Pattern Purchase Decision-making for Nerds

29 Dec

It’s just too easy to get caught up in the razzle-dazzle excitement of pattern shopping in a sale. So, in an effort to keep myself on track whilst narrowing down my choices in the big 4 sales today I found myself running through the same questions over and over.

Being the nerd that I am, here they are on a flow chart:

Here’s how it works for me.

  • It supports my sewing goals for the year (more on that tomorrow)
  • It keeps me focussed on what I need
  • Helps avoid those impulse purchases

And here’s some examples in action:

McCall’s 6519: This one ticked all the boxes and was first in the cart.

McCall’s 6511: This is an example of where I got distracted by the fabric. Realistically, just trying to find that many different types of jersey would drive me nuts so this was a no buy.


McCall’s 6506: I love this dress but realistically I think I’d enjoy the challenge of trying to draft this myself.

Gertie’s Bombshell Dress: Craftsy had the course on sale, I didn’t have a similar pattern, Gertie’s fabric choices were stunning but that wasn’t the main draw. I don’t really have anywhere to wear a bombshell dress, but, I know I’ll learn so much from making the dress and Gertie’s tutorials so I bought it.

How do you decide?

If you’re nerdy like me you can get a pdf of the flow chart here.

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22 Responses to “Pattern Purchase Decision-making for Nerds”

  1. Brumby December 29, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    Can you please make one of these for fabric but have all the answers leading to ‘don’t buy’? I’m a terrible with fabric, much better at saying no to patterns!

  2. stecknadeln December 29, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    Hi Alana, i like your blog very much, now i will folow you on your facebook. The McCall’s 6506 dress is very beautiful, i think i will make it for me too :o)

  3. ReadyThreadSew December 30, 2011 at 12:10 am #

    I went a little bit mad buying patterns from the sale, but I rarely buy patterns as I try to sew from my BurdaStyle magazines as often as possible. I keep a want list in a little notebook by my computer so every time I see someone blogging about a pattern I like, I make a note of it. When I saw your post about the sale this afternoon I realised I had four Vogue patterns on my want list, and a quick glance at the website easily found me three more to make up the seven patterns for the $25 delivery charge. This was a huge bargain for me – I got about £85 worth of patterns (UK cost) for less than £40.

    One thing I started doing this evening was to add all the patterns I own to a new page on my blog, with the envelope pictures and line drawings included. I’m about half way through, and it is surprising how many have very similar line drawings. Maybe seeing them all on one page might stop me from making impulse purchases in the future.

  4. Kelly December 30, 2011 at 12:58 am #

    I totally ❤ your flowchart. Thanks for the laugh!

  5. Crystal December 30, 2011 at 3:05 am #

    Great flow chart, I’ve printed it out. I am much more a pattern buyer than a fabric buyer, because of the low cost (on sale), and the fun of day-dreaming. But I have probably a half dozen what-was-I-thinking patterns in the stash.

  6. Grace December 30, 2011 at 3:23 am #

    This is so, so awesome, Alana. I’m in Brumby’s camp – wow, do I ever need a version for fabric buying! I can say no to patterns all day long, because I already own so many I like. But fabric? Oye ve. I start convincing myself that this particular pink linen is unlike any pink linen ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD or that has EVER been made. I will never find it again! Ergo, I must get it right that second. It’s a sick, sick compulsion.

    Though, I do have a pretty stellar stash now. Oh, my precious…

  7. Heather December 30, 2011 at 4:40 am #

    I need to print your flow chart and take it with me when I go pattern shopping this weekend! I’m such an impulse buyer when it comes to patterns and fabric.

  8. Catherine Daze December 30, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    I’m going to have to print that out and stick it to the wall by the computer. Genius.

  9. prttynpnk December 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    I love this chart! I have one extra step in my shopping…my husband always goes to the pattern bin with my list and will return telling me that I already have similiar so he skipped them. No fair!

    • lazystitcher December 30, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

      Ah, the external verifier!

  10. paige p @ luxperdiem December 30, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    I’m actually heading to joanns to pick up the first pattern for 99cents today. Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  11. Kerry December 30, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    Ha, this is a great idea! I got a few patterns for Christmas which should see me through for the next wee while.

  12. Debi December 30, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    BRILLIANT flow chart!!! I just love it…I definitely LOOOOVE buying patterns…especially vintage patterns which adds a few more decisions (i.e. how rare is it or in other words, how likely is it that I will see the pattern again, how affordable is it given it’s age?)

  13. dixie December 30, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    This is great and I totally should have had something like this ages ago.

    If I had my own personal pattern purchase flow chart it would look something like this:

    SHOULD I BUY THIS PATTERN?
    |
    |
    V
    No, you already have too many damn patterns!

  14. little betty December 30, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

    Love it! but like others, I have a fabric problem more than pattern problem.

  15. gingermakes December 31, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    Ahahahahahahahahaha! Love this! I’m going to try not to buy any patterns for six months or so, as I just got the Colette book and the BurdaStyle book, so those should keep me busy for a while, at least. 🙂 But just as soon as I make myself a promise like that, I see something that I MUST have!

  16. Alessa January 1, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    Heh, fun! It’s a great flow-chart, and I think unconsciously I usually decide by the same rules…

  17. House of Pinheiro January 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Absolutely great chart]

  18. Freya January 1, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    I love this flowchart, It’s brilliant. You should definitely make one for fabric too!

  19. Shivani January 4, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    I love the flowchart! I also love the patterns you chose, which I am adding to my wish list (ok, basket).

  20. mme Pelagie January 6, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    Oh, my! You really are a nerd… I so much like you!
    (It goes without saying, that I downloaded the chart. Great graphs and fonts. Well done!)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 2012 Sew-olution « Toferet's Empty Bobbin - December 30, 2011

    […] those only go on sale like twice per year, but they still go on sale so I can just plan ahead. Alana at Lazy Stitching just posted a sweet flow chart to help reduce pattern impulses too.). I have 3 exceptions to my […]

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