Friday, April 15, 2011

I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Pattern!

That’s it. Start the day off with a lie. Great policy.  Well, this isn’t the true beginning of my day so perhaps I’m safe? No, a lie is a sin regardless of the time it was told. I must confess… I do sometimes use patterns.

Sewing or crafting patterns are incredibly useful tools. Contrary to the belief of certain individuals (like my Mom who tries to sew) patterns are must-haves for beginners. They teach you so much! I like to have basic shapes on hand for whatever project I’m working on, whether just to refer to if I’m stumped or as a refresher course if I haven’t sewn a particular item in a while. With complex items, for me that means super tailored clothing, I always use patterns.  (Disclaimer – most of the time I do end up making stuff up as I go along, for better or worse.)

Wednesday’s shopping excursion to my favorite fabric mills included a great score on some basic patterns for only $1.99 each. (We’re talking orig prices of over $10. Jealous?) I’ve mentioned previously that prep work is ESSENTIAL for sewing productively. Or, in my case, essential to being a creative sewer. When everything’s ready to go I am free to just create. Roadblocks stink.
This morning, after my usual routines of taking care of the dog, making coffee, checking email, etc, I decided to open my new stash of patterns get them ready for eventual projects. Of course that means turning my dining room, er, my SEWING room into something resembling this:

Is this normal? Or am I alone?

If you were a fly on my wall you may have heard phrases muttered such as, “Now why is the piece to the blouse on the page with the pants?”, “Where is 13C? I found 13A. And why is there no mention of 13B anywhere? Why skip B?”, “Did I lose that tiny facing piece already?”, and the inevitable “How the He!! do I fold all of these up?”

Seriously, unfolding those pieces of tissue are hard enough. Then you’re expected to cut them apart without tearing or cutting through anything. Um, yeah… realistic. Today I did manage to dismantle and reassemble 5 pattern sets in about 30 min without destroying anything. Yes, I’m impressed too.
After scratching my head a few times and trying to refold the various bits and pieces, this is how I like to store my tissue patterns… because we all know they’re never going t fold up nicely and fit inside that envelope… which probably got ripped anyway…

Resealable plastic bags are the BEST! Love!
(And why does “resealable” come up as misspelled in spell check? How am I supposed to spell it?)

For .pdf pattern files downloaded from various sources I usually print and assemble the paper versions as templates, keeping them all in a manila file folder. Then (the redundant step) I trace tissue copies of each piece, cut those out, and store them in the same manila folder. Why? First, it’s easier to pin tissue than regular printer paper. Second, I like to be able to see fabric through the pattern pieces. You know, for lining up decorative stuff. Third, I’m just crazy like that.

How do you store your patterns?
Are you crazy like me dismantling ahead of time, or do you cut as needed?
Any tips or tricks for keeping tissue patterns for multiple uses, especially when working with different sizes of clothing?
I’d love to hear your crazy (or boring, sane) thoughts!

~ Carey

PS – Regarding free patterns you can find and download online, I know it’s very tempting to just use someone else’s pattern for resale purposes even if they have a posted disclaimer advising otherwise. Please remember that someone else used their time and energy to create these helpful tools for you. These same people then offered their knowledge to you for FREE! In most cases you can buy patterns with a license to sell on a small scale for under $10, or you can contact the designer directly to work out an individual plan. If you’re going to profit from someone else’s hard work, you can at least throw them a couple of bucks and mention their name, right? <stepping off my soapbox>

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Yes my living room, er extension of sewing room looks like yours when I cut apart patterns. :-) I usually do this in the living room so I can watch TV with the family. With the $1.99 patterns I don't mind cutting them to my size however recently I went back to make a skirt I have adored again and discovered my size has changed and not for the better. :( I love the pattern so I went to try to buy another, unfortunately it is now a discontinued pattern (grrrrr!). I ended up buying it from ebay for full price and decided i no longer want to cut up some of my favorite patterns anymore and also to be able to make more than one size of the pattern.

    A gal at the fabric store told me about pattern paper. One kind is soft and flexible like thin interfacing and another kind is ore like paper. I have started tracing my favorite patterns onto this special paper so I can keep the original.

    I also just stated a blog where I am sharing the creative adventures of me and my husband.


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