When deciding to sew from an existing pattern, the first assumption many people sewing make is that it will be easier than other sewing work because the pattern is there to provide guidance. However, pattern sewing can be tricky. We have gathered these helpful tips which will allow you to complete projects that look how they should.
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Understanding The Existing Pattern
Being able to correctly read and understand the existing pattern is what must be done before anything else. Different brands and companies can sometimes use unique markings, but overall, many sewing marks are universal so that you will know what to do each and every time you open new pattern pages.
To start reading a pattern, the pattern pages should be unfold and spread out. It is vital to ensure that no pages or pieces are missing. Look at the pattern to locate the correct size, which can be the most challenging part as the pattern can seem like a lot of unrelated lines at first. Tracing the correct size lines with a gel pen or highlighter can be helpful here.
Tracing The Pattern
Once the correct size lines and markings are found, a sewer can transfer those markings to blank sheets of large printer paper so that they aren’t distracted by the other markings on the pattern. That will help to avoid cutting on the wrong lines and other problems.
Recreating Pattern Markings On Fabric
One of the things that trip up those just starting to work with patterns is confusion about how to best transfer any marks on the pattern to the fabric being used. While pins seem like an obvious choice for some cut lines, other markings may require other tools in order to mark fabric properly and proceed with the project.
A serrated tracing wheel and some carbon paper can be invaluable when it comes to transferring marks to fabric. To use these tools, place carbon paper underneath the sewing pattern and pin them to the fabric. Then, using the tracing wheel, press down on the pattern markings. As the wheel is moved across the pattern, carbon lines should show up on the fabric beneath. When the pattern and paper are removed, the lines will remain and work can proceed. Pockets and darts can also be marked with an awl tool.
Don’t Skip The Small Extra Touches
Small touches like pressing seams and hand-sewing hems can seem time-consuming and unnecessary, but when they are skipped, the finished pieces can look unprofessional and sloppy. To ensure that completed projects look their best, making time for those extra touches is important. Just being sure to do each step properly can make a big difference to the piece.
Every project will bring its own challenges, but when the above tips are used, pattern sewing can be a rewarding experience. Using patterns regularly can make any sewer more confident with the work, and over time their work can be that much better; they may find that they truly enjoy that kind of sewing.