Thursday, May 10, 2012

Transfer a Pattern and Keep the Larger Sizes

Lots of sewing has been going on here lately, and this is one area where I do know what I am doing. Most of the time. Enough that I could be a help to someone who doesn't know what they are doing. I have a few tips to share with beginning seamstresses, and there is a slight possibility of me starting a sewing blog... but not tonight! 

We grown ladies don't want to ever need the larger sizes when we are sewing for ourselves, but if you are sewing for a child, you probably want to be able to reuse your pattern when the child has grown. A jacket for Betz is in the works, and she is a size 14 girls. This pattern goes up to size 16, and I don't want to just cut those size 16 lines off and throw them away. If this dress and jacket combo turns out nicely, I might want to make it again sometime. This tutorial is on how to cut the smaller size of a pattern out without losing the larger sizes. 

When you are cutting out a straight seam, just fold back the pattern tissue to the right size, like so:

But for curves such as sleeves and necklines, that doesn't work. Instead, do this. Using a pencil or a water-soluble marker, dot on your fabric the cutting line you need, under the pattern piece. Start at one end of the curve and fold the pattern piece back a bit at a time, making a dot every inch or so where the cutting line meets the fold of tissue. Like so:

You may have to continue from the other end of the cutting line when you get to the deepest part of the curve:

When you finish, cut on the dotted lines.  Your cut piece is now the right size, and you can save that same pattern for a few months down the road, when your darling child has grown to the next size.

You can see I used only four pins here.  Don't go pin crazy. The more you put in to begin with, the more you will have to remove while you are marking!

This transfer method also works well to mark darts, button holes, button placement, notches, and small/large pattern construction dots. You will want to do that before you remove the pattern piece. Water-soluble marker (found in the notions section) is great, especially if the person you made the garment for is extremely anxious to wear it. :)  But because marker may become difficult to remove if you accidentally iron over it, I prefer to use pencil.

Happy sewing!

She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
Proverbs 31:13


  1. What a great tip! So simple and yet so great! Wish I knew tht before I did some sewing for my grand daughter and cut the larger size off only to retape it back on later!!! Oh well, live and learn. Thank you

  2. I always wondered about that. When you start your blog, let me know. :-)

  3. Great tip! I usually just fold ect. But this seems much easier and more percise.

  4. You are really making me want to drag my sewing machine out more often. ;-)

  5. Excellent tip, Sally! Thanks!


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