extending pattern life?

sudimariApril 13, 2009

I have several patterns that I really, really like. I also do customized sizing, so I generally cut on largest size lines then fold as needed to size it.

I would like to be able to use these patterns many, many times...but between the folding and the straight pins they don't hold up very well. I would also like to use alternate sizes for me as I lose/gain weight or for friends who have differing measurements.

What are some ways to make patterns last longer?

I vaguely remember something about using a rotary puncher and colored paper to mark the fabric from jr high...but I don't have any idea what tools would be needed or how I would afford them.

I've also just invested in a rotary cutter and cutting mat to start learning how to quilt.


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You can get the lightest weight of fusible interfacing you can find and fuse that to your pattern pieces.That's what i've done in the past,and it work well as it maked them more pliable,and they hold up longer.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 4:53PM
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The fusible is a good idea I've know some to use contact paper but the interfacing is good and you can write on it and mark in different colors for multiple sizes.
If you go to nancy's Notions site I think they offer some of the large sixes.

I've use the white side of Christms wrapping too .

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 7:23PM
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I use regular tissue paper(for gift wrapping), and trace the size I need, just scotch taping sheets together for larger sizes. It's time consuming, but with 6 grandkids, I want to use patterns again and again. Afterward, I fold the cut tissue and put it in a zip-lock bag marked with the pattern info and size.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 7:57PM
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I iron the tissue thin pattern to shiny side of freezer paper then cut out. Seems the only pieces that get really messed up are the small facings etc. You can iron the freezer paper to just the sections that get the most abuse, darts, etc.on the larger pieces.
Not my original idea, saw it on Sewing with Nancy one time but it works.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 7:24AM
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Some great ideas! Thanks...not sure I really want to invest the time in tracing them all, but tissue paper is inexpensive...

Ths is the second time I've seen a reference to freezer paper...what is it? Never heard of it before yesterday.

Contact paper wouldn't work for me I don't think...I am terrible with the stuff...always get wrinkles! LOL

I'm wondering if it would be less expensive if I bought an entire bolt of interfacing? If a store woud give me a discount?

Then my question is...do you cut out the pattern, then fuse it?

Well at least I'm thinking now!


    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 11:58AM
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Joann's fabric a lot of times has their interfacing on sale for 1/2 off and the lightweight one isn't expensive to begin with.I've gotten it at times for .50 cents a yd,and i'll either buy 10 yds or the whole bolt.
I generally just cut the pieces from the big sheet leaving a margin,and making them easier to work with,then just fuse the interfacing and cut on the largest size cutting line if it's a multiple size pattern.Then for the other sizes i use different color sharpies to mark the cutting lines for each size.Then when you're ready to use a different size it's easier to see.You can also clip the edges of the pattern pieces,like from the largest to the smallest,so if you're doing the smallest you can just fold the excess in so it's out of your way.Hope that makes sense to you.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 3:33PM
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When I really like a particular pattern I know I'll make again and again, I buy several when patterns are on sale for $1.99, which is frequently. Much easier, far less time-consuming, and more accurate than tracing, etc. I'm pretty sure it costs less to do it that way than investing in paper or interfacing.

I reuse patterns until they're ragged before I begin a new one, pressing and clipping them, and taping small tears as necessary. I also combine pattern pieces from different patterns to get the design I want, like necklines, sleeves.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 10:11AM
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I've tried the freezer paper. Found it in the grocery store. It had 'for craft use' all over the package, hard to miss. Since it makes the pattern pieces stiff, I hang them with clips on the back of the door to my sewing room. out of the way and accessible. you can just put a few weights on them to cut out. I use soup cans etc. from the pantry.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 1:08PM
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I use white paper rolls they use for table covers at weddings and partys etc. Have used it for years. I have always had good luck with using the paper for many things. It lasts a long time.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 12:07AM
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What I use is called Pattern Ease. It's really just a heavy interfacing. Sooner or later those tissue paper patterns are going to wear out, so if you really like a pattern, it is best to trace it on the Pattern Ease and cut it out. Like with the freezer paper, you could probably iron the tissue pattern onto the Pattern Ease and just cut it out.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 10:18PM
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I have 5 grandaughters and I love sewing for them. I buy the patterns that have 3 or 4 sizes in them. A lot of the times they are around a dollar at the fabric stores and when this happens I buy one of each size. If it is a pattern with a small yolk ( such as a sundress) I take it and copy the top off in all sizes and put it in a ziplock bag. Between Joanns and Hobby Lobby they have patterns on sale often.

This past winter I made flannel pj's for all the grandkids and cut the pants out on gift wrap paper. I layed it out and cut the largest size and continued down until I had all the different sizes cut out. I marked each piece with the pattern number and size and placed all of them in a ziplock bag. I put the picture facing the outside and have them all in one container. I can't believe I am this organized with them.. I have several friends that I share with. So much fun..


    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 1:24PM
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