Good Morning friends! Apologies for the lengthy radio silence, but I’ve either been a) painting, b) washing paintbrushes, or c) doing anything to avoid cutting out the fabric for my next project. It’s now clear that I’ll go to quite some lengths.
Let’s talk for a moment about paper patterns – ie how you deal with the initial pattern, and how you then transfer it to your fabric. This would seem to be REALLY OBVIOUS, wouldn’t it, and not worth discussing, but seriously, there’s a whole world of personal preferences out there…
When I first started machine sewing (about 6 years ago), I would take my pattern, choose ‘my size’ off the measurements given, cut it out, pin it to my fabric and cut around it. No, don’t laugh, please. In my defence, I was mainly using sewing magazines, so it wasn’t like I was wasting £8-worth of pattern each time, but still. In my now-relative experience, patterns from these magazines are the ones most in need of some serious alteration… Obviously, the result of his method was many, many ill-fitting (or totally non-fitting) garments which were a waste of fabric and time. I no longer have most of them, which shows just how bad they were.
From there I moved to using a tracing wheel, leaving the tissue pattern intact, which appeals to my
stingy thrifty side, as it means should you wish to make the design in a different size, you’re still good. Although, it does make the tissue slightly prone to tearing, having the lines of little holes stabbed through it.
Nowadays, I mainly use pdf patterns. Yes, I kind of hate them, but they’re cheap, and also you can save them digitally (back them up, back them up, back them up *rocks back and forth*), which is good. Until recently, I used the tracing wheel method for these as well, then stored them according to an idea from Colette patterns, of all people, using old kitchen-roll innards. DO NOT do this. Think about it. Where in your house do you have a container suitable for loads of massive rolls of paper? That’s right.
So, we get to my current method, which is where the cutting-out avoidance comes in. I assemble the pdf, sticking down the flaps at the back as well at the front (makes all the difference to manageability and durability), trace off my size for a muslin, and store it hanging with one of those little clips you get in packs of IKEA curtain rings. Keeps the pattern flat (try unrolling a pdf to use when it’s been rolled up in a cardboard tube for months) and uncreased. Also, it looks kind of pretty and professional. Yay. You can make alterations to your traced pattern, and you still have the pristine taped pdf to refer back to, or if you need to re-trace it, or make another size. The sticking and tracing takes forever, so it’s, you know, great for when you really can’t be bothered to get round to cutting… oh hang on, that’s not a good thing, is it?
Just the last wall to do, and then on to the living room!
Anyone need cheering up? Imagine a 2-year-old singing The Beatles ‘She Loves You’. You’re welcome.