Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How to Digitize Your Hand-Drawn Patterns: the easiest and fastest way!

Maybe you've toyed around with the idea of digitizing your hand-drawn patterns. You've put the time and the effort into creating something, working out the problem areas, and finally you have a pattern that you're proud of. Your final draft. Whether it's for sewing clothing, crafts, or home decorations, you've come up with some patterns that you enjoy, and maybe you'd like to share them with the world.

Maybe you have a shop online at craftsy or etsy or the like and have tinkered around with the idea of trying to sell these patterns. You've done all the work, so why not? And if successful, they could bring in money, potentially even while you sleep. 

If you're like me, you've thought about it, but you don't really know how to use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. Being a do-it-yourself-er, you look on Pinterest and google: "how to digitize your patterns." You come across some promising tutorials, read them, do your research, and try them out.

Then you realize something: you don't have enough hours in the day to figure this out in a reasonable time-frame. The tutorials are helpful, but can't give you all the info you need. Sure, you're making progress....very slow progress. You want to throw your computer across the room after a bit. 

Maybe you could take an e-course for $100 or so on how to figure out Adobe illustrator....but that takes time and money, both of which are valuable to you. 

So what are you to do? Not all of us have a sister who is a talented graphic designer (lucky me) and who accepts cookies, cakes and toys for her children as payment...which you'd do anyway. So in reality, she's doing it for free...

So what is the absolute easiest and fastest way to digitize your patterns professionally?! 

You're in luck: I'm gonna tell you:

How to Digitize/Turn Hand-drawn Sewing Patterns into Vector Files 

Step 1.  Go to ***UPDATE: it's now!!

This site is where you can hire someone from anywhere in the world who has the exact skills you need to do your job for you. It is free to post a job (i.e. "turn my hand-drawn pattern pieces into vector images"). Don't be scared of this: it's easy, and it doesn't cost much money to hire someone since they can do the job fairly quickly and they know exactly how to do it. It's their job. It's all they do. 

Still not convinced? Hear me out:

Step 2. Under the "HIRE" section, click on "post a job."

Hire someone? But doesn't that cost money? Yes, but you choose who you hire, and you can even say in your job description the amount you're willing to pay. And don't forget that your time is worth something too. You can take hours and days and weeks trying to learn a program, or you can give this a try too.

I'm not trying to discourage you from learning a new skill if you want to go that route. This is just a post on the "easiest and fastest" and least painful way to get the job done. 

Step 3. Fill out the "Post Your Job" form and submit it

Fill out the section "Name of your job." Say something like: "Need hand-drawn craft pattern turned into vector images." 

Then (under "Describe It") you describe concisely what you need to have done. (i.e. "I have a hand-drawn pattern for a fox toy that I need to have converted into vector images using Adobe Illustrator. I have 4, 8.5 x 11 inch pages that need to be converted, and I have attached an example of the first page to give an idea of what the project entails. I would also need text added--i.e. cut 2 from fabric A--to the pattern pieces.").

You can add an attachment of one page of your pattern (that you have scanned) to give the designers an idea of what the project will be. And converting this type of project into a vector image is easy for a graphic designer, so adding the attachment is a good idea because your easy job will attract the graphic designers. 

Under the drop-down screen titled "Select the Category of Work," choose: "Design and Multimedia." A second drop down menu then appears for you to choose from. Choose: "Illustration."

Under "Request specific skills or groups," I chose "Adobe Illustrator." Then to the right of that, a section appears called "Selected Skills." It automatically will have "graphic design," "Adobe Illustrator" and "Illustration." You can add up to two more if you'd like (i.e. "pattern making.")

The next section is "Set Work Arrangement." This is where if you want, you can fill out how much you're willing to pay. But I think it's best to not fill this part out (it is an optional section) because the graphic designers who respond to your job posting will tell you what they'll expect as payment, and you don't want to limit who responds.

Then you submit the form. It will give you the option to pay to have your job listing promoted, but this is completely unnecessary. Choose the "free" option and you will still get plenty of people willing to do your job at a reasonable price. 

Step 4. Wait for the Job Proposals to Roll in

Within minutes (usually), multiple professionals send you their qualifications and you can click on their portfolios to view their work. They BID to get your job. You have your pick of multiple talented people who have the skills that you need. Each person has been rated by their past customers (so you can read their reviews), and you can see how many jobs they've completed and what country they're from and so much other helpful information.

It is an amazing world we live in.

Step 5. Hire Someone to Get it Done

When you're ready, you choose who you hire. You have to verify your account (with PayPal or a credit card) before you can hire someone, but you only pay when you're satisfied and the work is done. And it will be done quickly. And accurately. And the professional can give you the files in the format you ask for and you can revise things along the way if needed. 

You choose which proposal looks the best to you (reasonable cost, skills you're looking for, etc.), click on hiring that designer, and then after they accept the job, they do it for you. Quickly!!! So much quicker than you would have figured it out. And isn't your time worth a little money? All you have to do is scan and email the files, and it is all done directly on e-lance.

Within a short time period (most likely a week at most), you will have the pattern pieces in the files that you need and you can type up the instructions for your pattern yourself. 

See...wasn't that easy?? I think sometimes people (myself included) get stuck at this part (digitizing your pattern) because you don't know how to do it or where to go to have it done, or you think it's going to take a lot of time, money, and effort. But doing it this way is painless and easy

So whether or not you're digitizing your pattern for yourself, to offer for free on a blog, or to sell (which would pay for itself in no time), you have a professional pattern that is still your original design. And oh so easy to have done. Yay!

And no, I was not asked by e-lance (or upwork) to do this. I just think it's amazing. There are other sites too that offer similar services (like I just found e-lance to be very user-friendly. Feel free to search for other sites too. The world is at your fingertips. 

See? I told you it was the easiest and fastest way to get your patterns digitized.

Now go sell that pattern. Or post it. Or whatever you want to do with it!