Quick Brown Fox Soft Toy Design

My upcoming Sewing Pattern PDF seems to be a life time in the making! If only creating a PDF was quick!

I have a 3rd entry for the Sew Muma Sew 6 Weeks of Softies Competition and again I am more interested in the potential publicity that can be provided by participating than in trying to win a prize. You see even though I have been making Soft Toys off & on since I was 12 years old I have only had an online presence for just over a year. In fact the 28th of March this year will mark one year since I released my “Wish for a Pony” Hobby Horse Sewing Pattern PDF.

I have learned a Bunch since then including better ways to create a PDF than using Photoshop Elements and a Word Document! It’s quite tricky (even after reducing the size of merged PDFs using a handy Online site tool) to get the file small enough to be able to upload to Craftsy 10 MB! Thankfully the 20 MB Etsy allows meant that better quality images could be used.

My 2nd Pattern release (November 2014) was a set of Sewing Pattern PDFs. The Finger Pocket Fish were created using Photoshop Elements 7 for the photographs and Adobe Illustrator CS5 for the rest. As I don’t have access to InDesign I need to make the most of what I have and really appreciated being able to produce a relatively small file with heaps of photos and information.

But…….Chances are you clicked a photo of my Competition Entry and now you are reading this Blog expecting to see some more photos…..so maybe I’d better show a few before I start rambling on again – that way you can look at the images & leave if you want!

The Quick Brown Fox Jumped Over the Lazy Dog

I remember practicing handwriting skills using that sentence. Did you know it contains every letter of the Alphabet?

Perhaps the Lazy Dog will become a PDF one day too – better keep your eyes peeled for that one!
Oopsy……(rambling again)

Here is my Quick Brown Fox

FOX Upcoming PDF

You’re probably thinking that I used Photoshop to create the background aren’t you….well ‘no…I’ll let you in on a little secret. I had a very helpful photographic assistant (aka Hubby) who held one of my favourite photo props (aka a blue exercise mat) up behind the stump (which looks a little like a mountain to me) thus creating the ‘sky’.

Exercise mat background

See there it is!!

Now another photo taken the same afternoon….

Fox on Stump

Just for fun I turned my JB Copyright Watermark (that I try to remember to add to all my photos) into a moon for the Fox to look at!

The Fox is just one animal that I have separated out of a rather large ‘set’ of Pattern pieces. You see by dividing the basic pattern shapes up in different ways I can make a Wolf, Poodles (with adult clip and puppy clip) and other dogs with different muzzle shapes & ears and different markings ….oh the list goes on! One day I’d like to be able to turn all the animals that can be made from this set into individual PDFs and maybe even one PDF that allows for some Mix & Match fun!

But I shouldn’t get too carried away just yet! One at a time…. first up is the Fox!

Plus I’d better explain that these photos are of the ‘Prototype’ Fox. For those who don’t know what a Prototype is…..it is a test run Soft Toy. Absolutely nothing wrong with it – although I have to admit I have tweaked the seam line join on the side of the muzzle to make it curve up rather than down – and this is definitely not my preferred choice of fabric for the PDF. I’ll show that a little later. The fabric I used for this Prototype Soft Toy is the Fleece Interlock fabric that Tracksuit pants & tops also known in Australia as a Sloppy Joe & Trackpants (in the USA the top is called a Sweater – please excuse me if I am incorrect!) are made of. I used the ‘wrong’ side i.e. the fleece side of the fabric rather than the ‘right’ side that shows the knit. I don’t have access to the ‘Fleece’ that is commonly sold in the USA!

First I want to add some indoor photos with a different sort of ‘fake mountain’…..there was too much glare outside to be able to see the screen on my camera properly. These are much better!

Fox from above

Fox farside forequarter

Fox farside

Fox farside hindquarter

Fox rear veiw

Fox nearside hindquarter

Fox nearside

Regarding my ‘preferred’ fabric there are three potential options

1. Make the Soft Toy entirely from Faux Suede (often called Micro Suede or Chamois fabric)
2. Make the Soft Toy using Faux Suede with the addition of Synthetic Faux Fur for the Tail
3. Make the Soft Toy entirely from Faux Fur

Fabric Choices

Sounds like I have it all worked out doesn’t it?

I do to a point…..

I have a time frame = Have the PDF ready for the next Aspiring Designer Challenge conducted via several Facebook Groups. No date has been chose yet but it will be my turn sometime in May 2015!

I have a group of Testers (that includes 2 new members who ‘love foxes’) but I haven’t found out if everyone is available to test yet (simply haven’t had time to ask)
I am happy with the Pattern shapes but haven’t done all the necessary naming of the Pattern pieces or worked out how many Pattern pages I’ll need….. on the “To do List”

Actually there is a lot on the “To do List” including Videos that need to be made & edited. Then there are the Step by Step Photo sequences that need to be made and edited! A Bunch of stuff to do and that doesn’t include a Blog post and Pattern Listings & Promotional Photos etc etc…..

Can I really get this all done by sometime in May???

Will the world stop turning if I don’t get it all done in time?

No I expect not…..and if I fall behind in my self-imposed schedule I am going to try not to chastise myself too much. I love the designing stage, I enjoy playing with the photos but writing logical concise text can be hard sometimes. In case you hadn’t noticed I tend to ramble on a bit.

FYI I don’t ramble on in the Instruction section of a PDF…I mainly let the photos do the talking and try my best to be brief….I have even gone as far as limiting the space that I allow for text next to each photo. Plus I even have Zoom in Detail images of parts of the photos which take up some of the text space allocation. Check out my Blog Post about the release of my Finger Pocket Fish if you’d like to see how I set my Instruction/Method pages out!

If you are really keen on knowing when the PDF is available you could sign up to receive this Blog via email or you could follow me on Facebook. Keep in mind that I don’t Post very often as Posting takes time and focus away from the creation of the PDF…..but rest assured I’ll be working away at it one day at a time.

Better get back to it pretty soon…..

If you want to read about my 1st and 2nd entries in the Sew Mama Sew Competition just click the red text. If you want see more lovely Softies from the Competition then use the hashtag #6weeksofsofties

Thanks a Bunch for reading my Blog & please feel free to leave a comment. I could do with a little encouragement every now and then!

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4 thoughts on “Quick Brown Fox Soft Toy Design

    • Thanks a Bunch Michelle. Now you will probably understand why I clicked your Competition entry image in the Sew Mama Sew 6 Weeks of Softies Competition to read about your Archer Fox! My focus is usually so much on ‘realism’ I struggle to be able to achieve the ‘cuteness’ factor unless it comes from doing a good job with the ‘realism’. Does that make sense? Creating a cute Soft Toy with character like your Archer & his Bow & Arrow seems to allude me so I strive for more & more realism instead. It’s variety that makes the Toy Box look interesting don’t you think?

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