Daily Archives: 04/05/2019

Keeping Sewing Patterns Usable

As I wrote in my last post, I have a couple of bears to make my granddaughters for Easter. I am using Simplicity Pattern 5461 to make the bears. There are two bear sizes; an 18” and a 22” and both come with a pattern for a vest and a hat. I’m tempted to make the 22”. These bears are in a sitting position so the actual height would be about 14” on the larger one.

Two nights ago I traced all the pattern pieces onto tracing paper. I don’t cut my original patterns anymore. There are two reasons for this. The first is that the tissue used for patterns nowadays is so flimsy; it tears the first time you pin it to fabric. The more you use the pattern (especially a favorite one) the more tattered and torn it becomes. The tracing paper is a bit heavier weight yet still transparent. Works like a charm. I bought an 18” x 50 yard roll of tracing paper at Staples for about $16.00. That should last me a while.

The second reason I trace all my patterns is that I can keep the original intact. Once they are cut, they are a bear (no pun intended) to keep organized and pieces go missing. If I lose a piece from those I trace, no big deal, I can trace out another.

Something to keep in mind, as well, is for those times you are using one pattern with multiple sizes. Once you cut the size you want from a multiple size pattern, you are pretty much stuck with it. This is especially true, for example, if you want to make the same dress for two little girls in two different sizes. Two separate tracings, one in size A and the other in Size B.  Simple.

I also use to write the pattern piece information on my patterns. You know, the piece number, how many to cut, fabric or interfacing, etc.  I don’t anymore. I’ve set up a label template where I enter the pertinent information, print them out and apply them to the pattern piece. This is so much neater. My hand-writing is atrocious and these labels make the pattern look semi-professional. I had made labels for the grain lines as well….but am not using them as I can draw a pretty straight line and that is all that is needed for this instruction. No sense in getting to anal!

Last night I applied all the labels and cut out all 46 pieces. I also made the decision a while back to trace and cut out the whole pattern even if only using a part of it. If you have all your tracing materials out, you might as well do the whole kit and caboodle and be done with it. Then there is more time for the fun of picking fabrics and getting to the fun of creating!

The pattern is now all organized and ready to go. It’s just a matter of selecting fabric and getting to work. I’ve made some stuffies in the past; the Pokemon characters from the previous post, Franklin the Mouse, a fox, moose, elephant, cat, pig, and giraffe…but not a teddy bear. I can’t wait to get started!