How Do You Decide What to Design Next?

I’m already thinking of Christmas. I don’t really want to, because it is July and 90 degrees, and it is disorienting to imagine snow and cold. Last year I didn’t think of Christmas until September and it was too late. All of sudden the weather turned crisp and tons of ideas for Christmas projects tumbled in my mind along with Halloween ideas and I ran out of time. I wanted to have my shop stocked with patterns and gifts for the holidays, but it didn’t happen.

So… this year I’m starting early. I can’t force myself to create anything red or green or too Christmasy yet, but I’m making toys. They are very inexpensive felt softies that are addictive to make and hard to pry out of children’s hands.

This is how my design process worked:

1. Create an incredibly easy to make, really fun toy. No sewing machine needed, no experience required.

2. Limit the materials needed to a minimum.  Make the pattern inexpensive, too!

3. Make it interesting, with removable parts, lots of accessories.

4. Give it a story and keep adding lots of playsets.

The first pattern set is Kasi the Elephant:



Kasi the elephant is available as a digital download for only $2.99 in my shop

Her pattern includes Kasi, Blanket, Bale of Hay, Watermelon and Food Basket.

Matilda, her friend, is the next pattern I’m working on. She should be available with accessories this week, maybe (hopefully) tomorrow.


5 thoughts on “How Do You Decide What to Design Next?

  1. Stephanie July 23, 2013 / 10:56 am

    Super cute elephant! I think starting now for the holiday season is so so smart. I’ve found that I need to allow myself at least a good three months start for any handmade gift these days!

    • jhaney July 23, 2013 / 2:10 pm

      You are so right! Everything takes twice as long as I expect.

  2. maartjequilt July 23, 2013 / 1:28 pm

    I love Kasi! You are right about thinking about quilting for Christmas! I am thinking already too. But that is not a garantee to start in time!

    • jhaney July 23, 2013 / 2:10 pm

      It is so hard to get work done during the summer with the kids out of school– I never meet my goals– but I keep reminding myself that I’m working from home to be there for the kids anyway:)

  3. maartjequilt August 11, 2013 / 2:04 am

    I collect pins on Pinterest. A lot. I scroll in my albums make a sandwich amd start!

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