Wednesday, 6 February 2013

How to easily keep patterns uncut

I recently started watching Lynda Maynard's Craftsy Fitting class. It's a good class, and I will post a review when I get through my bodice adjustments. There was one very intriguing thing about this class: the pattern base she was using for alterations.

After thinking about it for a while, I realized that pattern pieces can simply be photocopied together, which will save you the trouble of tracing eveeerything.

I initially thought that an A3 size paper would be enough (at least for me), but this isn't the case. For my bodice needs, I think I could get by with an A2 photocopy - this is why this idea stood on the shelf for about a month. There are no A2 or larger photocopying facilities near Victoria.

Then this weekend I started adjusting this bodice and because it is incorrectly cut there were too many alterations to use the tissue paper. So I brought the photocopying idea back to life and realized that even if a pattern piece won't fit very well on one A3 page, it will probably fit on two.

I did this tutorial using an already cut pattern, but it works well enough that I will never have to trace a pattern again, or to cut a size on tissue paper.


  • A3 (or larger) photocopier; photocopying shops are usually fairly common so I think this will be fine
  • scissors
  • tape


Step 1: cut your pattern pieces without cutting into any of the multiple sizes. Just cut roughly around the pattern (1-2 inches around all lines will be fine)

The example pattern in the next pictures was already cut on size, but imagine you are cutting couture sewing seam allowances.

Step 2: Take a piece of A3 paper and set the top of the pattern, right side up on it  (you will want to be able to read the writing). Try to use as much paper real-estate as possible.

Photocopy it, then move the pattern piece up so the rest is covered too.:

Note: if you're using a paper size larger than A3 (that would be A2 through A0), you're probably done!

Step 3: Now you need to piece together the copies. Luckily I only had 2 sides on each pattern piece.

The way I did it was to cut one of the copies along the lengthen or shorten line:

Then align the cut part over the uncut copy:

And tape together:

You are done! These are my two pieces:

Some advice: be careful when aligning the pattern piece in Step 1, otherwise things like these can happen:

Pattern was wrong side up (right side facing the white paper)

I didn't align the bottom bart of the pattern carefully and part of it was lost


  1. Yes, that class is great! Thanks for sharing the idea...

    1. NP... I thought I could save the next person two years of tracing patterns :)

  2. great idea! I'm looking forward to your comments on this class as I'm planning to try it once I've watched a bit more of the *few* classes I already own at Craftsy

    1. I will absolutely post an overview. Unfortunately I am missing the most important thing for the class, which is a fitting buddy, but I think I can still figure things out.

  3. That was something I haven't thought about! And I even have an A3 photocopier at home! This tip will be great when copying my vintage patterns that are so delicate! Thank you!

    1. Yes, I will start doing that too! I figure that I should really go and get through all my patterns with this method, it will save them for the future