Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No More Pinning Patterns!

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I have begun the yearly process of making Easter dresses. So far, I have two done, with four to go.

Last year, I went for the calico and gingham, patchwork look.

This year, though, I wanted more elegant dresses, which by the way will set you back quite a bit more than you might think, especially if you go to a real live fabric store instead of the bargain rack at Wal Mart.

And if you have seven children distracting you, you just might forget to look at the prices on the ends of the bolts because the children are wanting to make sure you know THERE IS A BIRD IN THE STORE! MOMMY! A BIRD IS FLYING IN THE STORE! I'M GOING TO CATCH THAT BIRD, MOMMY! IF I CATCH THAT BIRD CAN IT BE MY PET, MOMMY? THERE IS A BIRD IN THE STORE!

So that by the time you get to the check out, not only will you feel the desperate need for a some Extra Strength Motrin with a Route 44 Vanilla Dr. Pepper chaser, you will find out that the oh-so-elegant fabric for six Easter dresses will be costing you an arm and a leg. And another arm.

Not to worry though. I have decided the girls will be wearing these dresses every Sunday for the next eight months so we'll get our money's worth.

And now for the handy dandy tip:

The most tedious part of dress making, to me, is the pinning and cutting of the pattern. I hate pinning so much that I generally skip it and just hold the pattern down with one hand while I cut with the other.

I knew I didn't want to take the chance of messing up this pricey fabric, though, so when my mother remembered that my grandmother used to use knives to anchor the pattern instead of pins, I knew I had found a winning solution.

I got out all of our dinner knives and they were perfect for the task. They were heavy enough to hold the pattern down, but much simpler to use than pins.

Since I wanted to make sure to match these plaids, I ended up moving the pieces around quite a bit before cutting, but it was no bother at all because I didn't have to worry about pinning and unpinning.

So, next time you cut out a pattern, don't use pins. Use your dinner knives to hold the pattern in place.

It Works For Me! (Click on the Works For Me logo up top to see more great tips.)


Pat's Place said...

Wow! Great suggestion about the knives. I never thought of that and I HATE pinning! Thanks!

Amy @ Experience Imagination said...

My friend the fashion designer told me that in design school they used pattern weights to hold them in place because the pins messed up the fabric and could cause your cuts to be slightly uneven (because of the bunching). She was still getting her studio up and running when I met her, so she was using her stapler, desktop tape dispenser and whatever else was handy. The knives look at little more put together than her collection of odds and ends!

Holly said...

Awesome! If I ever sew with a pattern again, I'll try this.

Mrs. Reverend Doctor said...

You are a brave woman, making that many dresses and with a PLAID!!! I

Lene said...

I don't sew but I look forward to seeing pictures of your girls in their pretty dresses!!!

~~tonya~~ said...

That is a great tip!! TFS. I love that plaid fabric. Very Springy!

Audrey said...

Thank you so much for this tip! I hate pinning patterns, and I'm dreading sewing my dress for Easter (I'm a mom of 2 boys, so mine is the only Easter dress I make). This will make it so much easier!

Anonymous said...

I always use butter knives too! Or whatever else happens to be sitting on my counter as I'm cutting out fabric. :D Waaaay better than pins!

The Real Me! said...

I will definitely have to try that. Pinning is such a pain. Thanks for the tip.

Linda said...

What a great awesome tip! I will definitely be using this. This will be great for my 13yog that sews, and my 10yog that is learning to sew. They are making their own Easter dresses this year, so this will help them.

mub said...

I use tuna fish cans for pattern weights, myself. It's so nice when you can shift things around to get them just right without pinning and repinning!

FromThe Creek said...

That is a wonderful tip!

Kara said...

Honestly, Connie I am so glad you showed pictures because I envisioned steak knives stuck to the table like a magic trick gone awry. I'm not kidding, I did...I need some caffiene clearly this morning!! What a neat idea, because I hate the whole pinning process as well:)

Jennifer said...

My mother taught me to use pins to cut out the patterns, too. But I have been using my bread knives for years and they really do work so much better!

Jennifer D

Donna said...

Bread knives are a good idea! I use large metal plumbers' washers. They are very cheap and only need the grease washed off them when you buy them. I did try to 'pretty' them up by painting them, but discovered my error when the paint started chipping. I only use pins for the very small pattern pieces and doll clothes now.

Nikki said...

Sooo smart. Just last night I was thinking to myself, I hate pinning. I would probably sew more often if I didn't have to pin. You are a lifesaver Connie!

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