dastardly creatures, what makes a good sewing pattern (and a peek at the next)

There are dastardly and debonair creatures on my worktable.  I think these three will be the last for a while – there’s new stuff I’d like to try with them and some unnecessarily cumbersome parts in the process to work on.   They will remain Rubenesque, ill-tempered and condescending though.

gray woolen owl

The 2 Fortuny owls below  will be going to the New York showroom and the grey edwardian wooly fellow above will be in the shop soon.

I’m also working on new patterns and it is time for a creative sprint in that department.  All the way to the finish line.  I think this is the longest stretch since I began publishing patterns that there has not been a new one.  I got spectacularly stuck – largely because there are too many in progress – I overwhelmed myself, spread my energy and focus too thin.  So I’ve chosen one to focus on,  to apply a great deal of energy to over the next week (more on that in a minute).

fortuny ship and bat

But first I’d like to answer my most frequently asked (lately) question:  Will there be a bat sewing pattern? I can answer with a solid maybe.  I’d like there to be but as of yet  I don’t have them figured out enough to know if they would be a good one. And for me that means:

  • something that I can create a linear process with reliable results for
  • that this can be done in a workable amount of space – print – pdf wise
  • that it can be made with simple materials (ideally repurposed things), in a reasonable – ish amount of time
  • and that it demonstrates a useful and/ or unique technique that could generate other ideas

That’s pretty much my criteria – I wonder what you might think – what you prefer?

stitched rutabaga

stitched rutabaga detail

Something that I think would make a good sewing pattern is rutabagas (and turnips) – that will be the next published pattern. I got a lot of insight into the process last weekend at the Sweet Paul Makerie – I taught it twice as a workshop.  Seeing 25 individual interpretations of the majestic turnip was incredibly helpful.

(checkout the makerie instagram for more photos of the weekend – as usual I was having such a good time I forgot to take pictures)

sweet paul makerie rutabaga

sweet paul makerie turnips

And – I’ve already worked out most of the detail, templates etc. in preparing to teach.

Look for the pattern in the next week or two and I’ll leave you with this little chocolate bunny (forest folk pattern) – have a lovely Easter weekend.

fortuny bunny




  1. I really admire your root veggies and other amazing plant creations. I hope you have time to put out patterns for them.

  2. The root veggies are great as are the other botanicals. A bat in mid summer would also be great so they could be used in the fall. I particularly liked the message on your chalk board in January that stated that things get done faster when you work on them. I have taken the advise to heart and I am grateful for the inciteful prompt. Your work and quotes are inspirational.

  3. Helle Torm-Newland

    Love all your creative work! Any chance we may see a pattern for a crow/raven soon?

    • Hi Helle – yes – I’m working on something – hopefully ready by september!

  4. Jan Barber

    Love, love, love your work. I’ve been watching and hoping for a bird pattern. I would really enjoy trying to make a dark bird!
    Thank you for sharing with us!

  5. Kathie Mack

    Hello Ann! All your work is so lovely! Your dastardly and debonair creature owls are my favorites. I understand you make & sell them but wonder if there is any possibility of a pattern in the future for making them. I’ve been an admirer of your debonair owls for years. Thank you! Have a great spring! Kathie

    • Hi Kathie – There will be eventually – I think it might be good to teach them as a workshop first. Thanks so much and I hope you’re having a lovely spring!


  6. Is. There anything you particularly look for when you pick out your fabric for the owls and other birds

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