Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tutorial: Printing and Taping Digital Pattern

I visit a couple of sewing boards on a regular basis and one lament that I see quite often is that people just hate to print and tape together patterns. Personally, I would rather print and tape than squint at a pattern sheet that looks like someone went wild with a Spirograph , but everyone has their preferences.  I create a lot of patterns out of Wild Ginger's Pattern Master and Child Play programs and found that by trimming off two sides of each sheet of paper after printing, it is easier to line up and tape the pieces together.

I have found a device, a notion if you will, that makes the taping process go much faster: a paper cutter. You may remember those old heavy ones from school. Scrapbookers use them and they come in many different styles.


This one is mine. It is similar to the ones used in schools, but lighter weight and plastic. I bought this one at Office Max but I would imagine that you could buy one at any office supply store or discount store in the office supplies.

I use it to trim the margins from two sides of the paper to make it easier to match up the registration marks on each page. You could say that it would be the same as trimming off the seam allowance prior to sewing. The key is to be very consistent about which sides you are trimming so that a trimmed side of one page is always matched to an untrimmed side of the neighboring page.

This works best when the registration marks line up consistently, but for Patten Master and DressShop patterns, this system works very well for me.


This is a puffed sleeve from the knit button-down shirts that I'm making for the Diva. The pattern spans four pages.

I start by trimming off the left side of each page. You can either trim one page at a time or 4-5 pages at a time. I don't recommend doing more than a few pages as the pages will slide a bit.



Line up the edge of the registration marks with the very edge of the paper cutter. It helps to shine a light on that side so that light comes up under the paper. Make sure that both marks are lined up right on the edge and cut the page.



Now turn the pages and cut the other side. When you are done, the pages should look rather like this:




In this example, I cut off the top and right sides. Now I can start taping.



Lay the trimmed side of the left page on the untrimmed side of the right page and match the marks. Tape with small pieces until the whole pattern piece is complete.  Do one row at a time, then join the rows together:


Once you have all the rows where you want them use longer pieces of tape to secure the seams.  Now you can cut out your pattern and sew up your project.
Completed pattern:


Hope that you find this little tutorial useful.


This post was originally posted in 2012, but reposted to fix picture links.


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