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Tips & Techniques > "Paper Doll" pattern pieces - Easy Way to Figure out Patterns with Many Pieces

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Posted by: JillyBe
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Member since: 1/20/10
Reviews written: 85
Sewing skills:Intermediate
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Posted on: 5/22/13 1:33 PM
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 16 people   
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Sometimes you have a pattern that has so many pieces it's hard to figure out what goes where ahead of time. I just made Butterick 5881, with 19 pieces and 3 views, and color blocked pieces were involved. Even reading through the instructions is often still confusing in cases like this!

I had a light bulb moment, and took a photo of all of the pattern pieces as laid out on the instruction sheet
http://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-dyPbXFKzC9o/UZz-4nmkNcI/AAAAAAAAGa8/lGsLYu1oVN0/w690-h691-no/IMG_3159.JPG
Then I enlarged and printed out the photo, and cut out all of the individual pieces (sort of like cutting out paper doll clothes). I labeled which piece went with which view, and also marked my alterations on each piece, so that when I traced and cut out the actual pattern pieces, I wouldn't forget to match my alterations.

I was then able to lay my pieces out next to (and in this case, on top of) each other, and get a clear idea of which pieces were needed for each view, and what fabric to cut with each piece.

A few minutes of planning ahead of time saved me a lot of time and potential mistakes in the long run!

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5 Comments
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eleda said...
Great idea!
5/22/13 9:00 PM
sbkglenn said...
that is such a clever idea! I will keep this in mind!
5/22/13 11:18 PM
sbkglenn said...
that is such a clever idea! I will keep this in mind!
5/22/13 11:18 PM
marycds said...
Cool
5/27/13 2:34 AM
Kim N said...
I sometimes use the "paper doll" method to determine pattern layout and approximate yardage.
9/7/13 10:00 PM
 
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