Saturday, December 16, 2006

Free pointer - copying patterns the easy way

I decided the other day that my daughter is finally old enough that I can make her some clothes and finish them before she outgrows them. So I bought way too many kid-clothes patterns ... and she's in the smallest size of each of them. If it turns out that I like the way the clothes turn out, it would be nice to be able to make them in larger sizes as my daughter gets older. But as you probably know, if you cut out the tissue paper pattern for a small size, it's hard to readjust it for a larger size.

So before I started to make any of the patterns, I roughly cut out the pieces, then put them on top of a piece of kraft paper that was laying on the dense-pile carpet in my sewing room. While holding down the tissue paper, I used a transfer wheel (is that the right word? It's that little wheel on a handle that has pointy spikes, which you use with transfer paper to mark things on fabric when you're cutting out patterns) to trace around the size I wanted to make. Because the kraft paper was on a slightly yielding surface, the transfer wheel perforated through the tissue paper and kraft paper, but it didn't tear either one.

After I transfered all of the cutting lines and tailor's marks to the kraft paper, I was able to carefully punch out the pattern pieces, leaving the tissue paper intact for future projects. I made sure to write the pattern number, piece number, and any cutting instructions on each piece, just in case they get separated in the future and I have to sort them out again.

There are actually several benefits to using kraft paper for the pattern pieces. For example, the kraft paper patterns are much sturdier than tissue paper, so when my daughter grabs them off the cutting table, I don't freak out. And when the cat lays on them, they aren't ruined. And when I'm done cutting out the fabric pieces, I can roll the patterns up in a tube, put a rubber band around it, and slide it into the pattern envelope. Sure, it sticks out the top, but at least it's all together and ready to use if I decide to make the clothes in that size again.

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