Friday, April 11, 2008

Waste not...Trace Yes!

Or alternatively, how a frugal girl gets the most from her dollar, literally.

I buy a lot of patterns and I don't limit myself to only the big 3 companies. I buy Euro, Japanese and Boutique lines too and it could get a tad pricey for a girl on a budget who might need patterns in various sizes. So...I have found that I can get a lot more usage from multisized patterns if I purchase them in the largest size I might need and trace the smaller ones out. This philosophy works particularly well since I sew tons for my children and they are still very much growing. And yes, I even trace those patterns printed on tissue paper, lol. I'm a equal opportunity tracer!
What do I use to trace onto you ask? Well my favorite product to use thus far is patternease, but is also the most expensive at $2/yd. I also like using the plastic sheeting for things that are really difficult to see through and that I want the tracing to be used multiple times. I have also used freezer paper. An easy product to come by, but not particularly on the cheap side. For bargain basement tracing medium there's cariff septic liner (they also make a tracing product that has a bit more body). The septic liner can be found at Home Improvement Stores and it sales for about $.27/yd. It's a bit gauzy and thin and when I use it for tracing I trace using a sharpened crayon. It works well on Ottobre. I have some Swedish Tracing Paper on order, but it hasn't arrived, but I'll be sure to add a post about how it stacks up later. You can also use nonfusible interfacing to trace onto...when Joann's or Hancock's has it on sale it's a great time to grab a bolt for tracing. I love using a fine tip sharpie for tracing, colored pencils or sharpened crayons (purchased for a dime a pack at back to school sales). Then really all you need is a large flat surface to lay out your pattern and good lighting and you're off.
For the American patterns you don't have to worry about adding seam allowance or anything. For the European and Japanese patterns you can either trace a size up and that usually works well, or as I do trace the proper size and then eyeball the seam allowance when my pattern is on my fabric and cut it out that way. I don't try to make it hard or scientific. They do also sale guides you can add to your rotary cutter that will add the seam allowance for you. You could use a tracing wheel or a compass too...there's lots of ways to go.
Anyways, here's a micromini tutorial of me tracing out a burda pattern for my oldest son.

a few products you can trace on to.

Can you see the pattern underneath. Just trace over it with your sharpie. I used plastic sheeting this time.
Don't forget to trace all your pattern markings for future reference


Ali said...

I'm a fan of that plastic sheeting stuff too. I'm never confident enough of what sixe I'll need to cut right into the pattern itself.