Copy a pattern or use an original?

Discussion in 'The Powder Room' started by Lady Day, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    A fine explanation of "pin and pivot" is here.

    As for pattern weights, one cheap solution is to scrounge several old lug nuts, the big ones such as are used on truck wheels, wash them off good with degreaser, and then stitch them into little covers you've made from scrap felt. Very efficient and inexpensive.

    A good source for cheap paper for making tracings is your local newspaper. Ask if they have any "stub rolls" from the print shop -- these are large newsprint rolls on heavy cores, about four feet wide. When they get too small to use on the press they're often tossed aside, and are generally free for the taking to whoever wants them. One of these will last you a long time.
     
  2. cailinbeag

    cailinbeag Familiar Face

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I copy all of my patterns. My mother-in-law works in a doctor's office and gives me rolls of the tissue used to cover exam tables. It works really, really well. I use a straight edge, hip curve and a pencil, and serger thread spools for weights.

    I do it for two reasons. First, nothing is my size. Most of my vintage patterns are a 12 thru 16. I'm 5'10" and...well...not 12 thru 16 LOL. So I need to slash and spread for both vertical as well as horizontal alterations. It means I also have to trace the pattern twice, but the end fit turns out well and is worth the time investment.

    Secondly, I never imagined I would be the only one to use the patterns. I'm happy to lend them to friends, and one day if I stop sewing or my style changes, I would love to pass them on to someone who will love them like I do.

    - edited for typos
     
  3. anabolina

    anabolina A-List Customer

    Messages:
    355
    Location:
    Seagoville, TX
    I've thought a few times about tracing patterns instead of just using them, but when it gets right down to it, I just use the pattern. I think I will do the pattern weight thing rather than pinning next time.
     
  4. That is the same paper that you can buy through Nancy's Notion's. I just got it and it is only $6 a roll. It is much sturdier than pattern tissue but still flexible.

    Also if you have any heavy fridge magnets, they work good as pattern weights.

    I need to photocopy my primer too, since my dog helped me tear mine.:eek:
     
  5. Parfait

    Parfait New in Town

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    D.C.
    Hello Ladies!

    I am *so* happy I found this thread! Here I was all ready to cut into my pattern when I stumbled across this! Now I am in the process of trying to trace out a few of my vintage patterns, since I am too nervous to use the originals! (I have visions of them spontaneously ripping to shreds or I mistakenly cut off half a dress…hey it could happen!) I recently bought some Swedish Tracing Paper online and was wondering if anyone has used that before? (Thank you for the tip on medical exam paper and newspaper roll, I’ll venture out this weekend to see if I can find any!) If so, once you have your pattern traced on it do you do anything else to it such as add a backing or transfer it to some sort of poster board to keep it stable? Or is that all just too much, lol! I also found this site that details how to use fusible interfacing on pattern pieces, but it would be my luck that I’d burn my pattern apart!
    Also how do you store your patterns? I put each one of mine in a 6x9 plastic zip top bag and then into a clear plastic container.

    Uh oh cranky baby waking up, *^_^* Thank you!
     
  6. SayCici

    SayCici Practically Family

    Messages:
    813
    Location:
    Virginia
    Parfait - I make copies of my vintage patterns using wax paper, and I bought large manila envelopes to store them in. I write all the pattern information on the outside.

    I copy my old patterns because I am impatient and easily frustrated. I do not always have a delicate touch and am not always careful, and I'd rather nick a quick copy I did than ruin the original pattern. I have used the original pattern once before; it was in good condition and I used pattern weights. When I use it again though I will probably make a copy.

    I wouldn't consider myself a collector, I buy them in my size to use them.

    Just like with clothing, I do believe that these things exist to be used, but because they are now parts of our history and culture they should be used carefully. You might wear a dress until you finally notice it is weakening and has reached its breaking point, and then fold it up for storage or give it to a museum or something, but if you reach that point with something as delicate as thin-to-begin-with paper, it is probably too late to truly salvage it.
     
  7. zendy

    zendy A-List Customer

    Messages:
    325
    Location:
    Idaho
    I copy all my patterns, no exceptions. I'm a big girl, and always like the 50's teen patterns, so there is a need to enlarge them. The original then goes back in the envelop and in a cute little box for reference if I need the instructions for some reason. I have fallen in love with freezer paper, and it is what I trace all my patterns onto. If you use a warm iron, you can press it right onto the fabric and it peels off without residue. that way I can slash my copies and iron them to the fabric for spreading. occasionally I'll make a muslin and save it with my traced copy, but I usually only do this with pants.
     
  8. pretty faythe

    pretty faythe One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,820
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Hades
    The vintage ones that I do have I use rather than copy, they are generally from the 60/70 era and seem to be made from a heavier paper and pre cut to size. And of course they are the ones I have found only for my kiddos lol. So I pin them to the fabric and then go around and go under and put any marks on the fabric where the markings are supposed to be so that I;m not marking up the patterns. Someday I will be happy with a garmet I made and post in the show us what you made thread.
     
  9. vintage_jayhawk

    vintage_jayhawk One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    Expat in the Caribbean
    Does anyone have experience using newspaper for tracing? Not after it's printed, obviously, but if you could get a remnant roll from the local newspaper. Would it be too thin/tear too easily?
     
  10. Lady Day

    Lady Day I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Messages:
    9,087
    Location:
    Crummy town, USA
    Check post #41

    LD
     
  11. miserabelle

    miserabelle One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    227
    Location:
    england
    I tend to trace now, just in case in future I want the same outfit, but I've put on/lost weight. I always used to just use the original though, my patterns are in really good condition though.

    xx
     
  12. RobynLe

    RobynLe New in Town

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Hot & Humid, Houston, TX

    Wow! This is another great thread! But I have to say that of everything I've learned from this and other sewing threads, this piece of info was probably the most helpful!! lol I have two cats who need to "supervise" everything mommy does! Thanks LizzieMaine
     
  13. Frenchy56

    Frenchy56 A-List Customer

    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    here!
    It's been interesting and very thought-provoking to read the responses to this thread- I searched it out as I'm currently having a dilemma with one of my vintage patterns. It's an early-60s dress pattern that I got for less than $10, uncut and still in factory folds.It's a very classic, elegant, simple style that I can see remaining popular, and I may well want to use it more than once. Normally my attitude to vintage is that it should be used and enjoyed- I bought the pattern to make a dress from, not to keep under glass, or hoard for 20 years and then sell on. But, I've never encountered a mint pattern before, and I can't bring myself to take the scissors to it! I thought this thread might help me decide but I'm even more on the fence than ever!

    If I had paid more for the pattern and it was especially rare, I might be tempted to go to the trouble of tracing. I figure also that if people are willing to buy ripped, creased, dirty, altered, incomplete patterns now for surprising amounts of money, someone will happily shell out for a pattern that's been carefully used by me in 20 years time. I have also found my vintage patterns to be surprisingly resilient (and I confess I am not the most careful!), though the tip about photocopying instruction sheets is definitely one I should take up!

    Such a quandary- I had better make up my mind as I wanted to start sewing in the coming week!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  14. Flicka

    Flicka One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,165
    Location:
    Sweden
    I recently bought an original pattern magazine with pattern sheet from 1912 and it's clearly meant to be copied. I'd love to try some of them, but I'm just not sure I'll manage to copy anything from the mass of confusion it is.

    Here's how it looks:

    [​IMG]

    There are also sketches of the pattern that at least give you an inkling what shape you're supposed to look for, but it still looks nearly impossible to me...

    [​IMG]

    Any tips?

    ETA: I'm leaning towards just reconstructing the patterns from the sketches. It seems easier...
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  15. crwritt

    crwritt One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,109
    Location:
    Falmouth ME
    It would take a great deal of patience, but I think you are meant to lay tissue over that and trace out the pieces.
    Wow it looks more like a roadmap!
     
  16. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

    Messages:
    613
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Someone earlier mentioned the German Burda patterns (not modern the ones sold in U.S. fabric stores) -- they're printed exactly this way, with all the pieces overlapping each other on a single sheet. In fact I grew up using these types of patterns, since I learned to sew and knit from my German grandma. You're supposed to trace the individual lines with a tracing wheel. I can't imagine that tracing paper would work very well with these, because the individual pattern lines would be nearly impossible to follow; as you can see, each pattern has a specific line, i.e., dotted, broken lines, etc.

    Of course a 1912 pattern would fall to pieces if you attempted to trace the lines with a sharply pointed tracing wheel. The only solution is to take this to a copy shop that can make oversized copies. They're not terribly expensive (I think just a few dollars a sheet.) In this case it would be well worth the expense. That suit jacket & skirt is very pretty, by the way.
     
  17. Flicka

    Flicka One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,165
    Location:
    Sweden
    It'd definitely be worth it. Not overly concerned anout costs in this case. Hm, I wonder where I might find such a place in Stockholm...
     
  18. wahine

    wahine Practically Family

    Messages:
    535
    Location:
    Lower Saxony, Germany
    Since I only worked with the "self-made" Golden Rule patterns I never had to make the choice to cut or not to cut. I guess if I had to make it, I'd try to trace the patterns. I like to keep the old things as intact as possible. I keep saying "these things survived the last decades, I don't want to be the person who destroys them in a jiffy" (people start hating me when I ask them to be careful with my inherited furniture and things like that). I do read old magazines like new ones, but then they aren't in such a good condition anyway when I get them (penny pincher).

    I have a few of these road map patterns, but never made a dress of any of those. The idea of tracing those with the little "pizza cutter" tracing wheel seems kinda horrid. A friend of mine had the appealing idea to try copying with transparent plastic foil. I got some clear present wrapping foil but haven't tried the tracing yet. I think it'll be quite easy to do it, just that the results might be a bit tricky to handle and to keep from tearing.

    ps: in a German hidden camera tv show, they once asked passers-by for the way and showed them this kind of sewing patterns instead of a map. Some people were really helpful, saying something like: "Well, we are here: at the Notch (pointing). Go this way, via Tuck, take a turn at Pleat, and then ask again." now, that was weird and funny!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  19. Lady Day

    Lady Day I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Messages:
    9,087
    Location:
    Crummy town, USA
    Go yo a blueprinting or write format print shot and have them make you a copy. Shouldn't cost more than a few dollars. That way, you wan write all over the copy with marker and color code the pieces you want.
     
  20. kamikat

    kamikat Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,794
    Location:
    Maryland
    Before I got into vintage, I used to have a subscription to Burda magazine. I would use a yellow highlighter to highlight the lines if the needed pieces to make tracing easier.
     

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