Right from the moment I realised I could turn my hobbies into a way to contribute to the family budget, I knew my goal was to design my own patterns. But, despite having training in professional dressmaking, including designing and pattern making, I had no idea where to begin designing a pattern for something that was a figment of my imagination.
So, to get started I decided to find designers who were happy for people to sell the things they made from their patterns. One of these designers was Melanie McNeice, creator of the popular and ever so cute and colourful “Melly & Me’ designs.
How does Melanie describe her goals for ‘Melly & Me’ …
My goals in design are to create a range of contemporary sewing patterns that include bright and quirky toys, wearable bags/purses as well as fun and modern quilts. My favourite designs are original and fun, achievable in a day, as well as being completely usable in everyday life.
Melly & Me patterns …
You can buy Melly & Me patterns as a printed pattern or as a digital download. Both can be bought directly from www.mellyandme.com , and the printed patterns are also available through craft and sewing stores.
Both come with nice clear full size pattern templates. The templates for the digital download are arranged to fit on regular printer paper while the printed pattern templates come on a large sheet. (For the two printed patterns I have bought, the sheets are 42cm x 30cm)
Both printed and digital download patterns come with written step-by-step instructions. There are no pictures and only a few illustrations, but the instructions are well written and the designs are easier than they look to put together. The instructions for the printed patterns come printed double sided — both environmentally friendly and more cost effective.
Despite being an Australian based designer, Melanie writes her instructions using the imperial measurement system; so for any anyone used to using metric you will need to brush up on your inches or go through the pattern and convert all measurements.
Not just toy patterns …
Melanie may be best know for her colourful and quickie soft toy patterns, but there is a lot more on offer at Melly & Me than printed and digital downloadable toy patterns. Melanie has also branched out into fabric designing through Riley Blake; (which can be bought separately or in her kits as well as wherever Riley Blake fabrics are sold), she also designs bag and quilts. Melanie has also authored five books.
‘Sewn Toy Tales’ and ‘Fun of the Fair’ are filled with fun softie designs . ‘Sew Cute To Carry’ is all about cute but functional bags, and ‘Snug As A Bug’ and kaleidoscope’ are a mix of toys, bags quilting and appliqué projects.
Can you sell what you make?
One of the things that attracted me to ‘Melly & Me’ was the fact that I could sell the things I made from the patterns. However, as stated on Melanie’s FAQ page, this applies only to the individual patterns and not to the patterns in her books. It’s always a good idea to email a designer if you are not sure about their copyright polices.
These are some of the things I’ve made using Melly & Me patterns, (now available to buy at Thistlebow Gifts. ) The patterns are easy to make up, the templates and instructions are clear and well labelled, but not complicated and fiddly. I have always ended up with great results and the most adorable treasures.
I really like Melanie’s style, her designs are fun and cute, and her colour palette is bright and playful. And if the way Melanie ends her patterns is anything to go by, she obviously has a sense of humour and I suspect she my be a Star Wars fan … well said Melly 🙂
Happy sewing …
If you enjoyed this review of ‘Melly & Me’ patterns, you may also enjoy the review I did earlier on ‘Funky Friend Factory’ designs. Click here to see my Funky Friend Factory review.