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Jan 21, 2011

MPB SNOW DAY SPECIAL --100% men's shirt free!



Friends, as you can see, we had another big snow dump yesterday.  It kind of makes me want to crawl back into bed and it definitely makes me want to take a break from talking about shirts.  We all need a rest now and then, no?  (But since you asked, somebody please remind me to talk about pattern tracing paper -- maybe you can recommend some?)

As you well know, one of my mottoes has always been Out with all the old clutter!  Unfortunately another motto is In with all the new clutter!

Apropos of which, my Elnapress arrived yesterday and it works beautifully!



Most delicious grilled cheese sandwiches EVER.

Joking aside, I'm having a serious like affair with this machine (a dry press, not a steam press) having used it only once so far.  You put the interfacing (which I didn't pre-shrink) on the fabric, close the heated press for just a few seconds and presto! 







I think I could more easily peel off my fingernail than the interfacing off that fabric.   I can't wait to experiment with more fabric and interfacing samples and perhaps some Prosciutto di Parma and sliced pecorino on sourdough.

And speaking of food (and clutter) you can read about Michael's new slow cooker here.

In other purely clutter-related news, I have a new swimsuit.



Forget what Michael Phelps may have you believe, there is nothing like swimming in 100% wool knit for minimal resistance in water.  In an eBay-induced frenzy I picked up this little 1940s navy-issue number that fits perfectly and aside from a few inconspicuous moth holes is ready for a trip to Brighton Beach.

 

My intention was actually to study the construction of it and come up with my own line of vintage-inspired men's swimwear.  I think the topless look is on its way out and apparently Giorgio Armani agrees with me, though I think he got it backwards.  I fear he's losing it.


In other news, lest you think our dogs are underexercised during these stormy winter days, rest assured they are working out regularly on their doggie treadmill -- up to 1/2 hour daily!  We can now put them on the machine, set the speed, and go about our business.  They seem to like it.



Friends, that's it.  I see from our Flickr group that Sew-Along anticipation is building steadily, with all kinds of patterns and fabrics in the mix.  Fun!

Have a great day and if you have a spare minute -- What should those who want/need to trace their pattern purchase as far as tracing paper goes?  Any particular technique(s) you recommend?  I never do it, though I should.

The ball's in your court today -- jump in!

48 comments:

  1. ack! I chose "preview" and my comment disappeared totally!

    that Armani suit looks like it would give one a front wedgie! Ouch!

    I trace my patterns on Swedish Tracing Paper with a super fine point Sharpie. STP can be had in a gazillion places on the internet, and it's sewable! I love it way better than stiff paper or that horrid rippy tissue paper.

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  2. Thanks, Jacki! What's a good place to buy it from?

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  3. That swimsuit is Haut. Seriously.

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  4. Tracing paper - if you mean duplicating the pattern in order to preserve the original, I use the stuff from Nancy's Notions a/k/a doctor's examining table paper. Really. You can get this stuff by the case, much cheaper at a medical supply store. I bought my last roll dirt cheap from an ASG friend who had bought a case. I make lots of adjustments to a pattern before I can wear something, and this paper, while lightweight, is easy to spice, dice, and tape. It is not as flimsy as gift box tissue paper.

    FWIW, maybe you already know, 3M makes a removable scotch tape; look for the blue plaid at OfficeDepot, Staples, etc. (the regular tape is green plaid)

    ElnaPress - I love mine. If you are prone to using linen table napkins, this is the way to press them. Heaven. And way faster.

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  5. Congrats on your new press! I know that will make interfacing an easy, easy task. I love the swimsuit btw---it's really cool:)

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  6. I also like the Swedish tracing paper. I got it from Clotilde, but I'm sure it is available elsewhere. It feels like fabric or sew-in interfacing, and is quite sturdy.

    I use a permanent ink marker or a Roll-A-Pattern to do tracing. (Roll-A-Pattern s also available at Clotilde.)

    I tried the Nancy's Notions tracing paper, and didn't care for it. A Sharpie bleeds through to the pattern underneath, and the Roll-A-Pattern didn't work with it at all.

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  7. Ha! Love the doggie video--they wouldn't do it if they didn't enjoy it. Lots better than freezing their little doggie tushies.

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  8. Wow. A dog treadmill. And I thought my cat hammock was out-there.

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  9. bumbledogs!

    What is that soundtrack? Your video cracked me up. Love the navy swimsuit, too, and would love it if those made a comeback. Not the armani one though.

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  10. The video made me laugh out loud this morning-my parents used to play "Flight of the Bumblebee" for my siblings and I when we were little. We would run madly in circles, around the dining room table until it was over, and then fall exhausted and giggling on the floor! Looking back, I believe it was an evil plan to exhaust us in the pre-bedtime hour. We just thought it was ripping good fun! No wonder the dogs like to run on the treadmill, if that is the workout music of choice for them!

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  11. Thank you for addressing the tracing point I asked about yesterday. I have some from our local Husqvarna dealer which is really tough but I'm just tired of spending another 1+ hours tracing. I may try fusing an original pattern to interfacing and cutting it out like that, will let you know how it goes.

    I love your Elna press, I am jealous, I want one! I'll have to save up, there aren't any on Ebay Canada and to have one shipped from the U.S. well, I might as well buy one new (shipping, taxes & duties).

    I love your new bathing suit, I do NOT like the banana hammock.

    And lastly but not in the least, I adore Willy and Freddy and love their doggy tread mill! I'm trying to convince my husband that we need one for our two Pugs. :D

    Have a terrific day!

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  12. Well now, I'm one who doesn't like swedish tracing paper. The roll I bought had pemanent creases in the 'fabric' that I couldn't press neatly out...it kind of stretched from the creases. I just use Pattern Ease from jo-anns. I have never had it rip.

    Enjoy your steam press! I have one on a stand that I picked up at a yard sale for $30. It was practically brand new! I mainly use it for fusible interfacing.

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  13. That giant window will make an excellent light box. I prefer to trace by taping pattern to window, and taping tracing paper over that (ensure it is flat and taut however). A dull soft pencil will not rip whatever tissue/paper you are using. That said, this technique fails miserably after sundown.
    Use a ruler to speedily trace straight of grain and other straight areas. I use a hip curve to outline other curves rather than free-hand tracing them.

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  14. Sun-Glo sketch paper is another option. Available in canary yellow or white -- online, or from most art supply places. I like the 18" wide for most tracing chores. Thicker and easier to handle than pattern tissue, but still easy to see through. I find it better to cut away excess paper before cutting out the fabric, rather than cutting through paper and fabric.

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  15. For tracing paper, I use that pale gold/yellow stuff that architects and designers used to use (maybe they still do). It comes in rolls and you can get it at a decent art supply store. The place I get it offers two different widths. It's very transparent and thinner than most tracing paper. I suspect this is the same stuff that Karen recommends in the comment above.

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  16. I have a confession to make. I go to my kitchen and grab parchment paper and use that for tracing paper. It's cheaper than the stuff they sell for the same purpose, and works just as well.

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  17. Grab your darning foot and fix those moth holes ;) An excellent suit, and wool stays warm when wet, perfect for those polar bear dips you must be planning.

    Sundown failure, hmm. I envision outdoor Christmas lights all around the window, lots and lots of them.

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  18. I love your bathing costume and your dogs!!!!

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  19. I use giant sheets of tissue, readily available at the variety store, also parchment paper - from the grocery store. Cheap and easy to use. I use my glass kitchen table as a lightbox. It's free and easy to use.

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  20. Peter, I love the vintage bathing costume. I want one.

    I also use examining table paper; it wears well, dirt cheap, easy to store and I like the crispness of it. I trace most of my patterns (as well as making patterns) and I order my paper from Overstock.com -- great service, and cheapest ever; I think a dozen rolls was maybe $36 and $5 to ship? And a dozen rolls will last anyone a *very* long time.

    In other news, I decided to take the plunge and ordered the Negroni pattern for the sew-along; it should arrive next Tuesday or so. Certainly won't hurt me to put another pattern in the rotation...

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  21. Swedish Tracing Paper here too. But I don't trace nearly as many patterns as I used to. I'd rather be sewing.

    Throw a tomato slice onto my grilled cheese, please.

    (And speaking of cheese, you look great in that swimsuit.)

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  22. That's the view from your window? Crikey, you're high up... Thanks to my fear of heights I feel dizzy and weak just looking at it from the safety of my 1st floor in London!

    I am so envious of all your finds. That bathing costume is cool! Out of curiosity, how much time do you spend rummaging around for such finds every week? Or do you just have a 6th sense for locating fabulous things?!

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  23. What a pretty new toy, damn you Peter now I want one. Thank goodness I already have a crock-pot, I'd want one of those too after reading Michael's blog 8-)

    For tracing patterns I use a roll of plastic tablecloth stuff, it is cheap and doesn't tear and drapes like fabric. If you want to use different colors for different categories you can get it in lots of colors, and if you find yourself doing crafts one day with a 7yo you can cover every horizontal surface with it too. Love the stuff.

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  24. Oops forgot. Love the Freddy and Willy video, you can never post too much about the "boys". More please.

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  25. I like to use medical exam table paper. I haven't bought any as of yet, I just took some home from my job...Don't tell anyone. From reading your other comments looks like I know where to buy it from now on at Overstock.com. It is just strong enough and you can easily see through it to trace. I took home four rolls and I haven't even made it half way through the first roll and I've traced several patterns.

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  26. For tracing I always use Burda Tissue Paper - it's sold in packs of 5 sheets of 150 x 110 cm (that's 59 x 43 inches) and is especially made for tracing patterns. It's strong but see through enough to easily trace the terrible tangle of lines from Burda Magazine. Having told you all this, it might not be very helpful, because I'm not sure if you can buy it in the USA.
    LOVE your new bathing suit - what a fab find. I'ts going to wow them all on Brighton Beach when the weather turns a bit warmer (I am assuming you are going to wait for warmer weather before venturing out in it?)

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  27. Clotilde.com. Rolls of tracing paper at a reasonable price. I bought 2. Some people also use rolls of medical exam table paper. I use the paper from Clotilde, and, armed with a sharpie and ruler for those tricky straight lines, am set to go!

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  28. I have read a lot about people using soil separator paper from the hardware store for tracing. I just bought a roll and traced off my first pattern with it the other day. I used ball point pen. The stuff I bought is wide, 48", so I could fit a whole blouse pattern on my table and just roll the soil separator over the top. I go back over with a sharpie marker to make the lines more visible, and use different colors for alterations. One bonus was that it was static cling-y, and it stuck right to my pattern.

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  29. I use two papers. I love using Swedish Tracing Paper (from Folkwear Patterns) and regular artists tracing paper bought by the roll (from dickblick.com art materials). The Swedish paper is easy to work with and handles quick and dirty tissue fitting on my form, the artist paper works nicely when I want to trace really detailed items.

    PS - I've been tracing off more frequently now since I mangled patterns as a kid. Now that the styles are back, the patterns are too butchered to try again, c'est la vie....

    PPS - the dogs are fabulous!

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  30. I used to have one of those suits! Mine was aqua green with coral pink leaves and I don't think I looked so good in it, but it was great for swimming in cold Minnesota lakes. (Watch out, they SAG when wet. . . great idea to re-engineer it in something a bit more strechy and less itchy.)
    Tracing patterns? I use cheap non-fusable interfacing. Works fine, strong and you can pin-fit it too--or recyle as interfacing. I also bought the Swedish stuff which is basically the same idea, but I find the big roll takes up a lot of space and is awkward to use.

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  31. Love them jogging doggies!
    I just use the plain old yellow paper tracing paper that comes in a roll (I get it at Pearl on Canal St). But then, I'm cheap.
    Congrats on the Elna press! Your remark about the grilled cheese sandwiches has me pondering what kind of sewing uses I can think up for my George Foreman grill.

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  32. I use doctor's examining table paper -- got it in a case from Amazon. It's cheap & it works fine, though I have to tape together pieces for wide patterns.

    Beth

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  33. I recently went to officeworks and bought a pad of that big paper they use in meetings at offices. It's really big and just that bit thinner than normal printer paper. I made sure not to get the shiny stuff. It's not thin enough to trace through without either a tracing wheel or some back lighting though. Thankfully I have a tracing wheel and also a glass dining table that works fantastically as a light box if I put my desk lamp under it.

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  34. For tracing I use wax paper..super cheap and easy to see through. You can make it as wide as you need to by overlaping a couple inches and ironing. I use a prismacolor pencil, or eyebrow pencil to mark with. if its a pattern I know I will be using a lot more, then I like to transfer it to Pattern ease.

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  35. I dislike Swedish tracing paper because it doesn't take erasing very well. Can't wait til I run out of it and order more doctor's exam paper.
    Glad I read here to buy it on overstock.com.
    I've seen it on amazon, too.

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  36. As others have mentioned, the architect's tracing paper works great. I buy it at an art supply store-- ask for "canary trace". (When I asked for "tracing paper", I got something completely different and more expensive.) It is the closest thing to pattern tissue (very thin), but unlike pattern tissue, it lays flat and is easy to draw/write on. Unlike regular tracing paper, it does not wrinkle or warp with humidity changes. It is also more see-through than some other things like examination paper.

    My favorite width is 24". I also keep a roll of 12" for smaller pieces. The 36" width is not necessary and suprisingly not as user-friendly as the narrower widths.

    Betty

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  37. P.S. A note about parchment paper: It works great, but make sure you don't buy the silicone-coated type. Tape will not stick to silicone. :)

    Betty

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  38. I like to use PatternEase, which I steam press before each use. This is most useful if a tracing has been folded up for a few years. I always buy entire bolts at Joann's half-price sale, so I currently have plenty! Did I send you some already?

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  39. I bought a big pad of A2 size tracing paper from an art supply store. Wasn't real cheap but it's very see-through, quite sturdy and there are 50 sheets which are going a long way. I also bought non-fusible interfacing for the task (recommended at Spotlight). I don't like the way it's a bit stretchy as you're tracing, and pen soaks through. But I do like the way it clings to the fashion fabric when cutting out.
    LOVE the bathing suit. And very excited to think you might be making a move into sewist-stuff as a career. About time you made some money out of your cleverness! Are you considering doing women's as well?

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  40. Oh, Jane....that was but a bit of whimsy (i.e., a lie).

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  41. I too use non-fusible interfacing. It has the advantages of being cheap, easy to find, wide enough for tracing a garment you want to replicate, fairly durable and easy to iron if you like your pattern pieces pressed. But it doesn't take an eraser well and is a tad stretchy.

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  42. I use "tru-grid" because it's super nice for making alterations and muslins from. For the Vintage Sewalong of 2011, I made my muslin from my traced pattern - 2 birds, 1 stone. Win/Win.

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  43. Oh bugger. Really, how do you maintain all this - posting every day, and so beautifully - without making a penny from it? Not even ads on your blog. Or is there a secret book deal in the making? Movie? Cathy's modelling agent fees?

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  44. Jane, there is certain to be a big payoff. I only hope it happens during my lifetime! ;)

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  45. I use a medium weight non-woven non-fusible interfacing too. The kind I use has light grid marks making it easy to draft patterns on, and you can use the grid lines to help align with the grain/stretch of fabric as well. It is nice because it seems to cling to the fabrics you are cutting out, so I find my pattern pieces come out more accuratly.

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  46. About the pattern tracing paper. I Denmark we have to different kinds. One is 60 cm wide and one is 80. I use the last one. It's kinda expensive, but in my opinion its worth every penny! If you want me to, I could find out if any companies in Denmark export it to the US? :-) Looking forward to your men's shirt sew-along!

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