I began selling PDF patterns in March of 2012. Some of my first designs were softies to make as baby gifts. I came up with a set of lovies and a teddy bear with a coordinating blankie. I’m really not sure where this idea came from, but boy am I glad I acted on it. The Lovey Dovey was a best seller right from the start, so much so that I came out with a second set. The Baby Bear and Blankie also did very well.
Sitting down to do my 2nd quarter income report at the end of June forced me to look hard at the numbers and think carefully about how I should spend my design time going into the second half of the year. Without this sort of analysis I would purely follow my own internal desires and interests when it comes to design, coming up with new patterns for things I think are interesting whether they’re really salable or not. Although that feels great and worked perfectly when sewing softies was my hobby, it’s not the perfect path to follow when building a business.
I love to design toys and have a million ideas. Looking at sales numbers helps me to channel my interests into products that make the most sense for people who are actually in the market for a sewing pattern for a softie. I knew that I needed to add more baby toys to my pattern line.
I wanted to start with a lamb because it’s such a classic nursery motif. Lambs have wooly bodies, but their faces are clean shaven. I worked on designing a face shape that would allow for one fabric on the face and a different fabric for the back of the head. I knew once I had this part figured out I could also do a lion by putting a mane behind the face, plus it’s nice to have a lion and a lamb together. Monkeys and mice are also common designs for baby clothing and nursery decor and they made sense with this new face shape.
Here are my sketches and my new set of Lovey Dovies:
The pattern for the Lovey Dovey 3rd Edition will be out the first week of August. Now I just need to rent a baby for the photo shoot.