Pattern Haul & DIY Tutorials

I don’t usually go to Jo-Ann’s anymore for fabric, since they usually don’t have the fabric I need for historical re-enactment or the theater. However, they do have super cute quilting, novelty, and everyday fabrics, of which I use very little of. However, I do enjoy their half off notions sale weekends, and especially the special weekends when patterns are $1 or $2. This weekend was McCall’s, and I stopped before heading to work. I managed to come away with not only my scrubs pattern, but also patterns for trench coats, bolster and boyfriend pillows, cargo shorts, capris, and pants, and peasant tops. I don’t usually use patterns, but Vicki has suggested working from commercial patterns a bit more, so I’m thrilled to have a semi-excuse to go crazy with the sewing.

I also want to start posting DIY and tutorial recipes for stuff, since it would be great to keep all of this in one centralized location. I’m currently ordering some things for some lip balm. I also want to make some all-purpose cleaner, laundry detergent, liquid dish soap, powdered dish detergent, and possibly shampoo and conditioner. (If I can tear myself away from my beloved Herbal Essences.) I hear that the laundry detergent works better than the commercially available detergents, since it’s basically just the laundry soap you need and none of the unneeded extras.

The biggest part of the appeal for me here, is that it will cost me so much less to make and use these green products, rather than buying from the store. So much less. For the price of the dish soap I use in a week or so, I will have six to eight months worth of liquid dish soap. Oh… yeah. =P

Pattern grading is easy, I swear!

A lot of people I talk to have a lot of issues resizing commercial patterns, especially if they buy vintage patterns and it’s not in their size. You just can’t go out and buy it again in your own size! But fixing the pattern is super easy. If the pattern needs to be larger or smaller regardless, all that needs to shift and move are the vertical lines. The horizontal lines will remain the same. But do this on a traced version of the pattern, for writing, drawing, and chucking if it’s not acceptable.

Tracing? What?

I have probably gone through just about every method of tracing a pattern possible.

  1. I tried using tracing paper and the tracing wheel… while this is great for darts, it’s just not feasible for larger patterns. It’s arduous, and it destroys the pattern.
  2. Cutting out the pattern and ironing fusible interfacing to it is a great way to preserve the pattern, but not the whole pattern sheet. Plus, if you iron on the interfacing wrong, you’re stuck with it.
  3. Waxed paper is great to see through, but permanent markers wear out fast and easy on it. If the patterns are large, then you need to tape a ton of the waxed paper together to get a large surface. The paper also does not hold up very well.
  4. My favorite is Swedish Tracing Paper. You can buy a roll of it for about $11 dollars online, but it’s basically interfacing. So if you see any lightweight interfacing on sale anywhere – grab it. Because it’s the same thing. It’s large, it holds up well and will last, you can see through it better than you think you will, and pencil works on it, unlike waxed paper.
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