Waves & Wild patterns all come with three different printing options; print at home, copy shop and projector. They all have their pros and cons but “print at home” is the most commonly used choice. One of the main reasons people choose print at home over the other options is that it gets almost immediate results! (I know a projector does that too but having a projector set up in a sewing space isn’t as common as having a home printer.) However, the biggest complaint of print at home is the hassle of having to put all the pages together.
Keep reading for ideas of different ways to put together your print at home pages and some extra tips to avoid unnecessary printing.
Putting the pages together
Let’s be realistic, sticking all the pages of a pattern together is kind of a hassle and not exactly the best part of the creative process but needs must. You can use glue or tape to hold the pages together, which ever you have to hand and find the easiest to use…just make sure you don’t use anything that could mark your fabric. Most people find that you don’t need to trim the pages and but this can depend on your printer and paper size (you can use A4, legal or letter size!). After printing, all you need to focus on is matching up and overlapping the lines and circles.
Here are the most commonly used methods to get nicely matched up pages but let us know in the comments if you use any different techniques.
This method helps you to see through to a small amount of the page underneath by trimming away a corner of a couple of the circles on every page. Being able to see the page underneath makes it much easier to match the lines up so with part of a circle missing you simply need to complete the circle using the one from the page underneath.
Perfectly match up the cross with each circle by putting a pin through the centre of the cross on one page and then again through the cross’s centre on the underneath page. You’ll still need to move the page a little to get it lined up too (using the straight lines and lines of the circle) as only matching one cross is not enough but this is much easy to do once the crosses have been matched.
Light boxes are much more common these days and have lots of great sewing uses. They vary in size and cost. The bigger your light box is, the most pages you’ll be able to match up at one time but even with a small one you can just keep moving things around the the two pages you are matching up are over the light box. The reason these work so well is because matching up pattern pages is focused on overlapping the guidelines and circle and having light shining through pieces of paper makes it much easier to see all the lines and get them exactly on top of each other for sticking the pages in place.
If you don’t have or don’t want a light box then a big window works just as well…and sometimes actually works better! Using a window is exactly the same logic as the light box (allowing light to pass through the pages making all the lines much easier to see). Start by securing the first page to the window-I like to use washi tape for this so it doesn’t leave a sticky mark on your window, and they start to overlap and stick the rest of the pages in place. You can work down in columns or along in rows but be sure to secure the whole of the top row to your window so the pages don’t fall down.
- Stick the pages together THEN cut out the pattern pieces. The guidelines on the pattern pages are the designed to be used with full sheets of paper rather than different shaped pattern pieces. Attaching the pages together first also makes it much easier to make sure they are in the correct order and the pattern pieces are being constructed correctly.
- Make use of the “layers” option before you print so that you only print the size/s you need. This will save on printer ink and paper. Plus when you have printed fewer sizes it the makes the lines easier to see when cutting out the pattern pieces.
- Check the “Which pages to print” information (near the beginning of the pattern instructions) and only print the pages you need for the option/s you are planning to make.
- If the pattern includes sleeves with different length options then you can save ink and paper by only printing the longest length in your chosen size and then simply fold the pattern piece along the lines for the shorter sleeve lengths to make the piece temporarily shorter whilst you cut out the fabric. This only works if the sleeve shape stays the same for all lengths.
- For patterns that have back and front body pieces where the only different in the two pieces of the neckline, cut out the piece following the back neckline (the highest one) then cut out any lower necklines but leave a few centimetres in the centre of the cutting line uncut so the little piece of still attached to the main body piece. Now you can fold the extra neckline section out of the way when cutting the front body piece and fold it back in place for the back body piece.