Monday, September 22, 2014

Tutorial: conserving patterns

Pin It Do you use PDF or paper patterns?  I use both, and they each have their own draw backs and highlights.  But what I do like about a pdf pattern is that I can cut it to the size I need, and then, when my kids grow reprint and cut the new size.

But with paper patterns, if you cut out the size you need, you are pretty much stuck and would have to re-purchase the pattern.  If I want to save a paper pattern for future use, I will use the following technique.

using the small size without cutting away the larger size

First, I cut the pattern out using the outermost line, regardless of size.  On the straight lines, it is easy; fold on the size you want to use.  It is on the curved parts that things can get tricky.  I slice down to the size I want to use perpindicular to the cutting line.

This will make small wedges that can now be folded under smoothly.  Continue around all curved edges.

When you cut around the pattern, you will need to be careful to not snip the edge of the pattern.  That would cut the fold, and defeat the purpose of all that work for conserving.

Do you have any tricks to conserve your patterns?


  1. I trace my paper patterns- I got the tip from the sewing blog world years ago and I love it. The originals stay nice and neat (and square for easy refolding) plus alterations are easy to make.

  2. I trace some of my patterns, easier ones, like pj pants I just eyeball my scissors under the paper or fold things back. I love pdf patterns because I can cut the size I want and print a new one for another size. I primarily use pdf's now a days. I find the fit is just so much better (without having to guess if I should go down a size because they usually run big).


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