Monday, October 20, 2008

Transferring multi-size patterns to card

Following the interest in my post about using industrial patternmaking card, here's another tutorial to answer a question a few people have asked.... This is how to trace multi-sized commercial patterns to cardboard! 1. I really can't stand tissue paper patterns. I photocopy them (on my poor little overworked multi-function printer). I use the window as a lightbox to align the pattern pieces while I stick them together. You can skip this stage and simply use spray adhesive on the original tissue paper pattern to stick it to card (I used to do that in the days before multi-function printers!!).

***Edited to add - Check first that your photocopier doesn't alter the original size of the pattern (mine doesn't).

2. Using a glue-stick or spray adhesive, stick the paper pattern to some patterncard.

3. Cut out the card, following the outside line (no matter which size it is). This is your pattern template.

4. Trace around the cardboard template onto another piece of patterncard.

5. Use a tracing wheel to follow any necessary lines in the pattern that are not on the outside edge of the template. A good spiky patternmaker's wheel is the best thing for this, or you may be able to use carbon paper and a (slightly less-dangerous) dressmaker's wheel.

6. Lift up the template and trace over the line of dots that the tracing wheel has made on your new pattern piece. A patternmaking ruler is great for drawing smooth body-shaped curves (or long, straight lines).

7. Transfer all the pattern markings through to the new pattern piece. For grainlines or other straight line markings, draw a line straight over the template and onto the base cardboard. Lift the template and rule the line through on the pattern piece.

8. Mark any dot placement through to the new pattern with a small hole (use a pin or tailors awl). You can then punch these holes out on the new pattern, but the template won't be damaged.

9. Trim away the template so that the next size down is the outside edge.

10. Repeat the whole process for tracing off each new pattern size, until you reach the smallest size. You can use the original template as the smallest pattern piece.

11. Punch holes in the patterns so that you can hang them up.

12. You can use a proper pattern hook or just use a loop of string....
13. Ta-Dahhhhh! Lovely cardboard patterns that you can TRACE onto your fabric. No need for pins!!!

14 comments:

LizzieJane said...

You give the best tutorials, they are very detailed and easy to understand. I can't stand tissue paper patterns either, I hate it that after one use they are quite torn.

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

This is SUCH fantastic information that is super easy to understand. Thanks so much for sharing. I'll be linking to this post.

CurlyPops said...

Great tutorial...although I haven't used patterns very much, I absolutely hate the tissue paper as well!

Bellgirl said...

Excellent tutorial! Cardboard patterns sound like a good idea- I use interfacing, but I'd really like some giant cardboard templates, a rotary cutting wheel and a self-healing mat about 1.5 x 2 metres.

Janine said...

Oh, I have got to make some of these. Sounds so much better. Only question I have...is it hard to keep the pattern still while you trace onto the fabric? I'm afraid it would shift slightly and my project wouldn't work out properly.

Katherine said...

Brilliant tutorial, Nikki! Thanks for sharing this clever idea.

Michelle said...

great totorial ...i realyy hate having paper patterns folded up every which way...
p.s the "chicago girls" are now up on my post...thanks so much for the suggestion...

Bec said...

I just learnt so much great stuff in this post. Thank-you so much!!!
Cheers, Bec

Di said...

Found you via Whip up. Fantastic info and techniques! Thanks for taking the time to share this :)

Anonymous said...

please forgive my ignorance ... i've only been sewing for just myself since i was a girl ... Do you dislike tissue paper so much that an easier method of applying the tissue to cardboard is not an option for you ?
Are you aware that photocopiers are made so that they change the dimensions (enlarge or decrease) of the original ?
i seriously am confused !?!

Nikki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nikki said...

Sorry for any confusion...

Yes - I really do dislike tissue paper patterns an awful lot!! I hate having to use pins, too.

The reason I photocopy first is so that I can use a glue-stick (instead of spray adhesive, which is necessary on delicate tissue paper), and the paper doesn't flap around and crinkle up while I stick (as tissue paper is prone to do).

But as I mentioned in the post, YOU CAN OMIT THE FIRST STEP and just glue the tissue straight to the card. That's up to you. :)

My photocopier doesn't alter the size of the pattern at all.I guess you should check this first before you use your own. The settings have to be for 100% copying with no "shrink to page" boxes checked.

Hope this helps. :)

Tracie said...

I just re-taught myself to sew a few years ago, and quickly discovered that I hate tissue paper patterns, too!! I'd thought about transferring them to heavier weight materials, but wasn't sure how best to do it. Thanks for this post! I'll be using this technique starting today!

Anonymous said...

Thank you SOO so Much! I hate tissue paper patterns! (yes I know hate is a strong word but I do!) now I don't have to worry about my cat tearing them all to shreds while they're (usually)on the fabric before I cut it out! thank you, you lovely genius you!