Thursday, September 23, 2010

KCWC - day 3 - Freezer paper patterns

Got my sewing mojo back on yesterday - wahoo! I discovered some leftover floral corduroy fabric in my stash and thought it'd make a great skirt for my 9 yr old daughter. She's really into her new western style boots, so I thought a "cowgirl" skirt would be fun. It'll be a gathered skirt with a bit of an attatched underskirt or petticoat peeking out the bottom. I'll show you the finished photos tomorrow - after I run out and get some lace to finish it off! ;)

For now, let me share with you some major work I did on kids' clothes today: pattern tracing. Not exciting in the sewing sense, but necessary and crucial prepwork. A multi-sized pattern is great, but you can't just cut into it if you'd ever want to sew it again as your child grows. Want to know my secret for getting just the size I want on some sturdy paper? Freezer paper! OK, maybe not a new invention in the sewing world, but it's rather new to me, and I love the outcome. Taping the pattern to a window and tracing it that way would work - if I had windows large enough, and if I could find uninterrupted daylight hours to do this! This works well after the sun - and kids - goes down.

First I cut around the pattern pieces just to get them to a manageable state. Those huge pieces of tissue paper are so unwieldy!

Next I lay them out on a piece of freezer paper, shiny side down. Using a Sharpie, I mark the outlines with dots right on the tissue pattern. The Sharpie bleeds through the tissue onto the freezer paper, leaving me a nice connect-the-dots pattern. I use a ruler to put in the straight lines, and a steady, decaffeinated hand to draw the curves (I could use a french curve, but the kids misplaced mine). Remember to mark all dots, notches, and other details! When I know all the info I need is transferred, I can fold those tissue paper pieces back up and store them in their envelope, safe and secure for next time.

Now is when the freezer paper advantage comes in. The shiny side will lightly adhere to the fabric with just a smidge of a warm iron applied. So I can lay out the pieces, iron them down then cut them out with NO pins!! The paper easily comes off the fabric (but I always do a test first, just to check).
Tomorrow is cutting day as well as getting some of the major seams constructed. This will be a lined wool coat, which has two upsides: wool doesn't fray, so finishing seams isn't necessary. It's lined, so all those seams will be neatly covered! I'm already planning on how I'll alter this pattern; I think I'll leave out the set-in pockets (bulky!!) and put a neat pocket on the inside lining for keeping track of small things, like a pair of mittens & a handkerchief.

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