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Print, then trace?
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Threadluvr
Posted 2006-09-27 9:26 PM (#22447)
Subject: Print, then trace?


First, let me admit I have a scissor issue. Each pair of scissors has a job. The fabric scissors do not cut paper, and the paper scissors are too dull from cutting paper to cut fabric adequately. When I did my dress and sheath slopers, I more or less hacked through the fabric with my paper scissors since I was using the printout pinned directly to the fabric as a pattern.
When I have used a commercial pattern in the past, I have always pinned it directly to the fabric and cut pattern tissue and fabric all at once. That won't work for "real" projects since I don't want to cut through the printer paper and the fabric because I don't want to cut paper with my good fabric scissors. Besides, I worry that the printer paper is too stiff to let me pin and cut with as much accuracy as I'd like.

So...do you...
1. Print and tape, then cut out on the cutting line. Pin to fabric and cut around the outsides of the pattern pieces, almost like using a template?
2. Print and tape, then trace onto pattern tracing "cloth" (non-woven). Pin and cut like I used to do with commercial patterns?
3. Print and tape, pin without trimming, then grit your teeth and cut through paper and fabric together?
Or something else entirely?

Just wondering ,
Cheryl
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Welmoed
Posted 2006-09-27 9:50 PM (#22448 - in reply to #22447)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?



Elite Veteran

Posts: 961
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Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Cheryl,
I tape the patterns together and hack paper and fabric at the same time. I also get my scissors professionally sharpened every year (by sending them back to the factory). Maybe I'm cruel to my tools, but I feel they ARE tools, not holy objects, so I use them (blasphemy, I know ).
I use pattern weights to hold the patterns to the fabric, so pinning isn't an issue.
I've never traced a pattern; it feels so flimsy.
--Welmoed
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Maida
Posted 2006-09-27 10:45 PM (#22450 - in reply to #22448)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?


Regular

Posts: 91
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Location: metro area of Kansas City, MO, but on the KS side
After taping the sheets together, I use the rotary cutter to cut the excess paper from the pattern. It just takes a few minutes and is much faster than using scissors. I also use the rotary cutter to cut the fabric. For me, it is much faster and more accurate. I use the 60 mm size unless there is a small area, but find that seldom is necessary. It's important to change the blade if it becomes dull. I buy the blades in a 5-pack from JoAnn's when I have a 50% off coupon.

Maida
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LI-teacher
Posted 2006-09-27 10:53 PM (#22451 - in reply to #22447)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?


I too have spent years pinning commercial patterns to fabric and cutting with scissors/shears of varying quality. It took a very long time to pin then cut.

Times change. I have really come to love my rotary cutters. Recently I've even ditched the mat and now just cut on the plain table top (cheap plastic table top). My "pattern weights" are canned foods from the pantry. I cut through both paper and fabric at the same time. The exception is a pattern edge on a fold. I trim the paper with "paper scissors" so I can line the edge up well. This system is FAST and accurate. My Gingher shears are still well loved for grading seams. The rotary cutters don't have the aura of good shears, but speed, accuracy, and a sharp blade at the ready have changed the way I cut out fabric.
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cfonfold
Posted 2006-09-27 11:21 PM (#22452 - in reply to #22447)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?



Expert

Posts: 1985
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Location: Norman,OK

Hummmmm, I must cut tens of miles of fabric every year. I sometimes use a rotery cutter, but I must confess that mostly ----except for lycra----I reach for my shearers.

 I don't like cutting through paper. It's a nusiance. I print my patterns with no seam allowances and tape them together. And I really just line them up by eye.  When cutting if extreme accuracy is necessary---necklines, collars etc. I use a see-thru ruler and fine leaded pencile to mark in the cutting lines. Every where else I use use my -really -pretty good eye. Quarter and halves aren't that hard to develope an eye for. I don't pin either, I use weights.

Yes,yes, yes, I know ------the cutting police will be here in the a.m. But with excellent patterns and a little care in a few areas-----I have more time to devote to things that are more inportant and lot more fun.

Coopie

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phnip
Posted 2006-09-28 6:02 AM (#22455 - in reply to #22447)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?


Veteran

Posts: 257
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Location: Scotland
Everyone has a preferred way of doing this job.

Cutting out used to be the bit I put off – either having to clear the dining room table or else shifting furniture to make enough floor space, getting down on to my increasingly stiff knees and shuffling around the floor leaving a trail of pins and fabric scraps behind me.

Now I have a work bench in my sewing room with cutting mats on it and I use my rotary cutters almost exclusively for cutting out. The scissors are used a lot for other jobs but for speed and accuracy the rotary cutters are hard to beat. I always have spare blades in my sewing room.

After printing and taping the paper pattern I then use the rotary cutter on the cutting mats to rid the pattern of the excess paper. Its a bit like driving, you get a speed that suits and just go with it - its amazing how the hand goes where the eye wants to go. I might use the Perspex quilting ruler for long straight lines. Then I lay the pattern on the fabric and after getting the grain lines accurate, weight the paper in place with whatever is to hand - old heavy tailor's scissors, a tin of buttons, a cold iron - just anything to hand that is heavy. I cut the fabric with the rotary cutters as well. Markings are transferred using pins stuck through the paper. This way there would be no advantage in using tracing paper.

I have tried cutting the paper and fabric together using the pattern printed directly from the yardage calculator so the layout is right. It didn't work for me but saving a step might be good for you. Actually, now that I think about it, I would probably do the “all-in-one” method for smaller things – baby clothes or fleece hats for example – I suppose it’s just the scale of the job that dictates how I tackle it.

I’m intrigued about using a cheap plastic table and no cutting mats …! How brave!

Vivienne
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sanwhe
Posted 2006-09-28 10:24 AM (#22463 - in reply to #22447)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?


I too have scissors that are only used on fabric; my family has been trained to not touch them!  I use Black & Decker electric scissors to cut out patterns on the fabric.  They have a special blade for fabric cutting that works great.  They are fast and accurate.  I have a muscle disorder and my hands wear out very quickly cutting with regular scissors/shears.  They would probably work well for those with arthritis also.

Sandy
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rowena___.
Posted 2006-09-28 10:36 AM (#22464 - in reply to #22452)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?



20001000500100100100
Location: music city, USA
i do almost exactly as coopie does, which is how every cutter/draper i've ever known does it. however, i mostly use rotary cutters, i hardly ever use shears.

i'm teaching ella to use both scissors and cutters, she is using a gel slicer this very minute to cut construction paper.

when working with students i often trace around the patterns directly onto fabric so i can leave the sewing line for the stitchers.

if i or any of my stitchers could sew to within an 1/16" i would probably be more concerned about it. :D

oh, i forgot--i don't separate my cutting tools. i use them for fabric and paper indifferently. the only thing i don't allow is for metal to be cut with my regular tools--for things like that i have tin snips.
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Laura P.
Posted 2006-09-28 12:29 PM (#22466 - in reply to #22447)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?



Veteran

Posts: 144
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Location: Fort Dodge, IA
I'm one who prints, tapes, then cuts out the pattern before cutting the fabric. Yes, I know this is extra time, but I often do it late at night while I wind down. I either use scissors designated for paper or a cheap rotary cutter only for paper.

I like cutting out the fabric with a rotary cutter. I just began doing this when I got PMB. It was too difficult to cut accurately with the pattern pinned thru computer paper! I even bought a cutter that has the very small sized blade--like nickel size. It gets around curves nicely. I also began using pattern weights. I will now only do it this way when at all possible, and with any pattern--even commercial (if I ever use them again!).

Since I tend to be cheap, or thrifty for a nicer term , I made my own pattern weights. I went to the hardware store and bought large washers--about 2.5 - 3" in diameter. They're not as heavy as I hoped but have been sufficient. To make them look nicer, I put them between 2 pieces of firmly interfaced fabric, then zig-zagged around the edge as closely as possible. I then cut outside the stitching line with pinking shears. They have worked very well and don't slip. They sure are cheaped than purchases weights too!!

Laura

Edited by Laura P. 2006-09-28 12:30 PM
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SherryV
Posted 2006-09-28 1:20 PM (#22469 - in reply to #22447)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?


100100
Laura,

I was just reading about those large washers for weights in Vogue's pattern magazine and, like you, I have used them before but been unsatisfied with not enough weight. The article mentioned that, for additional weight, just stack a few, one on top of the other, and secure in 2-3 spots with tape (electrical tape, I think.) I don't know why I never thought of that!

[Sorry, Cheryl, I don't have much to add to the scissors debate since everything I do discussed here already ]
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Beth in Wichita
Posted 2006-09-28 4:30 PM (#22475 - in reply to #22447)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?



Elite Veteran

Posts: 902
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Location: Wichita, Kansas
For the most part I agree - fabric scissors are for fabric not paper.  Just last night I told DH the scissors in question were not for plastic - at least he asked! 

However, I have been cutting fabric & paper - printed full size from YC & pinned intact to the fabric - for more than 6 years.  I haven't sharpened my scissors yet, although it wouldn't be a bad idea.  They weren't dulled by cutting paper - they were dulled by cutting more than 100 yards of glitter slinky.  Yes, I was also cutting paper, but since it hadn't dulled the blades before, I blame the slinky.

I use either shears or Dritz electric scissors (love them) to cut both.  Way back in 2000 when it dawned on me I could print layouts full size, I shouted my discovery to the list.  Robbie Fanning, who was on the list at the time, said she had done research for an article on scissors for her magazine (now defunct).  According to Robbie, blades on scissors used for paper aren't so much dulled as gummed up by paper residue.  When you cut paper & fabric, the fabric wipes off the residue.  That makes sense to me - I know many quilters who use rotary cutters for paper piecing, but won't touch paper by itself with their good blades.  Same principal.  Also, I believe Margaret Islander says to put a layer of blank newsprint under the fabric to minimize shifting.  On the video I watched she said she'd used the same pair of scissors for more than 10 years to cut paper & fabric without having them sharpened.

I may be in the majority, but I absolutely can't cut accurately with a rotary cutter. (Wouldn't quilt without one, though) With scissors I can see the cutting line between the blades; with a rotary cutter the blade hides about an inch of the line. I sometimes use weights, even with scissors.  I sewed strips of quilt fabric into 1/2"  tubes, filled them with BBs & tied the ends. They are cheap & flexible.  I like them because I can mold them around curves.  I've used cans, but find they get in my way.  I also haven't had particularly good luck with washers, maybe because I didn't buy them heavy enough.  What I like better than either pins or weights is staples.  I bought a 12" stapler for about $20 at Office Depot.  It's fast & easy.

Beth




I'll close by saying I'm in the camp that says the worst part of sewing is pinning the pattern to the paper. (I'm using "pinning" generically, not literally. Using weights has the same problem. I still have to get everything positioned on grain, etc.) So, I think making the process less painful is well worth occassionally sharpening the scissors.
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Threadluvr
Posted 2006-09-28 8:22 PM (#22482 - in reply to #22447)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?


Wow! Thanks for all the thoughtful replies. Definitely food for thought. I haven't gotten brave enough to try cutting freehand with a rotary cutter, but I may have to from what I'm reading!
Cheryl
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LI-teacher
Posted 2006-09-28 8:55 PM (#22485 - in reply to #22447)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?


Weighted tubes!! I thought about doing this (and forgot about it) when I used one of those bean-filled bottom-of-the-door draft-stoppers as a pressing aid. The cans are a pain, but they are handy. My tape dispenser and quilting ruler are also regularly called into service as pattern weights. This will be a fun thing to do - and a good use for some fabric that REALLY shouldn't leave the house.

The plastic-top table is a long table with folding legs - it was from a place like Bed Bath and Beyond and we only use(d) it for extra seating at holiday dinners. There is styrofoam (maybe) under the plastic and it is light weight. I have on bed lifts because I'm tall. I only wish it were a little wider. Folded 60" fabric hangs off the side a coulple of inches. The surface is surviving quite nicely. If it needs to come upstairs again, it will wear a table cloth, anyway. I may be making blades dull sooner, but I didn't like shifting the mat around. I think it is more economical to use blades faster than to buy a mat to fit the table.


Edited by LI-teacher 2006-09-28 8:56 PM
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Welmoed
Posted 2006-09-29 7:19 AM (#22495 - in reply to #22447)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?



Elite Veteran

Posts: 961
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Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Some years ago I wrote up instructions on making pattern weights, and digitized a design to embellish the bag. I'm happy to pass them along here. The design is in HUS format.

A word of advice: if you make these, I suggest using a color OTHER than brown.

--Welmoed



Attachments
----------------
Attachments ReadytoStitch-Patternweights.HUS (16KB - 62 downloads)
Attachments PatternWeightinstructions.pdf (29KB - 96 downloads)
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ChristineBrown
Posted 2006-09-29 7:40 AM (#22498 - in reply to #22495)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?


I will probably make something similar Welmoed, since I can not find any more of my first choice weights; technology has changed. When people drafted on tables by hand, they used round glove leather weights filled with ball bearings to hold the curly paper flat. The ones I have are about 5 inches in diameter and I only have 2. They are just two circles of leather edge-stitched, but they are so satisfying to the senses that I really had hoped to find more of them. Unfortunately, CAD just doesn't require paper weights! Christine
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Kathy in Cincinnati
Posted 2006-09-29 10:44 AM (#22505 - in reply to #22495)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?



Veteran

Posts: 174
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
I have always used the chrome-like nuts (think nuts and bolts) purchased from the hardware store. They are heavier than washers but not too big around. I have a board with dowels sticking up that I allows we to stack the nuts up. They are relatively inexpensive and come in small and larger sizes. The small ones are nice for points and other tricky places on patterns. I just scatter them around the edges of my patterns and cut out. I confess to cutting out the paper patterns before i cut the fabric, but them I am alittle obsessive and it lets me see how close I have the pieces together.
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rowena___.
Posted 2006-09-29 11:05 AM (#22506 - in reply to #22498)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?



20001000500100100100
Location: music city, USA
i've seen those leather weights, they are pretty neat!

for pattern weights i use smooth river rocks, i keep them in a basket on the cutting table, they are very soothing to touch, they make a soothing sound, they are all sizes so i can even weight down tiny things, and ella thinks of them as a family ("dis one is da dada, dis one is da mama, dis one is da baby sister, dis one is da bwuhder....")



(pattern rocks.JPG)



Attachments
----------------
Attachments pattern rocks.JPG (31KB - 8 downloads)
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cfonfold
Posted 2006-09-29 6:03 PM (#22535 - in reply to #22506)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?



Expert

Posts: 1985
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Location: Norman,OK

Ohhhhhh-- I DO like that! My husband gave me some chrome washers that I just love and they stack on an empty serger cone. But-----stones----my oldest son would love to collect them for me. He and his wife hike and collect gem stones. Yes! thanks once again Rowena!

Coopie

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cptmelissa
Posted 2006-09-29 9:33 PM (#22541 - in reply to #22485)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?



Extreme Veteran

Posts: 555
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Location: Dayton, Ohio
I made some cloth tubes and stuffed them with BBs. Bought a 5 or 10 pound box of them. THey work great, and I can shape them into areas to hold the pattern better before I use my rotary cutter.
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sloper sis
Posted 2006-09-30 11:03 AM (#22558 - in reply to #22447)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?


And I made cloth tubes and filled them with fish tank gravel. All sorts of options.
Pamela MI
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Jan in West MI
Posted 2006-09-30 9:38 PM (#22574 - in reply to #22447)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?


Member

Posts: 13

Location: Grand Rapids area of MI
As others have pointed out on this list, 5/8" seams are too wide for many things so I use 3/8" or 1/4" as the seam dictates. Because I do not use consistant seam allowances mine are set at 0 in preferencs. After printing a pattern and gluing it together I cut it out with paper sissors. Then lay it on the fabric using weights (from Stretch and Sew days). I cut with a small rotary cutter but I have a guide that I set to 1/4", 3/8" or what ever seam allowance I want. On straight seams I use my see though quilting ruler lined up to the desired seam allowance. I usually make hand notes on the paper pattern to show what seam allowance should be used where. This could be printed on the pattern in PE.
If I need to trace the seam line for tricky corners or curves it is easy to do as the paper pattern has no seam allowance in the way. I also use an eyelet punch to mark dart points in the paper pattern so there is less distortion (printer paper IS stiff) when marking darts either with taylor tacks or a pin and a marking pencil.
Just my .
Jan
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ChristineBrown
Posted 2006-10-01 8:51 AM (#22581 - in reply to #22506)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?


I am going to stop my quest for drafting weights and start with rocks, Rowena. Part of the reason for liking the weights was the way they were satisfying to touch and see. The rocks would have the same effect on me; I would love looking at them and feeling them as I worked. In fact, they are so pretty, I enjoyed even just looking at yours! Christine
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rowena___.
Posted 2006-10-01 10:04 AM (#22582 - in reply to #22581)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?



20001000500100100100
Location: music city, USA
christine, you could make the leather ones, glove leather is so easy to sew by machine!
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Beth in Wichita
Posted 2006-10-01 12:51 PM (#22585 - in reply to #22574)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?



Elite Veteran

Posts: 902
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Location: Wichita, Kansas
That's exactly what I did when I was hand drafting.  Now I use shears because I can't see the cutting line through the rotary cutter so shears are more accurate for me. 

Did you know the seam allowances are extremely easy to add in PE? Just use the offset tool.  I trust it more than I trust myself to position the guide accurately.  Personally I just draft 3/8"  SAs for everything.

Beth
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ChristineBrown
Posted 2006-10-01 2:58 PM (#22589 - in reply to #22582)
Subject: RE: Print, then trace?


You are right, but you know that thing about a standard having been set? These Kohinoor weights are made of leather that feels like you are sinking into a satin cloud. I have yet to feel anything like it. But your rocks are different enough, and yet also sensorily satisfying. Who would believe this is all about just cutting the fabric that you will later sew--I think I've made it into an experience of its own!!! C
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