What’s in a pattern name? Apparently a LOT.

When I try to get creative with a pattern name, I almost always regret it.  I feel like a pattern title should be memorable.  It should be unique to your product.  It should grab you when you see the words written together.  It should be easy to remember so that if someone hears the name once they’ll remember what it is to be able to go look for it.

When I was designing the Knotted Bag, I was going through a bunch of names, you know, girl’s  names that might fit.  Then I tried finding different words for the word Knot.  Then I found the perfect name:  Bella Knotte bag.  Cute, huh?  Bella Notte means “beautiful night” in Italian.  Adding a K at the beginning made it “beautiful knot”, right?  I was sure no one else had ever thought of that for a bag name.  Even so, it took me a few days to google it.  You know what?  It was a terrible name!  Apparently spelling notte with a K at the begining is code for, “You have found yourself a porn site.”  Aaaaack!

Needless to say, I went with something safe: the Knotted Bag.  Sorta unique, sorta memorable, not so grabby, sorta easy to remember.  Blech.

For my latest pdf pattern, I went through the whole process again.  The cushions keep your bottom happy, right?  Stacking them together sorta makes them looks like a layer cake, right?  Another word for bottom is Fanny, right?  And BONUS:  Fanny is also a girl’s name, right?  It was all coming together so nicely and a new and humorous pattern title was born:  Happy Fanny Cakes Round Seat Cushion.  I was happy.  I even googled it and came up with nothing  that seemed blatantly objectionable. 

The blessing in all this is that my pattern proofer Lara is from Australia.  She informed me that Fanny is a not so nice word for a pattern name in some parts of the world.  WHAT??  Am I ignorant?  Apparently I am.  Who knew?  And who knew how GROSSLY inappropriate a round seat cushion pattern title could be?  Not me.

Back to going with something safe:  Comfy Seat Round Cushion.  Here’s to your happy fan… um,  I mean bottom!

No promises that I won’t get all creative in the future.  But hopefully someone will catch me before it’s too late.

17 Responses to “What’s in a pattern name? Apparently a LOT.”

  1. 1 Kate April 30, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Being an Australian that last one made me laugh!

  2. 3 Serena April 30, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    That’s too bad about the Bella Knotte–it’s such a cute name. I was on tenterhooks reading about the Happy Fanny Cakes. I was ready to comment all in caps that you did NOT want to use ‘Fanny’! Ha-ha!

    • 4 craftapple April 30, 2010 at 10:15 pm

      Ha! Does this mean that not many girls are named F*nny in your part of the world?? 🙂 I seriously don’t have a problem typing the word – it’s just that I’m trying to be sensitive…

  3. 5 Serena April 30, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Oh, and how completely providential that you should mention Lara, since I was just needing to look up her blog and couldn’t remember what it was called!

  4. 7 sewfi April 30, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    How about Happy Fancy Cakes? Just a thought. Gorgeous cushions.

  5. 9 UK lass in US April 30, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    You’re not the first – at least you didn’t paint it on the side on an aeroplane:

    • 10 craftapple May 1, 2010 at 12:23 am

      That’s too funny! Had I read your post I would have known better! Hopefully that plane doesn’t make it to the other side of the Atlantic anytime soon. 🙂 And just for the record, I never have thought “fanny pack” is a cool name for that kind of bag.

  6. 11 a peppermint penguin May 1, 2010 at 2:30 am

    Just glancing at the pictures I thought “oh no, she didn’t!” Phew, you didn’t!!

    Yep, rude word in the UK. Didn’t know about adding a K though – yikes.

    The round cushions are very cute though. Fancy Cakes might be ok!

    Patchwork Posteriors? 😀


  7. 12 Laura May 1, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Dear Linda,

    This is funny. I looked for compass rose (maps) patterns and got some disgusting sites. My sister told me to add quilt to the search and that solved the problem. Here is a fun quote for you: “England and America are two countries seperated by the same language.” A few years ago, one of my sons and I were in York Minster and I could not understand the English speaker but I could understand the Bishop who happened to be African. (He played the African drums with the organ.) Have a great day.

  8. 13 Tina in Boston May 1, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Love, love, love the flowered cushion! Glad you caught that name in time!

  9. 14 Beth May 3, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    I really enjoyed your post!

    • 15 Freda Tong May 4, 2010 at 10:03 am

      Hi, Linda! I think big companies run the names for new products past many people before they decide to go with them, but they still occasionally goof up. I heard that years ago after the Chevy Nova came out, the company then learned that in at least one foreign language “No va” meant “No go.”

      • 16 Freda Tong May 5, 2010 at 1:42 pm

        How about “Round ‘n Comfy Seat Cushions” ??? Ha ha! I just noticed that it more or less rhymes with “Town and Country.” I don’t think that would matter, though.

  10. 17 La Tempete May 5, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Hahahaha. Fanny. Bad Idea. No, not too many Fannies around.

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Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It’s what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 14, 15, and 16), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and pattern designer.  Oh – and I also like taking pictures.

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