OK, so I hate .pdf patterns.
Well, that’s not true. I like that .pdf patterns exist, I just hate the test printing, the messing around with the printer, the real printing, the cutting off of margins on two sides of the paper, the taping, the retaping when the first taping is cockeyed, and finally the folding and storage when the pattern is used. And I hate the additional cost of paper, ink, tape and storage envelope on top of the pattern I bought already.
As they say in ever infomerical ever: “There’s got to be a better way!”
I don’t know if this is a better way, but it’s a slightly less annoying way.
I started by laying out a cutting table’s worth of pieces. This pattern – the “Brasov Wrap Top” from Itch to Stitch, has 30 pieces of paper – thankfully with nested .pdf pages so I just printed out the sizes I needed. This is 18 pieces of paper:
I looked over these 18 pages and identified several pieces that had odd shapes – bits and pieces of larger pieces, like the tip of the shoulder or the edge of a hem, with a page that was otherwise blank, or that had other little bits. I cut those little pieces out, taped the little pieces to bigger pieces, and threw the excess paper in the recycling bin.
To cut I used my rotary cutter with an old blade that I’d saved especially for this purpose.
Many pieces are mostly pattern with little bits gone, so those are good to go and I tape as usual, but without trimming margins! Here’s how:
I printed this on cheap copier paper – I mean the cheapest stuff at the office supply store – the stuff that’s in a sad pile in the corner in a plain paper wrapper, as far away as possible from the glossy, bright white expensive stuff. This paper is kinda see-through. So, instead of trimming two edges of the paper, I just looked through the paper and lined up the margins. Hard to see in a photo, but here it is on a finished pattern piece on a dark fabric.
I needed less tape this way because I was just taping the piece, not the whole sheet of paper.
I think this 30-page top took 15 minutes to put together this way instead of at least 30-40 minutes with the old trim-tape-cut method. And it went together right the first time, without having to retape anything crooked.
I don’t know how well this would work – happy to say it did! I am not sure how well it would work with a multi-sized pattern, or with a very complex pattern.