Publish Your Pattern in a Magazine Vol. 3: Preparing your Project

So by now, you've selected the magazines you're going to submit to, and you've prepared your submissions and sent them off. What happens now?

What to prepare once you hear back:

If rejected

First and most importantly, TREAT YO SELF. You’ve just gone out of your comfort zone, you were brave! You put your design out there into the world and you should be proud of yourself.

Give yourself a bit of pouting time, and then start your next submission.

JK Rowling was rejected 12 times before someone got on board with harry potter. Now look where she’s at. One rejection is one more block towards your next success.

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If accepted

First and most importantly, TREAT YO SELF. You’ve just gone out of your comfort zone, you were brave! You put your design out there into the world and you should be proud of yourself.

  • Communication is key - You will likely be given a contact during the submission process. If you have any questions at all, it’s always better to ask up front. They won’t judge you if this is your first time submitting. If anything, they’re lucky to have gotten you first AND they’d prefer you not mess it up!
  • Stick to the time tables - People work at different paces, and that’s totally awesome! Just make sure when you submit, that you have enough time to get the design done. Whenever the submission is due, I recommend leaving yourself at least two weeks before submission is due for photos and editing, and that’s the minimum. 

There’s nothing worse than promising you’ll have something finished and then not getting it done. That’s a pretty bad impression, and it decreases your chances that they’ll want to work with you again. If worst comes to worst, and you’re not sure you’ll make the deadline, reach out to your contact as soon as humanly possible.

So, what do you need to do?

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  • Photos – Exclusive or, a non-exclusive pattern that’s already made, make sure you have plenty of Hi-Res photos of the garment in a flat lay in a light box or bright natural lighting, or on a person also in natural lighting. If you don’t have a nice camera, or think you’re not the best at photography, some magazines, like Happily Hooked, offer photography service where you can send in your garment and they will take photos for you. Sometimes it’s included, sometimes it’s an extra fee. Ask your contact!
  • Pattern formatting – nearly all magazines will have a format you need to stick to for their particular set up. It will rarely be the exact way you normally write up your patterns. I recommend keeping a word doc version of all patterns with just the pattern (no pictures), this is the easiest way to edit the bare bones of your pattern and will help in case it ever get accepted on other platforms as well!
  • Proofread! - Even if this is a non-exclusive pattern and it’s already published, it’s worth it to go back through, especially in the new format, and pay close attention to the details.

Sometimes, but not always, magazines have specific formats or measurements they need from you – like arm scye. Again, just make sure you know ahead of time (or ask your contact), measure on your piece, and adjust per size using your gauge.

  • Stitch Standards – I’m the worst at this. Giving a huge long description about “what I mean” or “see pictures”. I use the Craft Yarn Council to update my stitches to the common crochet language. [ ]
  • Branding and social information – Generally magazines will ask for this, even if they don’t, send it on. I would include everything, and then they can choose what they include. If you have a website include this first, then any shops – e.g. Etsy, Ravelry, Facebook Page, and then your Instagram, twitter etc. This will help your audience from the magazine connect with you in other ways and strengthen
  • Designer bio – Again, even if not asked, include a brief 2-5 sentences about yourself and include a headshot. They may not use it, but if they do, it humanizes your brand and gives your new audience even more info about the best part of your brand – you!


You're not quite done even if the sample is completed and the photos are taken...

Keep the Secret

Magazines generally prefer you not to mention that you’re included in an upcoming issue. Super secret content! You shouldn’t do it. They’re investing in you. It’s sometimes really hard not to, especially if you post your works in progress #wipsfordays, or want to wear it out and about. Resist. You can do it, but only once it's time to...

Share the secret!

As soon as the issue is published – blast it! Yas! Put it everywhere!

I really hope you found this guide useful, if it helped you get into a magazine, or if you think this guide is missing some information – let me know! I’d love to hear!

Katie Moore