Vintage Sewing

Patterns for Posterity

May 1, 2009

I believe I’ve posted before on my technique for copying patterns for alteration purposes. Since then, I’ve found a better resource than FedExKinko’s for large format copying.

Look for your local blueprint copy house. The price quoted me at mine was about 60% cheaper than Kinko’s! 20 cents/square foot vs. 69 cents/sf.

The pros: You never have to worry about making alterations to the original or ruining it.

The cons: There’s a slight chance your original might be damaged in copying. I’ve had exactly one piece be mangled out of many, many pieces.

  1. I trace the pieces I need onto .2 mil plastic (you can get it at the hardware store in the drop cloth section) with a Sharpie. It is time consuming, but it works just as well as pattern tissue for tissue fitting.

    I keep my original intact, although each piece is cut roughly around the edges so I leave a little edge to pin on. I layer the pattern on the bottom and the plastic over top and trace. After I put it in a sandwich bag with the pattern info (and sometimes a copied picture of the pattern front cover). I can alter all I want on the plastic, and getting the creases out just takes a little pulling and smoothing.

  2. Valerie – that’s a great idea. Unfortunately for me, I usually have to do a LOT of grading to my patterns. 🙁 Sucks not being a standard size all over.

  3. I buy new rolls of the paper that they use on tables in doctors offices at a medical supply place. It works great for tracing patterns. Also colored pencil crayons work well for marking the pattern pieces. I think paper is more environmentally friendly than plastic.

    You can also use old newspapers for patterns as well although it is not so good for tracing. It works better for already cut out pattern pieces that need to be altered.

  4. I also use the paper they used on the tables at the doctor’s office that I purchase from the medical supply store. I’ve tried many other materials, but this works the best for me.

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