Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Transferring your most used patterns?

This is my Question of the Day - "How do you transfer your most used patterns?"

Do you use tissue paper?  Or the pattern paper with the letter and numbers? Oak tag paper like professional pattern makers?  Or do you fuse your paper patterns to lightweight fusible interfacing?


Photo courtesy of Sew Can Do blog

I would really like to know because my TNT dress pattern, pants pattern, skirt and a jacket or two really need to be transferred again to better paper.  But I'm wondering if maybe it isn't time to transfer those patterns to oak tag paper and stop remaking them every couple of years.

So I'm soliciting opinions, answers, suggestions, etc.  I think maybe it's time for the basic ones not to be folded anymore but along with that comes storage issues.  How to store them? Where to store them?  Because the present storage system I have is working pretty well.

I'm really interested and hope that you'll share what you do in the comments!

...as always more later!

55 comments:

  1. I follow a blog (Fit for a Queen) about a lady who makes/alters clothing and she uses 'Weed X' which is a landscaping product you can get from Home Depot (3ftx100ft in white) for her patterns.

    I have not tried it, but will look it out when our Home Depot starts filling up with Spring/Summer products. I get the impression that it is some kind of pliable plastic/nylon so I am not sure if it can be written on, but a hole punch could mark darts and a piece of sticky tape could be used for more details. Hope that helps!

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  2. I have several TNT patterns that I have traced onto a recycled wedding aisle runner. (I'm a pastor's wife,and they get discarded at church after the wedding.) The material is like a heavy nonwoven interfacing, wide enough for most of my pieces, see-through, and durable enough to pin through but lasts longer than paper. I especially like the see-through part.

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  3. I love Swedish Tracing Paper (or the equivalent). Nice and cheap at $2 a metre, and because there's no grain I can orient it whichever way I like to fit as many pieces on there as possible. It folds up neatly and when unfolded, the creases come out fairly easily.

    It melts though if the iron is too hot as my aunty discovered...

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  4. I used 'medical paper' that I buy in bulk. I'm not sure it's the best answer - it will rip and tear, but it's easy to see through, trace on and cut. I have friends to put final or TNT in your case patterns on oak tag. I have no idea where to get it or how to store the oak tag until you cut patterns. Or even how wide it is and how much waste there might be. Storage seems to be hanging with a special hole punch and hanger.

    Looking forward to hearing what you decide to do. g

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  5. I have one very used skirt pattern that I ironed on to fusible interfacing. It works well for me, and they actually roll up pretty well to store in a tube. I don't know that it's forever, but so far so good!

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  6. I use doctor's exam paper for my tracing paper, which gets ironed onto light, cheap fusible when I've got the pattern alterations worked out and designate a pattern worth incorporating into my personal uniform.

    I switched to this method after years of oak tag/card stock/poster board because I outgrew my previous storage system. Now, I use letter sized manilla mailing envelopes and cardboard magazine files. I make a color copy of the pattern envelope front and gluestick it to the envelope front. The original pattern goes in the manilla envelope with the altered pieces. On the back of the envelope, I've got space for notes to myself. Light interfaced pieces fold well, don't crease badly, don't melt, and the interfacing grabs most fabrics enough that it's easy to cut. Each magazine file holds 10 patterns. I try to keep my patterns limited to that -- 10 blouses, ten skirts, ten dresses, etc -- because that keeps my patterns to specific garment types, not minor style differences. Since several of my patterns are not big 4 size (I like sensibility, laughing moon and jalie, which are all folded to letter paper size) regular pattern boxes don't work for me.

    The envelopes are 10 for $1 at my local dollar store; the magazine files are ikea.

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  7. As of right now I do my tracing on medical exam table paper. Mostly because it is cheap, fairly see-through, and easy to write on. I, however, don't really have or use TNT patterns like you do (mostly because I haven't really developed or settled on what I would consider to be TNT patterns as of yet). In your case, because you use the same patterns so often it might be good to transfer those to oak tag. I have seen where people hang them on bulletin boards, or punch holes in them and use a ring system to hang them. I don't have personal experience with using oak tag or storing it, but it does seem like a good solution for long-term pattern usage. I am really interested to see what sort of system you end up using.

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  8. I don't know it's called in english (in french it's "bache de peinture") but I'm using the plastic you put on the floor when painting a room and it's really solid (http://www.leroymerlin.fr/v3/p/produits/bache-de-protection-multiplast-1-5m-x-10m-e146013.
    I find it in the shop where you buy tools hammer, painting and so on, again I don't how it's call in english.
    I use it for tracing all my patterns.You can see an example here : http://www.flickr.com/photos/78752907@N02/8493937075/

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  9. This is a very timely post for me as I think I have my first TNT pattern and so I have been thinking about exactly this. I am going to try architect/drafting tracing paper - sorry no idea what else to call it, the Thai translates as 'thick paper'. It is tracing paper and therefore transparent but doesn't tear or fold for that matter, so then storage is going to be an issue. However, I'm pretty sure it will roll up. Will be checking it out in the next few days so will let you know how I get on.

    Will be interested to see what you decide.

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  10. When I have a tissue pattern that achieves 'TNT' status, I iron it on to cheap fusible interfacing and then roll it into a loose tube inside newspaper, with a label tucked under the rubber band holding the tube together. These tubes stand in a box in a closet. The pattern is then non-wrinkling, long lasting, and the interfacing sort of grips the fashion fabric when it is laid out. Works for me!

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  11. So far, I like Swedish Tracing Paper - need to get some more...

    PS That Architect Paper that Gaye mentioned is called Vellum:
    http://tinyurl.com/nlmaoo8

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  12. I have a roll of non-iron interfacing that I use for tracing off keeper patterns. It is the heavier weight stuff and doesn't fold easily. I fold them into large A4 envelopes, ironing them flat and thin. Prior to using them again I iron out the creases. Notes about the pattern and the original pieces go inside the envelope. On the outside I glue the original pattern envelope. Or draw a really terrible picture...

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  13. As most of my patterns have the life taken out of them by the time I have altered them to fit I redraw all pieces onto dot and cross paper it is very durable and cheap although it doesnt fold that easily and my storage space is very limited!

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  14. I use Swedish tracing paper for all my patterns and I love it. You can fold it easily and reuse it lots of times. I have some patterns that are at least ten years old.

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  15. Art paper for me, it's inexpensive, durable.come sin 36 inch width and is widely available. Never used Swedish tracing paper, just too expensive for my taste.

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  16. Pellon makes a product specifically for patterns. You can easily trace with it, draw on it, and even drape with it... although it's a bit stiff. And it's more resilient than papers. I buy it by the bolt when it's on sale at JoAnn's (which I believe it is right now). I'm not sure how it compares price-wise with alternatives, but I love it.

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  17. As twotoast said earlier, I do use landscape pipe wrapping fabric from Home Depot for copying and saving patterns but another pattern saving thing is from JoAnn's...something with a grid called True-Grid. I buy it by the bolt and trace off much used patterns like your TNT dress. It lays flat on new layouts and can be folded or rolled up. Freezer paper is pretty good although not very wide. If I am making patterns for clients I use dr's exam paper since it is so cheap.

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  18. I bought a box of vintage patterns at an estate sale and some of them were traced onto oak tag and I can say it is rather stiff and unwieldy (imho) so I wouldn't use it (myself) in the future but I do like the tracing paper from Dick Blick

    transferring a pattern every few years doesn't bother me

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  19. i use a plastic tablecloth for patterns that i wanna keep .

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  20. Swedish Tracing Paper. It is durable, you can iron/press it, and it is great trace through/onto. Joann's has something very similar and I like it just as well ... cheaper than STP too. I wanted to get some Sunday while I was there but there was no way I was gonna stand in that cutting line. Until I get back, I'll continue to be ignorant of its actual name.

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  21. I use freezer paper from the grocerie store. It is see through, affordable, and very durable. I never pin my patterns, but use pattern weights.

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  22. I purchase tracing paper by the roll. It's not necessary, but I normally get at least two rolls at a time. It takes years to use it all and after using it for 20 years or more, not a single pattern that I've traced on this paper has ever ripped. There are probably lots of sources, but I get mine online from Nancy's Notions.

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  23. I use oak tag for those patterns that are heavy repeats like DH's shorts pattern. I have a round hole punch and pattern hooks and store them on a clothes rail. The smaller pattern pieces get put into a gallon ziploc and hung on the pattern hook with the large pieces. For others, and for patterns that I want to see through, I use tracing paper from Nancy's Notions. Those go into a manila envelope with the pattern envelope.

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  24. Pattern Ease from J's or H's. I buy (by the bolt) with my coupon.

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  25. Swedish tracing paper, you will get your monies worth and not have to worry about replacement every few years, try it!

    Marcia Putman

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  26. I got this hint from Emma Seabrooke. Use the cheapest large, white plastic tablecloths at Dollar General, Family Dollar, etc. Sometimes they are 2 for $1.00l. You can see thru them to trace but they are much sturdier than paper and even have a little "drape" if you'd want to pin fit them.

    Barbara Rosier-Tryon

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  27. I use the Pellon alternative to Swedish tracing paper, available at Joann's. (I know you don't go there, but you can buy it from Joann's online with a sale coupon--sometimes they offer free or almost free shipping.) I like it because it has a grid, so it is easy to check the grain and it clings to the fabric, so that you can cut without pins.

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  28. Oaktag, Oaktag, Oaktag!! I oaktag a lot (especially small pieces) including for non TNT patterns. Try it once, it makes tracing patterns SO easy. I think you will find it useful everytime you want to make a new pattern (your pattern sandwich method) starting from your TNT. To transfer to oaktag you can just staple the paper pattern and cut around, it's nice to have a notcher and and owl to transfer the markings.

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  29. I use oaktag for patterns I want to use more than once. It's so easy to trace around them, and the edges stay nice.

    I punch a hole with a bunny punch and hang the patterns with patterns hooks. No more folded patterns!

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  30. I use the Pattern ease form JA (like swedish tracing paper from what i hear). However, i think you might like the oaktag better, since you use your TNT so much. i wouldn't fold the oaktag, but just hang it up

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  31. For TNT patterns I use the Pellon dotted grid from JoAnn's. It is sheer and clings to fabric when cutting.
    For uncut patterns I use Speedball tracing paper that I ordered from Dick Blick...36" X 50yards!!!...around $20.00 plus shipping...worth it.
    Pattern storage: I tape the envelope picture & detail info on thin letter size cardstock, insert that into a page protector and file it numerically in a large zippered notebook (or binder). It's easy to look at my patterns and I can take the binder when I'm big time shopping for fabric, or put it by my computer if I'm fabric shopping on the internet. I put the patterns in 9 X 12" envelopes, mark the pattern # in the top right hand corner and file them numerically, standing up in a large tote. The patterns don't have to be folded small and stuffed back into the pattern envelope! Plus, patterns traced on any kind of paper or pattern tracing fabric fit easily into the 9 X 12 envelopes.

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  32. Hello Caroline,

    I make my own patterns, and like you I have basics blocks. I have traced them on cardboard that you can buy in art supplies stores.
    whenever I'm making a new pattern, I just place my cardboard on top of my tracing paper and go around it with my crayon. It's a very efficient method time wise. And when I'm done, I just place my block behind my shelves because it's thin and rigid.
    I took this method from my pattern making book: "la technique de la coupe" by Line Jaque.
    Hope you like my method.

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  33. I have used Swedish Tracing paper as well as iron-on fusible, the best best is Freezer paper. I iron the pattern onto the shiny side, and to store them I either hole punch it and use Pattern hangers that I bought in NY's Garment District or I roll them up and label them. Actually the rolled up method really works best.

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  34. After a mishap wherein I ruined an expensive, full-price Vogue pattern, I trace everything before altering. I use tracing paper I get from Dick Blix by the roll. It comes in 18", 24", and 36" rolls and is quite reasonably inexpensive. I have all 3 widths, but I usually find the 24" width most convenient and least wasteful. When I first started tracing patterns I looked for exam room paper, but could never find it at a reasonable price.

    I've been considering transferring my most-used patterns to oak tag, but I don't know where to get it. Do you have a source?

    My sewing "cave" is actually a "sewing garret" above the garage, and I have little wall space taller than 30". As a result I have had to find storage solutions that do not involve any drawers or shelves. I have an inexpensive roll-around clothes rack where I hang my traced patterns from skirt hangers. Recently I have been using shirt hangers from the cleaners and clothespins. The original pattern tissue is refolded in the original envelope and clipped with the traced and altered pattern.

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  35. Swedish Tracing paper is the bomb!

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  36. I always trace my patterns and I use Easy Pattern by Pellon that I buy at Joanns. It's 45" wide, can be sewn and is quite durable. I usually buy the entire bolt (25 yds) and use a 50% coupon.

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  37. I generally transfer patterns in sorry shape to Swedish tracing paper, but can see a real advantage to fusible interfacing. Regarding storing the fused patterns, why not hanging them with a skirt hanger? no more ironing a pattern to get all the lines out. Wawak has pattern hooks, 12/$3.95. Something I have done with patterns for the French dolls is trace them onto sheets of acetate. Then I do not have to worry about deterioration of a paper pattern. You reuse your patterns, and do so beautifully, so I would think the most permanent method might be the best.

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  38. I use a 36" wide tracing paper I buy by the roll at art supply places. Also, When I have a TNT that I need a copy of sometimes I lay tracing paper between the fabric and the TNT. When I cut the fabric, I am also cutting a new TNT. I do have to add straight of grain line, but If I make tailor's tacks then the newly cut TNT will also have them without having to trace.

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  39. I use 18"W tracing paper that I get by the roll at Michael's. It holds up pretty well and can be pressed. I find 18" wide enough to fit most pattern pieces. I keep my TNT's rolled in an old poster shipping tube.

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  40. I use Soil Separator paper from Home Depot. It is 15 bucks for 150feet roll. It clings to the fabric and folds up for storage. You can drape it on the dress form. The only downside is that Sharpies bleed thru the paper.

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  41. If I have a pattern that fits, I transfer it to muslin and then interface the muslin back.

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  42. My sister and I used plain white plastic party tablecloths. See through and can be folded or rolled. I store mine in cheap plastic envelopes from the $2 shop.

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  43. I iron Pellon Craft Fuse onto mine and then hang them on hangers with skirt clips in the spare closet.

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  44. I do not use pellon products for interfacing (yuck!) but the grided non-fusible type works well for pattern tracing.

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  45. My first tracings I use a product that I think is for artists and architects, similar to Trace. When working, for mass production, it's always Oaktag, which doesn't last forever but is very sturdy. One thing I found with making my own patterns is that you can just get some nasty pellon interfacing & stiffen up an unpicked toile and just use that as a pattern. It has the upside of being fabric and flexible and I find myself using this method more and more.

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  46. I have no answers, but am so glad you asked the question, since I'm also curious about the best method.

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  47. Carolyn, You can go to your local newspaper office and purchase a huge roll of paper for next to nothing. I still have not used up all of mine yet. I also use it on the table when we have a crab boil. You can also use this paper to wrap dishes, glass anything when moving or packing away.

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  48. Oaktag. This is your TNT, go-to pattern, so put it on something that will last and last and last. I transfer all my basic patterns that I use again to oaktag. As another reader said, they are sturdy and easy to trace around for when you want to make adjustments and design changes.

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  49. I use Swedish tracing paper, and I love it. It rolls up nicely for compact storage.

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  50. I love Swedish Tracing Paper. I am the biggest cheapskate around, and I think it's worth every penny. So nice to work with!

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  51. Some great ideas here! 15 years ago, I bought a roll of brown wrapping paper from the hardware store. It's durable, and it gets softer the more you use the patterns, and I think that roll will turn out to be a lifetime supply for me.3

    (It's not a perfect solution, though, so I'm going to try some of these new-to-me methods.)

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  52. Once the fit is perfected and it earns TNT status, the pattern is commited to oak tag. I love that it is easy to trace around if need be. I cut out the darts so I can just trace them next to the edge and use that as my marking. Go Oaktag!

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  53. Just want to add that I punch holes in the pattern pieces and connect them with an oversize safety pin. This is then hookded on to a thin metal curtail rod mounted on the wall in my walkin fabric closet. Each pin has a number and I have a "legend" typed out and on the wall next to my rod/patterns to let me know which number is which pattern. Hope this helps as I'm a little late to the party.

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  54. I transfer most using Swedish Tracing paper. One tip I learned from Sandra Betzina, when you a tracing a dart using tracing wheel and marking paper, to save your pattern, use a plastic bag like a Hefty or Ziplock between paper pattern and tracing wheel. Helps save the pattern.

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  55. I'm late to the discussion, but I have found fusing a lightweight interfacing to tissue paper is best for me.

    The two main advantages over oak tag are:

    -The patterns can be rolled up for storage without creasing them (I have a cork board and I keep the patterns in clear page protectors, so each one fits in an 8 1/2 x 11 plastic sleeve). This takes up a LOT less room than a closet full of oak tag.

    -The interfacing "sticks" to a lot of fabrics like an old-school flannel board, which saves time pinning and makes cutting easier.

    The advantage over the fabric-ish media (soil separator, etc.):

    -Because the upper layer is tissue, you can easily mark and draw on it. Using Kaddidlehoppers brilliant tip, I draw on my patterns with my Frixion markers for a project and then iron off the marks when I'm done with the project (though the markers do leave behind a somewhat waxy-looking white line; they don't disappear completely).

    Finally,

    -It's very durable. I expect I'll get several years out of the patterns before they need to be retraced.

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