Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Simple way to get all Pattern Sizes out of a purchased pattern

Howdy ya'll! ☺
I've had quite a few people ask me questions about numerous different sewing related subjects.  
I seriously need to get on the ball and start doing tutorials for these things (like I said I would many moons ago!)  Life always throws me a curve ball right when I get to it though!  I'm sure there are tons of you that know that being a wife, mother and business woman does not afford you much free time!
But, today...today is a different story!  I have set aside time before the dinner-making must begin for a quick and simple tutorial on getting all the Pattern sizes out of a purchased pattern!  This may not be any new information to Advanced Sewers, but I've had a bunch of newbies ask me this!

I don't tend to use patterns much, I like to design things and draft my own.  But I wanted to make slippers for some family members for Christmas and didn't have the time or brain cells to design one and then draft patterns for all the various sizes of everyone's feet.  So I purchased this pattern:
Kwik Sew "Snuggly Slippers"!  Super cute!
As you all know, when you open up a store bought pattern, this is what you get:
Ack!  Right?  I've actually had people who want to learn to sew tell me they are intimidated by patterns because they appear so confusing...   :(
If you look at the directions included with the pattern pieces, it will tell you which pieces you need to use for the item you'd like to make.  I am making "VIEW B" which is the photo on the top with the fuzzy green lining.  The directions will tell you which numbered pieces to use to create your project.  You only have to cut those out, not any of the other pieces.  
Now, when you look at the pattern, for the piece numbered "1", there are multiple sizes and they are all layered on top of each other.  If you wear a "SMALL" and you want to make those but your sister wears a "LARGE" and you also want to make those--how do you do that without sacrificing the other sizes?  If you cut out the "SMALL" pattern piece, the medium, large and extra large and pretty much destroyed.  And if you don't cut them out how will you transfer the pattern piece to the fabric???
Never fear!  We're going to make new pattern pieces and salvage the entire pattern!
You could get some pattern tracing paper and a wheel to transfer the pattern to the fabric, but most sewers don't like to do this...at least the ones I know!
You only need 2 things...first thing you will need is some wax paper:
you can find wax paper at your Grocery Store~very cheap too!
•Pull a piece of wax paper off your roll big enough to fit over the pattern piece you need
•Choose the size you'd like to make and using a Sharpie, trace around that size on the wax paper like so...
You can trace on the wax or non-wax side...I like to use wax paper because not only is it transparent enough that you can see right through it easily without having to use a light table, but the consistency of it is very similar to the actual pattern pieces (minus the wax of course!)  When you've traced the size you need,  remove the wax paper from the top of the pattern and you will have this:
Now you can simply cut around your wax paper and...Voila!  You have the size you need!  Make sure to transfer any information on the original pattern piece to your new wax pattern piece...most importantly the size!  Like so...
Here I'm doing the same tracing with the sole of the slipper
Repeat this tracing for all of the pattern pieces you need to complete your project.  Here are all my pieces traced and marked for a size "MEDIUM" slipper
Now I've got all new pattern pieces and my original pattern is still in tact so when I need to make a LARGE or a SMALL I can create new wax pattern pieces without cutting my original pattern.
If your original pattern piece is too big for the width of the wax paper you have, simply tape your wax paper together to form a piece big enough.
Like I mentioned, you could also use tracing paper and a tracing wheel to trace the pattern onto your fabric, but this can compromise the original pattern and cause it to rip or be filled with holes.  That's why I use the wax paper so my original pattern is never compromised.
As a side note, you could also use Freezer Paper instead of wax paper...the shiny side of FREEZER paper (not wax paper) can be ironed onto cottons and then you can cut right around it.  FREEZER paper is thicker than wax paper though and not transparent, so you will need a light table (or a window with good light coming through it as a 'light table') to cut out your new pattern pieces.  If you use FREEZER paper, make sure you trace on the NON shiny side.
After all that...here are one of the pairs of slippers I made:
The 1st ones I made were with cotton, but the were very "floppy" and not sturdy like good winter slippers should be.  So as I usually do, I switched it up--I used fleece and added an extra layer of batting in between the lining and the outer shell...it made them "meaty"!  Soft and plush with lots of warmth...
dontcha just love 'em?

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