One of my goals for 2017 is to make my own puppet. I have a few dozen puppets currently, but all were either commissioned pieces, or one-off puppets I purchased just because. At some point I'll go into the economics of puppetry, but let's just say there's a reason I have an insurance policy to cover my studio. I don't mind buying puppets, and I believe you get what you pay for when it comes to puppetry, but I'd like to try to make my own at least once. I think it'll be fun, and I can hopefully save a bit of cash. It'll also be cool to make all the design decisions myself.
To this end, I purchase a Project Puppet pattern. This seems like a a flexible and low stakes way to get started. I've talked to quite a few other puppeteers and they have either used projectpuppet.com patterns in the past, or at least speak highly of them. I don't recall anyone ever warning me away, and the price is right. They have fairly regular sales, but I think I'll hold off on buying more patterns until I've knocked out at least one puppet.
I'll be sure to keep you in the loop.