Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A shortcut within a shortcut inside a shortcut...

I discovered years ago, that freezer paper was useful not only for cutting repeat shapes of fiddly applique designs, but also for cutting out small pattern pieces for bags and purses (and it's MAGIC with small bag bits on slippery lining fabrics).

For the uninitiated, freezer paper has a shiny side and a dull side. When you iron the shiny side to the surface of fabric, it sticks. The magic bit is that you can then peel it off and RE-USE the freezer paper quite a few more times. It'll eventually lose its stickiness, but it kicks on for longer than you'd think.
I love a shortcut.... so when faced with the prospect of tracing Tania's HOT FROG pattern pieces onto freezer paper (a fiddly pattern piece always has me reaching for the freezer paper), I thought of yet ANOTHER shortcut.


1. Cut the freezer paper to size and feed it through the inkjet printer (dull side as print side) to print out the downloadable pdf. (If you're using a paper pattern, you could photocopy it onto the freezer paper with a multi-function inkjet printer ). Why hadn't I thought of THAT one before...?

2. Rough-cut around the freezer paper pattern pieces out and iron them onto the fabric.

3. Cut the pieces out.
(I cut the double layer of fabric under the one stuck-on pattern until it all got a bit too much like hard work. I then finished cutting the top layer, repositioned the freezer paper on the other piece and finished cutting the fiddly bit on that one, too... another shortcut).
4. Peel off the pattern pieces and press them onto the next piece of fabric.
5. The pattern piece will stay in place even when you're cutting around little curvy bits.

Now the pattern pieces are all nicely cut out and the freezer paper patterns can be used again for another frog or two.
As you can probably tell by the number of shortcuts I was taking, I really don't have time to make the hot frog at the moment! The cut pieces are now in a ziplock bag with the instructions - all ready for when the wee frog-obsessed girl remembers that she was nagging about making one of these.
...
In case you missed the link at the top of the post, Liesl did a bit of research into Freezer paper a while ago and complied this list of Aussie suppliers. She also wrote a tutorial for freezer paper stencils.

24 comments:

Posie Patchwork said...

Fabulous isn't it, love a pattern you don't have to pin & reuse, ahhhh, brilliant stuff. Happy froggie making, love Posie

Melanie said...

Freezer paper is super magic stuff, that's for sure. Have you used it to stencil onto the wee-girl's clothes yet? She will *love* that one!

Fer said...

Oh yes, freezer paper is such wonderful stuff! Feeding it through the printer is definitely a stroke of brilliance!

Sandy said...

Go ahead and make that frog - you've already made the fiddly part easy!! Great idea using freezer paper. My grandaughter takes her FiFi to bed every night!

Fiona said...

I've never heard of freezer paper before today. I'll be keeping an eye out for that one next time I go shopping. I'm all for shortcuts!

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

Brilliant! And to think, I've had a roll sitting here for so long for printing plans I've had (that may never happen), and I could have been using it like this all this time!

Liesl (Hoppo Bumpo) said...

Ah, that's a stroke of absolute brilliance Nikki. I love it! I will never trace onto freezer paper again ... its all going through the printer.

dearmolly said...

I really have to buy some. You are always thinking Nik!!! Very clever girl!

A Peppermint Penguin said...

Oh how nice is that? 3 of my favourite Aussies all in the one post!

And the tip is good too ;-)

Cheers,
AJ

Original Mischief said...

Freezer paper is also great for DIY screenprinting... same, same - iron onto your item after cutting out your stencil design, ie., t-shirt; paint with fabric paints; remove stencil; allow fabric paint to dry; iron to set fabric paint. Easy! :)

Melody (lacyquilter) said...

Great idea. Another way to short cut your cutting is to staple several layers of freezer paper together with the pattern traced only on the top layer. Cut out through all the layers and then remove the staples.

Hagler Happenings said...

This is the 1st I've heard of freezer paper. Thanks for the tip! This will be perfect for so many of my projects :)

Cassie@You Go Girl said...

Oh my stars! You're the bomb. Thanks for a new short cut in pattern tracing and cutting...my least favorite part of a project! Can't wait to try this out.

laura said...

I bought a huge roll of this stuff last year and still haven't touched it. Feeding it through the printer is just too darned clever!

Adélie said...

Just had a BFO thanks to you (Blinding Flash of the Obvious): I knew about freezer paper (even though it's something you don't really find in France - but I managed to find a few sheets), and I always look for the best method to cut out small shapes out of felt... and yet I never thought of trying your method. Thank you so much Nicole! :)

(just one question though... do you use your "good" fabric scissors to cut both the paper and the fabric? I never want my precious fabric scissors close to anything resembling paper, being too scared of spoiling them...)

Toni Searle said...

oooooh, what a great tip, at the markets on the week end I gave a novice sewer your blog address for all of these good tips.
Toni

kylie said...

This is an awesome tip. I didn't realise any of these things about freezer paper. I will definitely be trying this next time I have to make a softie or something equally fiddly.

Tania said...

Ah, I hereby (although somewhat belatedly) crown you Queen of the Short Cut.

Only in extra special, excellent, you've changed my life good ways, of course.

casserole said...

I love your brain!! This makes so much sense!! I can see that I'm going to have to buy more freezer paper. :)

I linked to your tip on Craft Gossip Sewing:
http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-use-freezer-paper-to-cut-small-pattern-pieces/2010/04/15/

--Anne

Mare said...

I just love the ideas with freezer paper, but I live in Chile, whre I have not found it, and I'm not sure how to ask for it in spanish, so if anyone knows how freezer paper is called in Spanish, please help me! Or if anyone is travelling to Chile, please contact me and bring me a roll of such wonder!

Sandi said...

Unbelievably simple and brilliant.
Thanks for the tip. I will be using this.
Sandi

Robyn said...

Cool, I never was sure how to use freezer paper for stuff like this, great shortcuts even better. Found you on CraftGossip.

syndi said...

awesome AND awesome

Kristi said...

I have been doing this lately, too. It works so much better than pinning the little pieces.