Monday, June 25, 2012

How to Transfer a Pattern (and keep the master!)


My mother taught me the best trick ever. When I was younger and getting an interest in sewing, I found it irritating that I would have to buy a new pattern everytime I changed a size or if I decided to make something for someone else. My Mom thought about that and one day told me that there was a way to keep the master pattern intact and only use the size that I needed. She taught me how to transfer my pattern onto an aisle runner (yes, like that used at weddings).

Recently I ordered a pattern from Blessed Designs (Angela Coffman Designs)-the maternity skirt pattern is fabulous!- in which I used this method so I thought I'd make a little tutorial and share it with you.

Before I get started though, I want to a list a few reasons why to keep the master pattern intact and only transfer the size that you need. Two reasons really.1) If you tear or destroy the master pattern, you have to buy a new one. If you transfer just the ones you need and they get messed up, you ca just go back and make another transfer. No need to buy a new pattern. 2) Let's say you have several kids that you are making the same outfit for (be it a dress, skirt, pajama pants, etc) but they are all different sizes, you'd have to buy several patterns in order to make what you needed for them. It takes a little more effort to transfer the various sizes you need BUT you'll spend less money and also...See Reason #1.  Keep in mind, though, these transfer are to be used for PERSONAL USE ONLY and are not to be sold or use in a monetary fashion. You are using the transfers to get the most out of one pattern. Please respect the creators of the patterns as they would respect you.

First you'll need:
An Aisle Runner (can be found in the wedding section at a craft or super store)-I got mine on Sale!
A Pen or Marker
Fabric Scissors
Weights (like sewing weights or soup cans, change bags or rocks) to keep the pattern steady
A Master Pattern (all sizes included, don't cut individual sizes: see pictures below)


First, roll out your aisle runner onto your table or work surface (which should be clean!) and place a pattern piece underneath. Aisle runners are great because they are see through and it makes the pattern easier to trace (and easy to pin to fabric). It's easier to trace on at a time but try to keep the tracings as close together as possible (without overlapping) to minimize transfer waste.


 Second, if needed, place your weights on the pattern/aisle runner to keep the pattern still while you trace. You want it to move around as little as possible (or not at all) so you don't make mistakes. If it does, you can try again but Waste Not, Want Not. =)

 Third, when your pattern is steady, pull out your pen or marker, find your size and start tracing! Be sure to make notches as well as all the writing like "Cut For View A" etc. Most especially mark the name of the pattern, the size and directions (like Cut 2 on Fold) etc. All the details are important.You should always keep your patterns together but in case they get seperated, having that information will really help. =)

 My handwriting isn't the best with marker but at least I know what I need to do, the size and what the pattern is.

 Fourth, once you have traced all your pattern pieces and they are properly labeled, start cutting. I found that paper scissors snag on aisle runner so use fabric scissors. Cut carefully and discard and excess aisle runner that you have.

And Congratulations! You now have a transfer of your pattern (in the size you need) and your master pattern is still intact, waiting for future tracing and use.

I hoped you liked this tutorial of mine. Happy Sewing!

P.S. I want to say here that Angela Coffman's Maternity Skirt pattern is practically the only pattern I could find on the internet. And I love it!


Hannah Wetzel is the Wife to one Wonderful Man (her Marine), a Mother to 3 children (ages 3 and younger) and an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She loves cooking, baking, writing, reading, embroidery and anything out of doors and cannot wait to have her own little homestead one day (goats and all)! She blogs about homemaking & family at Heavenly Homes & Forever Families. Follow Hannah on Twitter and Pinterest.

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