this blog post is all about e-Patterns, I thought I would share with you what my e-Patterns look like as I work on my 2nd test-stitch so that you can see how easy they are to put together.
The e-Pattern comes to you as a PDF file
You print off the pattern pieces on regular printer paper.
You will then cut them out on the lines according to size.
All parts are well marked to where you match up 
and tape parts together.
Once it's taped together, you will lay it out
on your fabric and cut!
Next step will be to transfer all pattern markings
to your fabric with a water-soluble marker.
My e-Patterns are well-marked with where pieces are joined together, what the seam allowances are, where fold lines are, and all other important markings that make a difference when you want good results from a pattern. 
Another unique feature that sets my e-Patterns apart from the others is that with each pattern I include a hand and machine embroidery design or a smocking plate, depending on the pattern!
I hope I have answered some questions you might have had about e-Patterns. I think the most beneficial part of all is that an e-Pattern is stored in your computer or you can copy it to a disk to keep it safely filed away until you are ready to use it! It doesn't take up space in your sewing room and you never lose a pattern piece, since it's safely stored in your computer! If you prefer you can place the pattern pieces into a zip-lock bag and save it with your other printed paper patterns and re-use it. For those who still rather have a printed paper pattern in hand, don't despair, because I will soon be offering all my patterns with the option of purchasing an e-Pattern or a Printed Paper Pattern! For specific information on my patterns, please visit Southern Stitches Boutique!
And now, here's another Sneak Peek at "Jack"...
...sailboats for little boy blue
with a machine embroidered
collar and more!
Stay tuned! :)


ShirleyC said...

I haven't purchased any e-patterns yet, but the part I would like is that you can print the size you want, and then cut it out. I get so tired of tracing patterns even though I am glad to have several sizes to choose from.

Sara said...

great article!!! Love your Jack and Jill and can't wait to see more of the sneak peak!!!


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