1. Decide what you want your end result to look like.
2. Select a fabric that works well, with what you think the end result will look like, or if you want an extra dose of patience pick something that you totally love but isn't exactly "ideal"...it will give you experience with different fabric and you'll be grateful in the end:)
3. Arm yourself with a TON of patience!!! *this is essential*
4. Realize that it might take a couple tries before you find the "perfect look"-- and a 'couple tries' might be too generous of a word:)
5. Put on some music -- another essential, silence does not lend itself to thinking
6. Make sure you have plenty of 'trial fabric', but make sure you take into consideration that trial fabric probably won't lay the same...
7. Grab a friend, preferably one who the item is for, and make them stand for hours as you pleat, re-pleat, adjust, re-adjust, pin, re-pin. And let them know that you expect them to be constantly cheerful and if you poke them with a pin that jumping is not allowed because that might alter something. Oh, and if they could occasionally give encouraging remarks and helpful suggestions that is always appreciated! And another thing...a little humor now and again is wonderful, so pick someone that makes you laugh. Now you might be thinking that such a model is never to be found...but I found one, and so you can too!
8. Plunge in head first! Once you start...finish!!
9. When (not "if") you start to wonder why you ever decided to make your own pattern, turn up the fiddle music, eat a cookie, take a deep breath and SCREAM...actually don't! Screaming never does anything except annoy the people you're with and worry those your not. So instead of screaming, take break! Go workout, play a game, eat some food, get a back rub, tell some jokes...and then dive right back in:)
10. Keep smiling...it's good for you!
11. When (not "if") you finish, step back and admire your hard work! Show it to everyone. Post it on your blog. Text pictures to your family members that live far away. Twirl around the house. Eat a big dish of ice cream to celebrate. And then take your pattern, give it a name, patten it and sell it! :)
And the last step...
12. Never, never, never, try this at home! But then again...never say never:)
Maybe someday I will do a post on how actually to design your own pattern... *smile*
(And I can't wait to post pictures of the completed project...but that will have to be after the wedding...)