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Tips & Techniques > Copy machine for smaller pattern pieces

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Posted by: marykuris

About marykuris star
Member since: 7/8/03
Reviews: 9 (tips: 1)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 3 people
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Posted on: 1/20/06 5:10 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 6 people   Very Helpful by 8 people   
I usually trace my patterns and save the traced pieces so I can easily recreate a garment for my family members. Only one of my boys fits the standard sizing, so tracing often involves adjustments and readjustments.

Today I just finished ironing the pieces for a Burda jacket I intend to make for our youngest son. It's relatively uncomplicated, but I did sigh when I saw all the little marks I'd need to transfer for the pockets, etc.

Then I thought, "Hmmm... I wonder how small these pieces really are. I wonder if they're within, say, 8 1/2 by 11 inches." Because what occurred to me was the idea that it was silly to trace pieces that I can just as easily copy on my desktop injet copy/printer.

Bingo! I was able to completely sidestep the task of tracing off three pattern pieces, the two pocket pouches and the piping. As an added bonus, since I'm a bit of a flake I often forget to transfer some critical marking, necessitating a dig through fragile pattern tissue paper to find the piece I incompletely traced. This way, that's at least three pieces I don't have to worry about!

Updated to add: I used my copied pattern pieces yesterday and they worked perfectly. Just a couple of observations, though -- I'm used to Swedish Tracing Paper, which is far more malleable for pinning and cutting. I needed to precut the copied pieces before laying them out on my fabric, and used weights to hold it all in place, rather than pins (which would have distorted the pattern and the grain too much, since the paper is so stiff).

One thing I'd caution anyone else trying this is to remember to cut the outline for the copied pieces with NON-FABRIC scissors. Paper dulls sharp blade pretty darned quick.

Hope this helps someone else!

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tweedcurtain said... (7/2/06 1:37 AM) Reply
You can tape the leading edge of the tracing paper to your regular paper and feed through the printer as normal.
Peggym said... (2/4/06 5:50 PM) Reply
Never thought to do this. a brilliant idea
martinanne said... (1/27/06 6:45 AM) Reply
Super idea! I'm sure some of the pattern pieces for baby and toddler clothes would fit. I'm going to try it.
marykuris said... (1/25/06 9:21 PM) Reply
Ziana, good suggestion! I'm not sure if it will work (I'd have to cut it up, for starters, and I would bet a cookie that it would jam up anyway) but I betcha there's some product that will work in my inkjet. I'll keep my eyes open and update here if I do come across some cloth-y printable stuff.
Zlana said... (1/24/06 11:47 PM) Reply
What a fabulous idea! A quick thought about the copied pieces being less malleable than you are used to; can you put the tracing paper into your copy machine so the copy is printed on that?
skip said... (1/24/06 7:49 AM) Reply
Great idea! Maybe for small doll, stuffed animal patterns, also!!
inkyannie said... (1/22/06 0:30 AM) Reply
This is a wonderful idea! I have access to 8 1/2 x 11 copies and will definately put this idea to use. Thanks bunches.
ktsews2 said... (1/21/06 9:28 AM) Reply
Great tip! Thanks
Cathy Loves Fabric said... (1/21/06 6:47 AM) Reply
You're a genius! I'll try it.
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