Posted on 1 Comment

How to: Deal with PDF patterns

When they first really hit the market a half dozen years ago, PDF patterns were new and exciting and usually fit on just a couple pages. Today there are hundreds of patterns available in PDF format for everything from tops to wallets to coats to quilts. Smaller patterns, like the Necessary Clutch Wallet, are easy. You simply print and cut out the pattern pieces.  For apparel patterns, it takes a little more effort.

For the first few years of using PDF patterns, I would tape together the entire thing and then cut out the pattern pieces. I decided a while ago that that wasn’t the best way to do it. It made me frustrated and took up a ton of space that I didn’t have. While using one of Liesl + Co.‘s patterns, I noticed that Liesl designed all the patterns so that the pieces didn’t overlap pages and I could just tape together the pages printed with the sleeve pattern or the bodice front pattern or whatever. It was great and I love this aspect of her patterns (as well as the fact that hers are hands-down the best written patterns out there).

But most patterns aren’t printed that way. They overlap pieces on pages to save space, so I had to figure out another way.  So here’s my technique to taping/ cutting patterns that saves my floor space, sanity and frustration.

First I print all the pattern pages out. Make sure you do it single-sided (you can guess how I figured that one out…)

img_6032.jpg

Some pattern companies will number the pages (Colette’s Seamwork patterns do this and it’s helpful), but this one is not. Either way, I simply mark the pages I will need to cut out. You can see here that on a couple of the pages there are parts for both pattern pieces. This is where you can get confused, so go ahead and mark the pages any way that works for you.

One Hour Top PDF layout

Then I figure out what size I am for the pattern and start on page one, cutting out the piece on the cutting line, if it’s there. I also cut off the margin on top and right on all the pieces. This helps in taping them together consistently. Cutting out PDF patternsI cut out the pieces from page one and page two, then tape them together with washi tape. There are a couple reasons I prefer washi. One, because it’s cute. Two, because it’s not permanent. When I need to re-tape and move pieces, I can without tearing the paper.

taping together PDF

After taping a full row together, I add the next row one page at a time, taping the top and sides so they match as well as possible. Suddenly I have a complete pattern piece! Yay! I set that aside and tackle the remaining pieces the same way.

img_6039.jpg

I use the taped together pattern piece to cut out my first try. This time I used some gorgeous knit from Alexander Henry Fabrics with these great bats and roses and spiderwebs all over it.  If I really like the finished piece, then I will transfer the pattern to Swedish Tracing Paper for easier storage. You can find it fabric stores and online.

img_6042.jpg

I whipped this One Hour Top up in just over a half-hour. Super quick, easy and cute (even though I cut the front piece upside–oops!)

Finished one hour top

Posted on Leave a comment

Playing with color

I’ve made at least a dozen of the Circling Geese Pincushions now, sticking with the black Essex Yarn-Dyed Linen for the background fabric.  I just love the way it looks with the pops of color against the black and white threads of the linen.

I wanted to make another for a swap that I miserably failed at last year. If you follow my blog at all, you know at last year was a tough one with lots of health issues plus a heaping of personal/family stuff that didn’t make it on to the blog. I’ve had a tremendous amount of guilt for not following through as I had wanted with that swap and it torments me.

But now that life is starting to have some sort of normalcy to it, I’m trying desperately to make up for last year’s failings. One of the members of the swap is a real Carolyn Friedlander fan, so I knew I  what to use her  fabric, but didn’t think I wanted to stick with the black background with these. I decided to give the chambray color a try instead and loved it.

20150403-103642-38202620.jpgIt can be a bit messy along the way, pulling out all those papers, but the final piece  never fails to make me happy. And I absolutely how these play together.

20150403-103643-38203005.jpgNow to finish it up and get it in the mail. Better late than never, right?

 

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Finish! Aeroplane Bag

20130329-135103.jpg

When Sara at Sew Sweetness released new patterns a couple weeks back, I knew I wanted to try it. I’m slowly working up to doing the Amy Butler Weekender bag by trying other bags along the way. Y’know, break down my fear a little and figure out what works and what doesn’t before I get to the Mt. Everest of bag-sewing.

Continue reading Finish! Aeroplane Bag

Posted on Leave a comment

Create H.O.P.E.

Create Hope DesignsIf you know me at all, you know I have a deep love for the orphans that my kids and I worked with in Vietnam. I always wish to do more. Always.

For work I follow Doohikey Designs (Shari designs the absolute cutest fabrics!) and she made note of this new organization of creators and designers working together to raise funds to help orphans around the world. I couldn’t help but volunteer.

So, that wallet design I’ve worked on will be released as a pattern for Create H.O.P.E. Designs, a downloadable PDF pattern. I’ll let you know when it’s up, but for now you can visit their website and see what they have at their Etsy shop.

From their site:

Create H.O.P.E Designs is an organization that was started in September of 2011 by a group of women with a collective desire to make a difference with their talents. It was obvious what could be done, we all shared something in common, we are  designers.  We are a collection of artists selling our patterns to those crafters in the world that share our need to beautify our surroundings.  It was with this goal in mind that Create H.O.P.E Designs or Create H.O.P.E was launched.  Our goal is to provide beautiful patterns or tutorials for a very affordable price.  All of the designs are downloadable PDF files, ensuring that Create H.O.P.E will operate overhead-free.  100% of all funds generated will benefit designated foundations serving orphans and their communities.