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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Using a pattern to sew ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Using a pattern to sew
Probably a silly question, but I'm clueless
PattyZiggy

PattyZiggy
Intermediate
PA USA
Member since 4/30/07
Posts: 20
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Date: 5/17/07 10:00 AM

I really should look into a class but here goes - I have a few patterns and want to get started but do you actually cut the pattern that comes in the package? I saw tracing paper on the merchants page - do you trace it so you have the original? Silly question but I've only attempted this once and cut the acutal pattern. . .it got so mangled over time I'll never be able to reuse it.
Silly question probably, which means it will have a quick answer!

Thanks!

TammyD
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TammyD
Intermediate
GA USA
Member since 4/4/07
Posts: 396
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Date: 5/17/07 10:23 AM

I've always used the original pattern because that's what my mother did. But I'm finding out a lot of people trace their patterns so preserve the pattern and also to better make alterations.

Michelle in Oaktown
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Michelle in Oaktown
CA USA
Member since 6/3/05
Posts: 177
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Date: 5/17/07 10:39 AM

I, too, use the original pattern. I make my alterations to the original pattern (ending up with a franken-mess sometimes). I value my limited sewing time and spending it tracing patterns that I bought for $2 is not a good use of that time for me.

Except for vintage patterns, which I do not destroy. I cut a muslin from the original pattern, doing alterations (pivoting darts, lengthening, etc.) on the muslin. Then I make a copy of the pattern from the muslin.

And if I use a regular pattern frequently enough that the tissue becomes tattered, I stabilize it (iron on interfacing, usually). (Again, I put a higher value on my time than the cost to purchase the interfacing, so it is a better use of my limited resources to iron on the interfacing than to trace a whole new pattern.) If I do trace the pattern, I tend to use those gridded easel pads that you see in most meeting rooms. Cheap, and readily available.

Try out several methods and see what you like. You might enjoy the meditative precision of tracing a pattern, preserving your original for future generations. Or you might prefer the gleeful marking and slashing directly on the original tissue.

------
We all have a dark side. Looking at my fabric stash, I am forced to admit that my dark side is pink.

leigh7911
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leigh7911
Advanced Beginner
TX USA
Member since 10/20/05
Posts: 1185
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Date: 5/17/07 10:40 AM

Depends for me. Tracing just adds yet another step so I don't do it if it's Simplicity, Butterick, or McCall's. They go on sale for $.99 or $1.99 so often that if I need another I can just buy one (assuming it hasn't gone out of print). I only have a couple of more expensive patterns that I will trace if I ever get around to making them.

------
... but what do I know?

jaeng
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jaeng
Intermediate
NJ USA
Member since 3/8/06
Posts: 486
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Date: 5/17/07 11:02 AM

It depends, if the patterns are expensive or
I'm not so sure about the size, I trace.

PattyZiggy

PattyZiggy
Intermediate
PA USA
Member since 4/30/07
Posts: 20
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In reply to jaeng


Date: 5/17/07 11:51 AM

Thanks everyone! I guess in my mind I was thinking that once it was used I could never get another copy of it. I think I'll trace patters I really like but wait on ones I'm not sure about. I like the idea of ironing on the interfacing. I actually bought a roll of it on ebay so I'm ready.

I just know that the way I am the original (if I cut it) will be such a mess I'll never be able to use it again. Now I just have to learn to read them and I'll be good!

AlexaNJ
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AlexaNJ
Intermediate
NJ USA
Member since 4/10/07
Posts: 16
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Date: 5/17/07 12:41 PM

I'm a cutter - but if the pattern has multiple sizes, sometimes I'll sorta just draw a few marks on the fabric with pencil so I don't actually cut away any sizes of the patterns that I might need in the future.

If the pattern is only printed for one size (as most of my vintage ones are) I just cut around the pattern, and then take care to fold it and put it all back in the envelope neatly. If I do any alterations and changes of a pattern, I will trace it on to other paper so I don't harm the original.

PattyU
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PattyU
Intermediate
OH USA
Member since 3/26/03
Posts: 1316
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Date: 5/17/07 12:55 PM

I'm like the others. I trace expensive patterns, but I will often cut patterns that are easily replaced like Simplicity, McCalls, Butterick. I trace a pattern that needs many alterations because it's easier to do on tracing paper than the tissue paper. I use pattern weights instead of pins, so my cut patterns don't get as mangled as they once did.

------
Patty

StacieG2002

StacieG2002  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
IL USA
Member since 4/12/07
Posts: 212
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Date: 5/17/07 1:44 PM

It depends for me.

If the pattern looks like something I will want to make over and over again (timeless designs with lots of variation possibilities) I trace. If it's a one time thing, I don't.

For example, I found a KwikSew pattern I love for making clothes for my baby and I traced every view of it so I was able to make her 6 outfits from that same pattern.

Janime
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Janime  Friend of PR
Beginner
FL USA
Member since 7/10/06
Posts: 102
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Date: 5/17/07 1:48 PM

I agree that you should try different things out to see what you like.

I trace all my patterns (which so far have only been from the big four). Why?
1. I never know ahead of time if I'm going to like it, so I trace it just in case. The materials I use to trace are permanent enough to not really need any further work.
2. I always have alterations to make and I use the pivot-and-slide method, rather than the slash-and-spread method and that calls for tracing.
3. I admit it, I do like the meditative quality of tracing. It's up there with zen fishing.
4. So far I've only used multi-size patterns, and as I'm trying to change my size (downward, as aren't we all :biggrin:) I want the other sizes to still be available.

And finally, I just have a thing about "messing" the originals up, regardless of how much or little I paid for them. It's the nerd/geek inside that says before you start editing anything, make a backup.

------
"I've got my head! I've lost my leopard!"

http://janimessewingadventures.blogspot.com/

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