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Thread: Flimsy Paper Clothes Sewing Pattern Question

  1. #1
    Super Member JENNR8R's Avatar
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    Flimsy Paper Clothes Sewing Pattern Question

    The last time I used a clothes pattern with the flimsy paper was in seventh grade home economics. I was totally lost in the class and had to ask the teacher how to do each step. My finished dress was sewn together wrong side out... I decided that sewing was not my gift and vowed never to do that again!

    ...fast forward 50 years... I ordered a rag jacket pattern. It sounded so easy and fun to make that I thought I could do it, and guess what? IT HAS A FLIMSY PAPER PATTERN!!!

    The pattern has markings from extra small to extra/extra large. I'm supposed to make it the size that fits me.

    1. What if I made one for a skinny friend and then wanted to make another one for my larger frame? If I cut the flimsy paper up for the extra small, don't I ruin it for any larger size?

    2. Is that flimsy paper designed for one use only? Will I have to buy another pattern every time I want to make one?

    3. Can I preserve that flimsy paper to make more than one jacket? Can I trace the flimsy paper pattern onto some other paper to keep the original pattern?

    What have I gotten myself into? I think I need a paper bag to breathe into.

  2. #2
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    J1) if I bought the pattern at a place where they go on sale every so often, I would buy another pattern.If I needed two sizes of it. (I am willing to spend four dollars for two patterns - but unwilling to spend forty dollars for two patterns.

    2) if you want to trace the original pattern and keep it intact,

    one can buy pattern tracing material - it is usually found with the interfacings
    one can also use parchment paper - found on rolls - it is used to line baking pans - somewhere in many grocery stores
    One can also buy vellum on rolls - it is found with drafting supplies

    3) that flimsy tissue paper is surprisingly tough and can be used more than once.

    4) I usually repackage my used patterns in a larger ziplock bag. I can usually refold it to fit the original envelope, but it is a battle.


    Breathe. Take your measurements. Pattern sizes and ready -to- wear sizes may differ. Match your measurements the the size on the pattern envelope!

    For a starter project - select something forgiving as to fit and construction.
    Last edited by bearisgray; 03-28-2015 at 06:40 AM.

  3. #3
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    To use the pattern twice. Make the larger size first, then you can cut down to the other size. And, as was mentioned match size to person's measurements allowing extra for "ease". You could also cut one out of muslin to see how it fits before you cut the good fabric.
    Sally

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
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    Trace the pattern size you need onto Swedish Pattern Paper, interfacing, butcher paper, etc. Tape the pattern to a window, put the paper over the pattern, tape to hold and then trace. I never cut up a pattern. Always trace them. I measure the person and then pick the correct line on the pattern, it is easy to enlarge or decrease as you go. If you buy Swedish Pattern Paper you can even sew on it to see if the item will fit. Nancy notion, JoAnn's has what you need, butcher paper is found at Sam's Club in the paper area.

  5. #5
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i trace my size onto pattern paper and keep the original intact.
    Nancy in western NY
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  6. #6
    Super Member mermaid's Avatar
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    I preserve my 'flimsy' paper patterns by ironing them onto lightweight interfacing. Works wonderfully and folds neatly to place back into the envelope. You can see all the markings thru the interfacing. You can usually buy about 3 yds in a package at the fabric store for $1. At least that's what I pd last time (might have been on sale)...then trace the size you want to save before cutting away.

  7. #7
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    I sew for my four year old DGD and buy the patterns that have several sizes so I don't have to keep buying patterns as she grows. I trace the size I want on the wrong side of the fabric by turning the pattern back at the line I want to use and draw just off the pattern and I am able to use the pattern until she out grows all the sizes on the pattern. I do the same when I sew for myself also.

  8. #8
    Super Member Chasing Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    i trace my size onto pattern paper and keep the original intact.
    I do this too. And as Bearisgray says I would buy two if I needed different sizes.

    I have several kids patterns that are different sizes for the grandkids.
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  9. #9
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Nancy's Notions or Annie's attic catalogs probably have things you can buy to help with this. They have light weight muslin you can cut to size and try on to see if that would fit before cutting your fabric. I think there was some iron on paper to make your paper pattern more sturdy too. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Super Member JENNR8R's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas that I would have never thought of.

    I wonder if I can trace the pattern onto the back of freezer paper and then iron the freezer paper onto the fabric?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JENNR8R View Post
    Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas that I would have never thought of.

    I wonder if I can trace the pattern onto the back of freezer paper and then iron the freezer paper onto the fabric?
    Never thpught of that! You could try a little sample and see how it works.

  12. #12
    Super Member JENNR8R's Avatar
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    Here is a short Youtube video about the rag jacket pattern that I bought:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jy5...ature=youtu.be

    ...and here is the pattern:

    http://amisimms.com/ragfurjacket1.html

  13. #13
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Here's the pattern tracing fabric at Joannes....it's even on sale right now for $1.24 yd.

    http://www.joann.com/search?q=patter...acing%20fabric

    Jan in VA
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  14. #14
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    I use a piece of transfer paper underneath the pattern and with a tracing wheel, trace the smaller size onto the fabric (wrong side), where the lines are different. If I really want to keep the pattern intact, I do the same with each size.
    Neesie


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  15. #15
    Super Member PurplePassion's Avatar
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    I just fold over the paper on the lines for the right size. I don't cut off the paper pattern.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Angellight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurplePassion View Post
    I just fold over the paper on the lines for the right size. I don't cut off the paper pattern.
    I also do this, and if it is a curved area, I cut into the smallest line in several areas so that I can cut the pattern out with out cutting slices out of the pattern. I then iron the crisp line in to the size I need. When I need to make the larger size, I "un-fold" to the size I need and re- iron.

    Good luck and happy sewing.
    Susan
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    Susan - AKA _ Anglelight

  17. #17
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    I trace all my clothing patterns and the like on the paper that you get at the doctors office, you can get a whole roll for under $5 and it goes a long way.

  18. #18
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I also trace my patterns onto something else. I tape tissue paper from the dollar store together. So far this has worked for me.
    Alyce

  19. #19
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    I also have that pattern, but haven't done anything with it yet. I need to get some tracing paper first.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurplePassion View Post
    I just fold over the paper on the lines for the right size. I don't cut off the paper pattern.
    Me, too. Have reused patterns many times and made a LOT of clothes over the years when I sewed for my family. No need to trace, buy extra copies, etc. Just fold on the straight lines and adapt the curves so that those patterns are reusable. That's the purpose of using the flimsy paper--it's see-thru! Just be careful you don't cut too close to the edge of that folded over edge. That's what tape is good for, if you accidentally get too close though.

  21. #21
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    I always trace the patterns on a lightweight pelon and save the paper ones. Works great and doesn't tear when you are cutting and pinning. That way you can use the different sizes as well.

  22. #22
    Super Member citruscountyquilter's Avatar
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    I use cheap muslin to make patterns. I use a sharpie to draw around the size I want and it bleeds through onto the muslin. I like the muslin as it will stick to the fabric so I don't have to use as many pins when I'm cutting out my fabric. I draw the grain lines and markings on the muslin along with what pattern it is. If I am trying to match repeats or wonder if I have enough fabric etc. I will make two patterns (like sleeves, fronts etc) and place on a single thickness of my fabric. You can also stitch the pattern together to judge the fit this way too. I buy the cheapest muslin that JoAnn's has by the bolt with a coupon.

  23. #23
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurplePassion View Post
    I just fold over the paper on the lines for the right size. I don't cut off the paper pattern.
    Yep, BUT if you do make the smaller size first AND cut the pattern, you CAN tape it back together!
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  24. #24
    Super Member JAGSD's Avatar
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    Pattern Ease carried by many fabric stores will work, or I usually just use freezer paper, though I don't sew clothes much anymore.

  25. #25
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    Jennr8r, take a deep breath - you will be JUST FINE. I do a LOT of garment making (granddaughter, granddog, etc..), so the pattern thing is going to be ok and reusable. You can go to the local copy store (this is NOT going to be a copyright problem, because this is for YOUR use), some copy stores will have you sign a waiver that the pattern you are coping is for "YOUR USE and NOT FOR SALE". If the pattern is large in size, most stores have a large machine that will take the whole pattern in one shot (you are charged by the sq ft for this - it helps if your pattern has all of the wrinkles out of it too). The other method is to cut your pattern apart (on the largest size - when it has multiple sizes), then you can use a copy machine to take copies of the pattern as you move it around. This will require you to cut and tape the pattern together to make it work. I only use this method on kids cloths because it's too much work. When I take my patterns home I will cut them out and I use a dot of glue to hold to fabric as I cut out, when finished I fold new pattern with sizes written on each one and what it's for (ie: front right, etc...). When all finished I place in a folder with the original pattern, this way I can see the finished product on the original pattern and I have my working pattern with the original. Good luck

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