My Husband "Subvet" says that when our first son "Sonshine" was born the sun rose on our world, when our second son "Gator" was born the sun laughed and when our daughter "Sugars" was born all the flowers bloomed. That says it all.

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."

Your mind is the garden, your
thoughts are the seeds, the harvest can either be flowers or weeds. — William

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Simple Sarah's Sewing Secrets......

I inherited all of my Grandmother's patterns. When she gave them to me she made a point of telling me that she folded each of them on the cutting line instead of cutting out the pattern. This was so that all the sizes would remain intact and you could reuse the same pattern in a bigger size by "simply" unfolding and refolding on the desired cut line.

Now, this woman had more patience than I ever will. I mean to say...HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO FOLD TISSUE PAPER ALONG A CURVE AND HAVE IT BE EXACT?? Yeah, well, I'm not gonna try it either.

OK, so now you're wondering who I'm giving this strange gift-box to right? Well, this box and all that tissue paper in it was wrapping for a gift to my kids about a year ago.

Notice the pattern. It is for kids shirts (long or short sleeves) and pants (or shorts) and skirts and jackets. It has sizes 2-7. Now, notice the lines on the pattern itself. These are the cut lines for the different sizes. Smaller sizes are on the inside...bigger sizes on the outside. Since I do not have shrinking children I'd rather not cut out the size 3 shorts I am going to make this summer and lose the size 4 pants I'll need this winter!!

Here's what you do. Ready??

Take your tissue paper and iron it using a low setting/no steam. Then you lay it on top of your pattern pieces. If needed tape sheets of tissue paper together using clear plastic (scotch) tape. You then find the size you wish to make (size 3) and trace that cutting line on the tissue paper using a FELT TIP pen (ball points will tear your tissue paper. (Hint: Most folk say it's better to iron your patterns before pinning them to your material for cutting, likewise it's better to iron the pattern as well as the tissue paper before tracing to ensure a more exact replica.)

You might note that if you do as I did and lay your pattern out on your ironing board for tracing you will have a nice little outline of the pattern piece permanently drawn on your ironing board cover as the felt tip pen will bleed straight through the 2 layers of tissue paper. I'd recommend a section of "the local fishwrap" as Subvet says under your pattern to protect your writing surface.

Be sure you trace all markings from the pattern, include the label of the pattern piece too (1 shirt front) (8 sleeve) etc. Then use your tissue paper copy as a pattern and proceed according to the instructions.

For storage, I get a gallon sized ziplock bag and put pattern, single size copy, instructions and outer envelope in it....that way everything's together next time I go hunting for this pattern. When I made those shorts I made 3 sets of shorts off the same pattern in the same size. After making the first set I wrote down on a 3x5 index card any needed measurements such as how much to hem and how big to make the waistband elastic and stuck it in the bag too, that way when I sat down to make the next pair I had it all ready at hand. No need to wake the kid up to remeasure his waist ;-)


Diane J. said...

Makes sense to me. And I've made many a pattern copy or altered pattern copy on newspaper or brown paper sacks that I've opened up flat and taped together to overlap for big pieces.

MightyMom said...

the thing about the tissue paper over newspaper or paper bags is that you can see through the tissue paper to trace easier and when you cut the tissue paper it isn't as dulling to the scissors as newspaper or paper bags. But I've done those too!....oh and sometimes newsprint can rub off onto your pretty fabric.

MammyT said...

Wonderful sewing tip. I may need it soon, too. I'm going to make a dancing dress for a friend and am going to use her current costume for a pattern. Maybe this will work, tracing her dress pieces.
I'll be back to join thesaurus fun. Mom, we are not walking on the loopy thing. It's too small. It will be a seat cover for a funky chair. Now I need a funky chair.
Your kids look EXACTLY alike!

I am MightyMom said...

yes dear, definitely use tissue paper...but be careful not to draw on the original pieces if she wants to keep them.