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Topic: Using Patterns  (Read 373 times)
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gemmalou
« on: February 09, 2009 05:50:39 AM »

I'm sorry if I'm posting on something that already has a thread - I've searched many times and can't seem to find any threads which might point me in the right direction!  I've not been sewing long and have just bought a pattern so I can try to make myself a skirt.  Some of the terms in it, and some of the concepts in it, confuse me - is there a guide to sewing with patterns anywhere?

In particular I'm confused about the flimsiness of the paper patterns (I'm worried I'll rip one mid-cut!) and things such as how to do pleating when the fabric is cut - am I supposed to use chalk to mark on where the pleats should go?  *confused*

Thanks!
Gemma
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radical
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2009 06:30:59 AM »

Hi Gemma -

Most patterns will have an instruction sheet that will explain the various markings and what they mean.  If it's a pleated skirt, there will be markings to transfer onto the fabric so that you can fold or stitch on the markings.  Patterns printed on tissue paper may tear a bit from time to time, but you can just scotch tape them back together.  If it's a pattern you really like after you've made it, you can always reproduce it on a heavier paper. 

Try looking for basic sewing books at your local library or used bookstore. 
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Thesingingllamas
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2009 08:59:22 AM »

There is a special kind of marker for sewing that washes out of fabric. I like to use one of these when marking those reference points. Read the directions all the way through before even starting. There should be a glossary at the beginning of the instructions. Iron the pattern before using, little folds can alter the pattern and don't let water near those flimsy patterns. Kwik-sew has pattern on regular paper.
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2009 09:59:34 AM »

In particular I'm confused about the flimsiness of the paper patterns (I'm worried I'll rip one mid-cut!)

I was worried about the same thing at the beginning but so far I've stuck a million (okay fine, maybe not a million)  pins through my patterns and none of them have torn yet!
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hammycakes
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2009 11:37:49 AM »

yep as long as you have a big flat space to lay everything out on should be fine. After you do a few you will get the hang of it and even modify your style of cutting and layout.. good luck!
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Thesingingllamas
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2009 01:35:38 PM »

My big flat space is my floor Smiley I wish I had the space for a huge table, but alas. I do know a costume designer who regularly commandeered his kitchen table, which meant none of his roomates could use it for a few days. lol and he laughed at me for cutting out my stuff on the floor.
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gemmalou
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2009 07:25:32 AM »

Thanks for the advice guys.  I'm nervous to jump straight in but maybe I'll give things a go next free evening I get!

One last question.... the patterns have lots of sizes on, and I've heard it said here that pattern sizes are often smaller than High Street clothes.  So being a UK size 16, I should cut a 18.  What happens if I cut a pattern and the item is too small?  I guess I've no choice but the buy a new pattern by then?
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Thesingingllamas
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2009 10:07:37 AM »

Always go by your measurements, never by what size you usually wear.
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