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How the Adventure Case was designed…

Hi Everyone!

Earlier this month my new pattern the Adventure Case was released as part of Issue 10 of One Thimble Magazine – I still can’t believe it! You can view all the tester versions of the Adventure Case here if you would like too. Anyway, I thought this would be a good opportunity to tell you all more about HOW I design my patterns, specifically using the Adventure Case as an example. So, today I am going to share with you my design process from conception to the final product – who’s excited?!


So back in September 2015 I sent my pitch for the Adventure Case off to One Thimble Magazine. I’m not sure what other people include in a “Pitch” to a magazine, but mine included a very badly hand drawn sketch (I really don’t have many sketching skills – lol), an image I had found on the web that better depicted the impression I was trying to get across in my sketch. I also included some information about what hardware I intended to use, the skill level I intended the pattern to be aimed at, and some information on how I envisaged the case to be used. I then included a little bit of information about me, my background, and social media links etc.

I am a little embarrassed to show you the terrible sketch I included in my pitch…but to get an overall feel for the design process I do feel it’s necessary for you to see the concept I started with.

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 12.09.31 pm

After I sent the email off I wasn’t expecting to hear back in a timely manner, I have pitched before and my other design wasn’t accepted. So, when I received an email the very next day stating that they LOVED my idea and hoped to be working with me very soon depending on if my pattern fit in with the other ideas they selected for the magazine, I was – let’s just say – ecstatic! I tried to keep myself calm, as it still wasn’t guaranteed that my pattern would be in the magazine, but I was incredibly hopeful 🙂

Then in October 2015 I got the email that said I was IN! I was going to be published…I couldn’t wait to get started, but I was mid way through trying to get the Run & Play bag finished and finalised, so I had to wait to start work on the Adventure Case as I really don’t work well when working on multiple patterns at the same time 😉 I get too confused!

The 1st prototype of the Adventure Case I made was in November 2015…and I am sorry to say I am embarrassed to show you these pictures too – I used fabric from my toy making days, I used magnetic snaps instead of tongue locks and I didn’t use soft and stable in it as I was saving the “expensive” items for a later version once I had the pattern all sorted and the kinks all worked out.


In this version I was trying to work out how to attach the base to the top, and I used binding on the edges as that was what I had stated in my original pitch to the magazine…also if you don’t regularly read my blog you wouldn’t know that I am a big HATER of drop in linings! I really wanted this design not to involve one, as I hate them so much – lol 🙂


My next version (above) I changed the way the top and the base were connected to each other, I created a fabric “hinge” – this never made it in to the final pattern obviously. I kept the binding, but it was becoming increasingly obvious to me that it wasn’t a design feature I liked for this pattern, so I checked that it was ok with the magazine to change it before making my next version…


My 3rd version (above) I used a turning method instead of using the binging, I still used magnetic snaps rather than the tongue locks as I was still finalising the design. I also perfected the “hinge”. And although I was very happy with the “look” of this version, I wasn’t happy with the functionality of it. If anything heavy was carried in the case, the opening gaped – so that needed to be fixed – plus if you wanted to use this to carry your lunch, it wasn’t going to be insulated very well if it wasn’t sealed properly! I saw this as a major flaw in the pattern and set about rectifying it straight away.


This next version (above) is the most like the Adventure Case in its final form. As you can see the tongue locks have been used on this one, and a zip has been added to fix all those functionality issues that arose in the previous versions. There were still a few little changes to make…so I had to make another version…


Lets just say I made too many changes with this version of the pattern – lol! It never got finished as you can see, but it did help me fix a few of the sizing issues the pattern had in version 4. I don’t often make so many changes to a pattern at once, but I had imposed a tight time line for myself wanting to have the pattern finished before Christmas and New Year so I could spend some time with family and friends.


Lastly this is the version of the Adventure Case you all know and love! This is the version of the pattern that was released for sale on 12th February 2016 and the version that appears within Issue 10 as well. In this version the lining and exterior fit together like a glove and the top straps for the tongue locks have been lengthened to compensate for different sizes of locks. The Case as I said earlier, uses the turn through (birthing) method rather than the drop in lining method – this is something I much prefer! You can see the Zip is still present, and the functionality of this Vintage Style Lunch Tote is working perfectly 🙂

I hope you have enjoyed this little look into my creative design process. I’m not sure all designers work the same way, but this is the way I like to do it.  This way I know I have developed the best possible version of a pattern I can 🙂

If you wish to purchase the pattern, you can do so in the following ways…
As a Stand Alone Pattern
OR as part of One Thimble Magazine containing 11 patterns and 26 sewing articles

I would love to see your Adventure Cases, so please feel free to share them with me via FB, IG, or T 🙂 If you want to use the tags #adventurecase or #patternsbyemkie that would be awesome too!

I would love to stay in touch with you, so please feel free to sign up for my newsletter here.

Happy Sewing!


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