One of the down sides of PDF sewing patterns (and the only one I think) can be the time it takes to get the pattern set up to sew. After many attempts to speed up the process, I have come up with a strategy that works great and makes the whole process go much faster.
Here are the items I use to prep my PDF patterns:
- freezer paper
- drafting dots
- pencil and eraser
- paper cutter
- Make sure all pattern pieces are stacked together with all pages going in the same direction.
- Divide the stack in half.
- Take one stack and insure all edged are lined up. I like to tap them on the table.
- Place the first stack in the paper cutter and cut along the line at the top of the page. Repeat on the second stack.
- Next, cut the along the line on the right side of the paper stack.Repeat on the other stack and set paper cutter out of the way.
- Now, line up all the pattern rectangles that make up the pattern in order.
- With the top and right sides cut away the pattern rectangles easily overlap each other and make lining up the pattern rectangles simple and fast.
- Next, use drafting dots to holdthe the rectangles together. I like to use a dot to hold the 4 corners together where they intersect, as well as, on the sides. I love drafting dots because the are easy to reposition and are reusable if you want to do that.
- Once you have your dots holding your pattern rectangles together, it is time to trace your size of the pattern. I prefer to trace my patterns on to freezer paper.
- Roll out a piece of freezer paper the length of your pattern. For the pattern I am doing, I need 2 pieces one for each pattern piece.
- Work with on pattern piece at a time. Use a few drafting dots to hold you freezer paper to the pattern and make sure the shiny side of the freezer paper in facing down!
- Repeat for how ever many pattern pieces you may have. Smaller pattern pieces can be fit on the same piece of freezer paper.
- Now trace your size. The freezer paper is quite transparent and you should easily be able to see through it.
- Make sure to transfer all the pattern piece information and markings.
- Now using paper scissors cut out the freezer paper pattern pieces and go cut out your fabric.
Where to buy the supplies I use:
Freezer paper is sold at grocery stores. I typically pay around 3.50 a box. Call ahead to make sure they carry it. Some do not.
Drafting Dots can be bought at office supply stores or online. I buy them at the school I work at and pay around 4.00 a box. The box last a while and they can be reused if you are frugal.
Paper cutter most anywhere office supply, or Target. I have had mine a long time 10+ years. No idea how much it cost but is one of my favorite office supplies.
These are affiliate links below,so you can see what I use. The prices are a little more than I pay for drafting dots and freezer paper but it is nice to have it delivered to your door.
note: This is not my exact drafting dots or paper cutter but are similar.