Wednesday, 29 October 2014

A Quick Way to Copy Different Sleeve Lengths

Hello hello!

Today I'm going to share a quick trick for dealing with the patterns with multiple versions of a design on them. Sometimes you'll find a pattern with different options, but printed in such a way that to make the short version, you have to cut the long version. This could be a sleeve length or a dress / shirt, or a shorts/long leggings on the same pattern.

You may want to make the short version now, but don't fancy buying a whole new pattern later, or in the case of a PDF pattern, you don't fancy printing and sticking the sheets all over again. So you need to copy the piece in question.

Here's a quick method to get all your pieces cut out without losing any options.

I have a t-shirt sleeve PDF pattern (From the Craftsy course Sewing With Knits).

I've made up the sleeve pattern (on the left), but because I'm rather freakishly petite, I've drafted a new sleeve using the same sleeve head on the right, and a quick measure of my arm. Obviously, if you're closer to a standard size, you'd work with the original.


I'm using brown craft paper, because it is cheap and easy to come by. I have drawn on the three different sleeve lengths, and I have taped my original pattern to the top layer to keep it in place.

I then put 3 layers of paper in one pile and outside the edges of the pattern cutting lines, I staple them together. If the pattern piece is too large for the width of the paper, you can glue two sheets side by side and it works a treat.

 I don't know if the staples are visible from here, but they're in there!

I've put the hem lines in for both length options. I have only drawn in my size here. Its also worth noting that this pattern has straight lines on the sleeve, and I prefer a bit of a curve as seen in my drafting long sleeves post. But hey, it's not my pattern - so I'll try it their way, and if I don't like it I'll go back to my way. :) ***
Once I've got it all stacked up and securely stapled, I cut through all of the layers. I only did the bottom portion to keep the top secure. If this is a problem. you can pin the pieces together with dressmaking pins inside the pattern piece although the staples lie flatter.

Once that's done, I cut off the first length through 2 layers.


 Cool.
Then I cut the shortest length through just one layer. Really, I could have used the original taped layer for this. But I find the patterns much easier to manage without the tape.

 I've lost my grain lines, so while the top is still securely attached, I'm just going to pop those back in with a ruler.

 And clip the little extra bits off the longest sleeve.
Done.
3 useful sleeves from the one pattern. Don't forget to put markings from the original piece in place, and label them. No tape! Which makes them easier to fold and store too.

There you go!

***UPDATE - I will be sticking with my original sleeve in future. The missing curve does make a difference, and the sleeve head really shouldn't be symmetrical!

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