1 July 2015

Preserving Your Favourite Sewing Patterns

Quick tip today for a way to preserve the sewing patterns you use again and again.

When you use a sewing pattern for the first time, rather than cutting through the lines, I recommend tracing the lines onto fabric using dressmaker's carbon and a tracing wheel. That way you've still got the original pattern in case you need to use a larger size later.

But what about when you've made a pattern more than once, have fallen firmly in love with it and plan to make it again and again? If you use a tracing wheel on the same lines too many times, the paper will start to tear (you can always patch it up temporarily with tape).

To keep the pattern in good shape - and to make cutting out super speedy - a great tip I picked up somewhere down the line was to trace the pattern pieces off in your size, stick them onto card, and cut them out exactly on the cutting lines. Now when you want to cut it in fabric, all you need to do is weigh it down and whizz around it with a rotary cutter. Or draw around it in chalk pencil or washable pen and cut it out in fabric scissors. Easy!

Remember to label the pieces so you know what they are later, and cut in the notches too - small enough to be accurately positioned, big enough so you can mark them with a pencil or scissors. To mark darts or alternative cutting lines - for example, the short sleeve hem on the Agnes sewing pattern - you can puncture little holes along the lines with an awl (or try a large needle). Push a chalk pencil or washable pen through them to mark the fabric, then join the dots to create the line.

If you haven't heard this tip before, I hope you find this useful!

You may also like:
How to Cut Fabric Without Cutting Your Fabric (Much)
How to Make Party Ring Sewing Pattern Weights
Tips for Tracing Sewing Patterns