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The struggle is real

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

So I'm going to let you all in on the craziness that is pattern writing, hang on! I had this idea to make a fancy dress for my daughter's dollies. Apparently they are princesses and I am their personal tailor. I created this beautiful dress with different stitches to create a slow decrease and bell shape, complete with fitted bodice and spaghetti straps.

I was so happy with the results..... then I sent it to the testers. EVERYTHING was wrong with the pattern. Okay not everything, but it seemed like it. That seems to be my track record. I write up 10 patterns 5 are near perfect, 4 have a few minor errors or need slight adjustments, and one is a total BOMB!

I was so in love with this dress by this point that I refused to abandon it to the abyss of bombed patterns. I simplified the stitches and adjusted the counts and tested it myself twice before trying the testing process again. KABOOM! I still wasn't able to get the wording or stitch count quite right. By now it had been tested by 5 different amazing crocheters and myself. So at this point it went from being a loving enamored relationship to my nemesis. Now I'm determined to win the battle! I will defeat this dress if I die trying.

I had to put myself and the pattern in a time out for a couple weeks. I debated back and forth between chucking it into my "not worth it" pile and taking another shot at it. I finally decided it was worth one more try. As much as I REALLY didn't want to make yet another dress I sat down and did just that very slowly. I found a few errors, but nothing major. The problem with making my own pattern so many times is it becomes muscle memory. I just do it and then I end up missing things in the pattern. Thank God for testers!

Third time's a charm right? Off again it went to 2 more testers. FOR THE LOVE OF.....!!!!! Still my counts are off!!?? I started to question my ability as a designer, my years of learning, my existence. Designers listen closely, if you don't have at least 2 absolutely amazing testers in your weapons armory against the dreaded kabooming patterns GET SOME!

My amazing superheroes (also known as testers) came to my rescue. I made yet another dress along with them, step by step and row by row. ONE count booboo in ROUND 9 had thrown off the rest of the dress. One dumb mistake and a lot of me not mathing correctly(which I swear was just the curse of the dress messing with my head).

Finally after 3 months, lots of yarn, lots of tears, and a lot of testers, I won the battle. I listed the pattern and threw myself a little internal party. Now I'm pondering why. Was it really worth it? It's most definitely not for the money. This pattern is the perfect example. Approximately 60 hours (more if you count all the time it took up occupying my brain) of work to make $2 IF it sells.

I sometimes forget that it's about feeling the sense of accomplishment, It's about the JOY I get when I see my daughters imagining their princesses at the ball in their perfect party dresses, and knowing that some other little girl will be able to enjoy that same experience. Learning and growing in the struggles and becoming better. That is what makes it worth all the work. Life is about the experiences. It's about the process. If we get wrapped up in the financial benefit of everything we miss out on living.


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