Printing patterns.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I should know better than to make my sewing goals public.  When you do that, your failure to meet those goals becomes public too.  But that accountability may be just what I need to get moving.  January is whirring past, February is fast approaching, and I have yet to do any sewing for myself (Goal 1).  This means I've got some late nights ahead of me.  And some coffee.

The good thing about waiting until the last minute to begin your projects is that you can change the scope and choose a simple project (and, if you're smooth and savvy, you can act like that's all you ever planned).  I've been wanting some boatneck tees for a while.  That should be a quick and easy project, right?  I should be able to knock out a boatneck tee for myself in no time, right?  Maybe.  Or maybe not.

It turns out that good boatneck tee patterns are not so easy to come by.  I looked and looked, and I found three contenders:  Jalie 2005, Burda 8906, and Burda WOF 2/2009.  All are out of print.  I shopped Etsy and Ebay, I hit up my friends at Sewing Mamas.  No luck.

Fortunately, Jalie sells electronic versions of their out of print patterns.  Purchase, download, print, and off you go.  I paid my $9 and thought I was well on my way to meeting Goal 1.

Now I'm not new to buying electronic patterns.  I've downloaded and printed lots of patterns.  The Etsy homemade pattern section and I are good friends.  I've been thrilled with many, disappointed with a few.  Mostly, it's a great way to purchase patterns, especially for somebody who needs to move quickly.

Imagine my shock at discovering that the Jalie pattern was 72 pages long.  Yes, you read that correctly.  72 pages!  I wish I had taken a photo of the stack of paper.  It was huge.

After staring at what looked like an entire ream of paper for days, I finally worked up the courage to assemble the pattern.  Each page has to be trimmed on at least two sides, some on three or four.  There are tiny marks to align, then tape.  The pages overlap by inches.  I didn't need all the pages, because I only want the boatneck tee, but I must have used at least 50 pages.

I don't think the photos come close to showing how much labor went into this.  It's absurd, really.

After going to all that trouble, I'm sure not going to cut the pattern.  What if I need another size later?  Instead, I'll trace, which will take still more time.

So much for the quick and easy project.  I should have just bought a $6 boatneck tee at Old Navy.

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