Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Confession





Last weekend Ana wanted to use one of my patterns for baby clothes. The problem was that I had already cut out the 3-6 month size, and she wanted to make the 9-12 month size. So we had to extrapolate to create the larger sized pattern pieces.

I got to thinking that if I had just traced the pattern the first time, we could have made a different size much more easily. But when I start a new project, I'm usually feeling a bit excited and impatient, and so I jump in and cut the pattern pieces.

What about you? When you buy a tissue paper pattern from a company like Simplicity (as opposed to using a pattern magazine like Burda World of Fashion), do you directly cut out the pieces for the size you want to make, or do you trace them and preserve the original pattern intact?

26 comments:

Becky said...

I just cut them out. Part of it is because I generally only sew for me and my weight is pretty consistent, but part of it is out of impatience (when I have time to sew, I just want to jump in and do it) and sheer laziness (tracing out Burda mag patterns is enough of a pain, so why would I want to extend that to the big 4?)

Lori said...

I cut them out. I buy my Big 4 patterns at Joann's during the sales, so no way am I tracing.

Summerset said...

When I use a Big 4 pattern, which isn't often, I don't trace. I always cut out the pattern on the largest lines, making sure to leave all lines intact at the corners and other places they don't meet. I then fold down to the size I want to cut out. This is especially important for children's patterns, but I do it for all patterns since I never know if I'll give the pattern away and someone will need a larger size than I am.

linda said...

When you can get patterns for 99 cents or 1.99, why trace? I just cut away and then if I want a bigger size later, I re-purchase the pattern. Time and tracing paper is more costly than $2.00.

Truth be told, I even cut the Vogue 3.99 sale patterns rather than trace.

I do not vary sizes often so if I would change sizes, the item would probably be outdated anyway! Plus, if the pattern is unique, I probably only make it once or twice. A more common item (a-line skirt) that does not go out of style would be used for years and year..... when I find a pattern that I am using over and over, I adhere fusible interfacing to the tissue pattern pieces to keep them more stable.

gwensews said...

OK, I'm a tracer. I have to make several alterations to my patterns so tracing and having one set of lines to deal with makes that job easier. And, I change sizes from time to time and prefer not to cut my patterns. Also, by taking the time to trace the pattern, I'm studying it as I trace and am very familiar with it when I'm ready to sew.

BConky said...

I cut away. If I really like the pattern I'll buy a duplicate when they are on sale.

Sewing Geek said...

I am a tracer. I have to make so many changes to a pattern that I trace it off so that if I mess up the changes I still have the original to trace off again.

Kristine said...

Depends. If it's for my daughter, I'm most likely to trace if her size is the smallest on the envelope. If her size is the largest, I'll just cut the paper, since I have no younger daughters. For me (or adults), I only trace if it's likely to be sought after or a gift. I have so many projects on the wish list, it's doubtful that I'll ever find the time or desire to return to make another of anything!

Lady Jenn said...

I do like Summerset - I cut it out on the largest size, leaving everything intact and then fold down to the size I need.

I do this because I sew an immense amount of clothes for my 6 children - who are all various ages and sizes.

I even do this for those patterns I get for 99 cents - because money is tight...

Lisa Laree said...

I almost always trace...it's easier to do the alterations on a tracing, to me. And yeah, the cheap patterns can be repurchased...if they aren't discontinued.

Sometimes, though, I do whip out the scissors and cut the pattern out. If there are Very Large Pieces that would be difficult to trace, or if it's such a trendy design that I expect to make it just once, or if it's the largest size in the pattern anyway and I'm in a hurry.

Shannon Hillinger said...

I don't usually make things more then once, so I always just cut the size I want. It's not worth my time and the use of trees to trace things out all the time.

mamafitz said...

i only trace expensive patterns (usually the independents, like HotPatterns or Jalie), and burda WOF. for the Big 4, i just cut. if it's something i think i might want to make again for my kids, i buy more than one copy, since i only pay $1.99 at the most. and yeah, i even cut the vogue patterns, unless it's a miyake, then i trace.

stitchywitch said...

I will trace vintage or expensive patterns, but Big 4 patterns I cut. If I'm not sure of my size, I will cut to the larger size, pin fit a basic muslin, and then cut the size I decide I need. I am finding the more I sew that I am often the same size in a brand's patterns, so that's helpful. I use artists tracing paper, I buy it on rolls at the art store down the street!

CarlaF-in Atlanta said...

I trace. I sew for me but I'm still learning about fit. I think I would trace once I know how to fit. I like having a clean copy of the pattern because I can make changes and know I can always go back and recreate it if I lose a piece. Also, what if that pattern becomes a tried and true pattern? Tissue paper is fragile and if I'm using the pattern many times than I'd rather trace it to a heavier weight paper.

Faye Lewis said...

With big 4 patterns I cut away and buy a .99 duplicate if I really like it. Sometimes if I really like it, I trace it so I have a spare.

patsijean said...

I always trace, always. When I was young, I cut the patterns and now they are no more. Many of those patterns from the 60's and 70's were stylish, or designer patterns that should have been preserved. If we cut them out we ruin them. After all, do we not prize the vintage patterns we find? Some day the patterns we buy today will be vintage and highly prized.

debbie said...

I'm with Gwensews, I trace due to alterations.
I have a TNT shoulder slope, armscye and sleeve head that fit me perfectly that I trace onto EVERY pattern that I make. I also use it to make sure the neckline isn't too wide (bra strap peekage) or low. Great wadder prevention!

Alison said...

It depends on (a) who I'm sewing for & (b) what I'm sewing. For example, I'm making a formal dress for my DD for a wedding. I didn't trace that. Another example, I made the Simplicity cardi wrap for myself and traced the back and sleeve cos my mother wants one too & she is larger.

But my other reason for tracing is that I'm losing weight and I have no idea what size I'll be next year. So I trace cos then I can use the same pattern.

I always always trace Kwik Sew & Jalie. It's blasphemous to cut them!

eword10 said...

I trace all the time. Mostly because I am hopeful to lose the baby weight finally. I like Summerset's idea of cutting the largest size and then folding away the bits that graded differently.

Cindy said...

Wow-look at all these comments.

Good question. This is what I teach in my cutting class. It all depends on what extreme you take it to. And you can see from the above answers there are many extremes.

I tell people to cut out the size they want and buy another pattern for a buck when its on sale. If you pay a lot for the pattern there's many different ways to trace. One is with paper on top of the pattern (medical paper they use on exam beds work great) another is to trace out the size using a tracing paper and wheel and another is to pin the size you want fold the straight lines to the size and put your scissors under the pattern and follow the size you want. Then there's using a dress form to drape your fabric like they do on Project Runway.

There's so many different levels we take our sewing to. It all depends on your perfection level to where you take it.

FUN QUESTION! Enjoy your sewing moments - Cindy

Julia said...

I shouldn't admit this, bit I liked the old days when there was only one size per pattern envelope. Yes, it costs more that way if you are sewing for children who grow very quickly and who have siblings, etc... I rarely trace a pattern. When I can I fold back the larger size margins rather than cut the pattern. If it's on a curve and I can't easily fold it back sometimes I slide my scissors underneath the pattern and try to see through it to cut say an arm hole, etc... If that won't work, I cut the pattern and tell myself that I will tape it back together (sometimes I do) or I will just figure out how much bigger to cut it the next time, or I buy a new pattern. Guilty!!!

KARIMA said...

Of late I trace the pattern. I find that I have to make alteration for most patterns. I've been known to mess up the original and may have to start over. Learned the hard way. Also I just like having the original intact.

gaylen said...

I trace - almost exclusively, and I hate to do it. Maybe that's why my production has stopped.

I think I'll use Summerset's suggestion. Off to cut now!! g

Julie said...

Definitely cut the tissue! I buy them too cheap and I'm too excited to bother with tracing. If I think I might need it in another size at some point, I buy 2 patterns! I don't buy BWOF because I'm too lazy to trace.

sewducky said...

I leave them as the largest size and fold them to the size I want as well.

I don't trace. Probably why I have several Burdas here I have never made a pattern from.

Tamara said...

I do a little of both. Patterns for my daughter I usually trace because I might want to use it again. I know that they are cheap to purchase again on sale but it really bugs me when I think I have a pattern then go to the envelope to use it and it is all cut up. This stalls my sewing the next time if I have to wait for a sale to repurchase the pattern.

If it is for me I will usually just cut it up. Generally, I am the largest size on the envelop so I don't feel bad. Although, on the next pattern I am going to make for me my size is the smallest so I will probably trace.

I think that tracing is such a habit that was ingrained in me I feel guilty when I just cut up the pattern.[