Thread Theory

Welcome to the new era of menswear sewing. Go ahead and create something exceptional!


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New Patterns! By Laela Jeyne and 5 Out Of 4

Our PDF pattern inventory just grew by leaps and bounds!  We are thrilled to now stock Laela Jeyne menswear patterns and 5 Out Of 4 menswear patterns in our shop.  These two indie sewing pattern companies have designed some stellar menswear pieces in addition to their large collections of garments for women and children.  Upon viewing their creative and well thought out designs, you will see why we think they so nicely compliment our own patterns.

Let’s have a look at the new designs (or head straight to the shop to check out our full PDF collection comprised of designs by eight (!) different indie pattern companies):

From Laela Jeyne, we have three PDF patterns which she has named Dapper by Laela Jeyne.  All three patterns could be sewn up to make a complete outfit (or a closet full of outfits if you employed the many variations included for each design!

emmett t-shirt

First off, we have the Emmett T-shirt.  This is a versatile pattern featuring a polo, Henley and crew neckline.  There are two sleeve length options.  The pattern includes instructions for fitting this design (including grading between sizes.  It is available in sizes XS-3XL.  Laela Jeyne patterns include a great feature: You only need to print the size that you want to use.

reed trousers

Next up, we have the Reed Trousers.  These are classic chino pants with roomy thighs, a straight fit, slit side pockets and optional welt pockets.  They are a great alternative to our Jedediah Pants – both garments feature a chino-style fit and look similar from the front but you can choose between darts and welt pockets (the Reed Trousers) or a yoke and patch pockets (the Jedediah Pants) depending on your preference.

william vest

Lastly, we have the William Vest which is a perfect layering piece over the Emmett T-shirt.  The William Vest can be sewn as a simple vest or you can add all manner of details including a snap off hood with a gusset, shoulder and back yokes, snap flap, welt pockets and breast pockets.

Now we’ve had a look at the Dapper collection by Laela Jeyne, let’s check out the new patterns by 5 Out Of 4.  I was eager to add 5 Out Of 4 patterns to our shop because they have a very large size range and include a huge amount of variations with each design.

redwood fleece vest

5 Out of 4 have made a great vest design too – theirs features colorblocking options, a zippered chest pocket with an optional flap, zippered hand pockets and a fully finished interior.  This pattern is drafted for sizes XXS-5XL.

sierra fleece pullover

The Sierra Fleece Pullover is a stand out pattern for me – I love the color blocking options – you can use contrast fabric for the shoulders and part of the sleeves to create a very nice effect (check out the other images in the shop to see this look).  You can sew the whole design without yokes and with one piece sleeves (pictured on the left), or you can sew the two piece sleeves with one fabric to match the shoulder yoke (pictured on the right).  So many possibilities based on your fabric and color combos to create a variety of looks with one pattern!  This pattern ranges from XXS-3XL.

halftime hoodie

The Halftime Hoodie is a nice quick project.  Sew a sweater with or without a hood, choose between two kangaroo pocket sizes and sew short or tall cuffs (with the option for thumbholes once again).  This pattern includes sizes XXS-5XL.

rocky tee

The Rocky Tee is a versatile basic – sew it as a v-neck or crew-neck with a variety of sleeve lengths and finishes (you could even choose thumbhole cuffs if you like).  This pattern extends from XXS-5XL.

woven boxersWe’ve received a lot of requests for woven boxer shorts over the years but we haven’t made a pattern for this style – because this great option by 5 Out of 4 already exists!  These shorts have been well thought out – they don’t have a centre back seam and instead feature three back panels that create a roomier and more comfortable fit at the back.  You can sew an optional buttonhole fly and the seams are nicely flatfelled.  These are hard-wearing and will produce a very professionally finished pair of boxers!

The last pattern by 5 Out of 4 is a great one – swim trunks with a million high-end details!

swim trunks

These trunks feature a mesh liner, faux fly, optional drawstring, optional side pockets and optional cargo pockets.  Mix and match these details for a quick or more hefty project.

Welcome to the Thread Theory shop Laela Jeyne and 5 Out of 4!  We are so glad you are designing menswear!

 


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We’re celebrating Father’s Day with new patterns!

Father's Day 2018

Happy Father’s Day!  If you live in North America, Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 17th.

Toby K Patterns Fehr Trade Thread Theory menswear

We’re celebrating by increasing our pattern offering once again – this time, we’ve collaborated with indie designers Fehr Trade and Toby K Patterns to make their menswear designs available in our shop!

Toby K Patterns Thread Theory menswear

Even if you don’t have time to sew for Dad before the big day, I think it would be lovely to take him out for a coffee or beer (depending on his preference!) and dream up his perfect custom garment together.

Father's Day sewing project sportswear

Does he cycle?  Fehr Trade patterns would be an excellent fit for him – you could sew him the perfect cycling jersey, running top, or long underwear with just the right pockets and fit that he requires.

Father's Day sewing project sportswear 2

Or perhaps he needs something cozy but stylish?

Father's Day sewing project sweater collars

Toby K Patterns have shared three of their stylish sweater designs with our shop.  Each of their patterns include seemingly endless possibilities for customisation.  Their sweater designs all include the option for cosy thumbhole cuffs and you can mix and match pocket styles.

Father's Day sewing project sweater

If you would prefer to gift something finished for Dad, you still have time for a little bit of sewing!  Check out this quick beanie pattern which is a great scrap buster:

Father's Day sewing project hat

We have more indie pattern company collaborations lined up for the future.  I hope you are enjoying this new wealth of choice in our shop!  The above photos are just a sampling of the new designs – be sure to check out the others by scrolling through all of our PDF offerings!

Menswear sewing patterns pdf

Thank you, to the always friendly and always collaborative indie pattern community for happily adding your menswear designs to the Thread Theory pattern library.  Let’s keep this growing!


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Look who has joined us! New PDF Patterns

New Era of Menswear

People often tell us that they are thrilled to have stumbled upon our shop because their choices are so limited for menswear sewing patterns and we have worked hard to rectify this.  While this is true in comparison to the proliferation of gorgeous, trendy women’s styles available, we feel that the indie sewing community has done an excellent job of beginning to fill the menswear void along with us.  Menswear sewing patterns are no longer few and far between – let’s celebrate this!

COLLABORATION IS KEY

In order to foster a sense of community and to bring menswear to the forefront of the online sewing world, we’ve decided to attempt to gather all the excellent menswear PDF patterns together and make them available in one, easy-to-find place: Our Thread Theory website.  Most of these well-designed menswear patterns have been created by companies who usually focus on women’s fashion.  By joining us and sharing their patterns in our shop, we hope they will be easier for you (the menswear sewists) to peruse and compare all in one place and all in one similar format.

Look who has joined us.jpg

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the first designs to join our Thread Theory patterns in the PDF shop!

New PDF pattern companies - Technical Illustrations

 

As you can see, these designs would make a great capsule wardrobe for summer – choose your tee, your preferred over shirt, your casual pants, shorts, and swim shorts to sew everything you need for a summer vacation!

All of these patterns offer something you will not be able to find in our Thread Theory range – whether this be larger sizes or unique style lines (since we focus on basics).

New PDF pattern companies - Mimi G

Many of these patterns are from SewSew Def Magazine which is a collaboration between blogging powerhouses Mimi G Style and Norris Danta Ford.  They kindly featured our Finlayson Sweater in an early issue of the magazine so we are thrilled to be able to work with these designers in a new way by offering their patterns in our shop!  You’ll find six PDF patterns on offer in our shop – I can’t quite pick a favourite as I’m torn between the innovative seaming on their Wooster Cargo Shorts and my love for the namesake of their Gosling Button-up Shirt. 😉

New PDF pattern companies - Wolf and Tree and True Bias

The two other designers I’m proud to feature in our shop are The Wolf and the Tree and True Bias.

The Wolf and the Tree offer a very inclusive t-shirt pattern which is available in two separate size ranges – Regular (S-XL) and Big and Tall (XLT-4XLT).  This versatile tee features crew and v-neck options as well as instructions to finish with hems or bands.

 

True Bias is the designer who created the iconic women’s Hudson Pants, of course!  We now carry Kelli’s men’s version which fills a big hole in our available designs – no menswear pattern shop would be complete without the most comfortable of lounge wear!

Based on the enthusiastic response we’ve received from other pattern companies, you should be able to anticipate the introduction of a large variety of other PDF patterns to our shop over the coming weeks and months.  Thank you for sharing your favourite menswear patterns when I requested feedback in a previous blog post – we’ve found some real gems based on your comments!

And thank you, to our inaugural designers, for your enthusiasm and support as we work towards our goal of pushing menswear to the forefront of the sewing world.  We’re so glad to have you on board!

Shop our PDF catalogue >


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How to use PDF Patterns – updated tutorial

How to use a PDF pattern (3 of 13)

We have received several emails lately from people who are excited to get sewing but are unsure of how to best assemble their PDF patterns.  I usually refer people to our How to Assemble a PDF Pattern tutorial but have been increasingly inclined to send people to tutorials found elsewhere on the internet because our tutorial has been looking quite dated and a bit inaccurate of late!  Matt and I made the tutorial very quickly three years ago one sunny Spring morning while we were simultaneously packing for a camping trip with my sister.  She was waiting in the car for us to join her while we frantically uploaded the photos to the blog so that we could check the tutorial off of our to-do list before the weekend adventure.

After three years and many improvements to the design and function of our PDF patterns, it is time to give this tutorial the attention it deserves so that it can serve its purpose as a clear guide for anyone who is new to working with our digital patterns!


 

Download and Open the Pattern

When you purchase a Thread Theory PDF sewing pattern, a download link will appear on your computer screen.  The same download link will also be sent to the email address that you entered during the checkout process.  Click either of these download links to save the pattern folder to your computer.

Download-PDF-pattern-tutorial

The pattern folder will likely be saved to your Downloads file.  Find it straight away (before you forget where it has been saved!) and move it to a location on your computer where you will be able to find it in the future – perhaps in your Documents folder.

The pattern folder is a zipped folder – this means that multiple files have been compressed into one tidy folder so that they take up less space.  To unzip the folder with a Windows computer, right click and select Extract All.  To unzip the folder with a Mac, option click and select Extract All.  To access the files from an ipad, you will need the iZip app to unzip the folder.

Examine the Files

Within each PDF pattern folder you will find several PDF files.  To view and print these files you will need a PDF reader installed on your computer.  Many computers will have this reader already but if you do not, you can download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software here.

  1. Read Me First – Read this first!  This is a small introduction on how to assemble the Print at Home pattern.  You don’t need to print this but it is important to read it and refer to the page layout chart when you are taping together your pattern.
  2. Instructions – You can either print these off or you can keep them on your laptop or tablet to refer to while you are sewing.
  3. Print at Home (depending on the pattern, there may be one or several of these) – The rest of this tutorial will explain how to print and work with the Print at Home pattern.
  4. Print Shop – Roll Feed – If you prefer to avoid taping or don’t own a printer, give this file to your local print shop.  Specify that the file must be printed without scaling – the pattern pieces need to be full sized.  The Roll Feed file is designed to work with 36″ wide wide format printers.  These are commonly found throughout North America.
  5. Print Shop – A0 – This file can be sent to print shops that print on A0 size paper.  Depending on the pattern you are using, you will likely need to tape one or two sheets together (for instance, a trouser leg is longer than one sheet of A0 paper and so it will be spread over two pages).  A0 printers are common in Europe and Australia.  As with the Roll Feed print option, make sure to specify that you would like the file printed full size (without scaling).

 

Print at Home

Let’s talk more about using the Print at Home file.  This option is very convenient – you can purchase a pattern and get started with the sewing process immediately!  There is no need to wait for the pattern to ship to you or for the print shop to print your file.  The entire process is in your control.

While Print at Home PDF patterns offer advantages, there are also disadvantages to (depending on your perspective).  Our Print at Home files are designed to print on Letter or A4 sized paper.  This means that you will need to tape or glue together many small sheets of paper to prepare your pattern.  This is a time consuming process.  Some people dislike doing this and others (myself included) find this to be relaxing and even meditative.  I like to spend the assembly time contemplating my fabric and design choices.  Assembling the pattern allows me to familiarize myself with the pattern pieces – it has become part of my creative sewing process!

Read Me First

To print the pages, open up your Read Me First document.  This page of instruction will tell you what page you will find the 3″ test square.

PDF-Tutorial-How-to-Print

Open up the Print at Home file.  Select File > Print and your printer dialogue box will open.  Every dialogue box is slightly different (based on your printer’s software) but it will include the same basic options:

  • Printer Scaling: Ensure that ‘scaling’ is off so that your pattern pieces print at their full size.  Printers tend to default to scaling so that the text or images fit nicely on a page of paper – we don’t want this when printing a sewing pattern!  To turn off scaling you will likely need to deselect “Fit to Page” or “Scale to Fit” (depending on your printer software).  Ensure that Scaling is at 100%.
  • Single Sided: Also, if your printer has the ability to print double sided pages, make sure that your printer is set to “Single Side” printing…don’t print double sided!  You will likely find this option in Properties.
  • Econo Mode: If you would like to save ink/toner and paper, you can often find an “EconoMode” or “Draft Quality” printer setting that allows you to print with less ink. You will likely find this option under Properties > Paper/Quality.  You can also replace the regular paper in your printer with recycled paper.  I like to save up any paper that I have used (but only printed on one side) rather than throwing it in the recycling bin.  That way I can print my PDF pattern on the unused side of the paper!

Print the page with the test square first by selecting the page mentioned in the Read Me First document.  Measure the test square with a ruler.  It should measure exactly 3″.  If it does not, your printer still has scaling turned on.  Don’t print the rest of the pattern until the square measures 3″.

How to use a PDF pattern (1 of 13)

Print the rest of the pattern by printing all pages.  If you like, you can number each page in the blank margin so that the pages are easy to keep in order even if they get knocked to the ground by a mischievous cat (speaking from experience…).

Assemble the Print At Home Pages

The pages are like tiles that need to be assembled into a single rectangle before you cut out your pattern pieces.  Often times, people that are new to working with PDF patterns try to assemble each pattern piece individually.  It is actually less time consuming and more accurate to tile all of the pages so that you are left with one large page – after which you can cut out your pattern pieces.

How to use a PDF pattern (4 of 13)

Begin by trimming the right and bottom margins off of each page.  We include scissor markings on every margin that needs to be trimmed.  Trim on the outside of the black border.

How to use a PDF pattern (6 of 13)

Assemble the pages one row at a time.  It is most accurate to assemble each row and then join the rows together.  It is a common mistake to try to assemble a PDF pattern one page at a time left to right, top to bottom – this can lead to frustration because any inaccuracies in taping will grow larger by the time you get to the bottom right corner.  Assembling in rows is much easier and it doesn’t take up so much space on your table or floor!

How to use a PDF pattern (8 of 13)

You can use glue or tape (or both) to attach each page together.  Place the pages so that the remaining margin overlaps underneath the next page.  The two triangles featuring a number and letter will match together to create a diamond.  Spread glue along the entire margin or place a piece of tape or two on each pattern piece.

How to use a PDF pattern (7 of 13)

Once all of your rows are assembled, you can tape or glue them together to create one large rectangle.  If you are lacking in floor or table space you can tape together two or three rows and then cut out any whole pattern pieces roughly.

How to use a PDF pattern (9 of 13)

How to use a PDF pattern (10 of 13)

How to use a PDF pattern (11 of 13)

Continue to tape two or three rows at a time until all pattern pieces are cut out.  You will be left with a manageable pile of pattern pieces to trim carefully.  I use this method on my dining room table and my outdoor picnic table – it’s very handy because it means I don’t have to crawl around on my hands and knees around a big rectangle of paper on the floor!

How to use a PDF pattern (12 of 13)

Use and Store the Pattern

You can also leave the entire rectangle assembled and trace out the pattern in the size that you need.  This way you can roll up the rectangle and store it as a complete ‘master’ pattern so it is ready to use when you want to sew a different size or variation of the same pattern.  Alternatively, you can just print out and assemble the pattern any time you need a new copy – that is one of the best aspects of using a PDF pattern!

There are many ways that you can store your printed PDF patterns – you can roll them up with an elastic or ribbon or you can fold them up and put them in an envelope or in a plastic insert within a binder.

If you fold your pattern pieces, flatten them out before using them again by putting an iron on low heat with no steam.  Use a pressing cloth underneath and on top of the pattern piece (so that you don’t melt the tape or transfer the printer ink to your ironing board or iron) and press gently.

This is how I store my PDFs – I love being able to rifle through my pattern selection!

How to use a PDF pattern (13 of 13)


 

If you have any unanswered questions about working with PDF patterns, please have a look at our FAQ page or email me (Morgan) at info@threadtheory.ca.  I would be happy to help you out!

 

 

 


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Pattern Updates – Print Shop

Thread Theory Studio-9

All of our PDF patterns now include A0 Print Shop files!

If you have purchased one of our patterns in the past, you will have received an email yesterday with a new download link to your pattern.  This new download link will give you access to the A0 print shop files (no other changes have been made to your pattern).

If you have purchased one of our patterns in the past but have not received an email with the updated pattern link, don’t worry, you can still receive the updated pattern!  Just send me an email to info@threadtheory.ca with one of the following: Your order number, an email from us confirming your order, or your old pattern attached to the email as proof of purchase.  I will email you the new pattern file!

This pattern update means that you now have access to these three files when you order a PDF pattern from us:

1. Print Shop Version – Roll Feed:

Our original print shop file.  Give this file to a print shop that has a 36” wide roll feed printer (these are common in North America).

2. Print Shop Version – A0:

Our new print shop file.  Give this file to a print shop that prints on A0 sheets of paper (common in Europe and Australia).

3. Print At Home:

A PDF pattern classic.  Print this file at home on any printer that can print on letter or A4 sheets of paper.  Assemble the sheets of paper with tape or glue (this is a meditative activity for me but can be a little cumbersome for others – hence the print shop options).

 


 

If you have any questions about using a PDF pattern or sending your pattern to a print shop, please check out some of our PDF specific questions in this FAQ page or feel free to ask away by commenting on this blog post!

I will be updating our “How to Assemble PDF Patterns” tutorial soon since it is the very first tutorial that we ever made for Thread Theory – it could use a spring cleaning!  With this update in mind, I would love to hear of any stumbling points you might have had when first learning how to work with digital pattern downloads.  Or, if you have remained a steadfast user of tissue patterns, I would love to know what prevents you from giving PDFs a try!


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50% off PDF Patterns!

Black Friday Sale Thread Theory-4

While Black Friday isn’t a worldwide phenomena, it has most certainly spread from the US into Canada in recent years.  If you are like me and don’t enjoy the masses of people or the frenzy of advertising that takes place on a day like today, you’ll probably be holing up inside your sewing room to enjoy the process of creating rather than consuming.  In case you run out of projects but don’t want to run to the store:  Our PDF patterns are 50% off for Black Friday, the weekend and Cyber Monday so you can download your next project without the need to leave your sewing machine!  Let the making begin!

This weekend I hope to get a start on Matt’s tailored Goldstream Peacoat – at long last – using our Tailoring Supplies Kit and some wonderful Pendleton wool.  Last weekend involved all sorts of making too; Matt’s brother and his fiancee (our talented graphic designer), Sonia, were visiting.  Sonia joined my Mom and I at a local Christmas craft fair called Stagnhare.  It was a lot of fun and very exhausting to chat with so many people about sewing!
Black Friday Sale Thread Theory-9

By the way, the screen printed bag you can see on the left hand side of the photo (that reads: Go ahead and create something exceptional) is a project that I just finished screen printing in time for the craft fair.  It will be available in our shop next week!

Sonia is an avid knitter so we agreed that she would teach me to knit while they visited if I taught her how to sew.  It was a great arrangement for me because my knitting lessons came with a whole team of ball-winders :P.Black Friday Sale Thread Theory-3Black Friday Sale Thread Theory-2Black Friday Sale Thread Theory-6

I’ve begun to knit the Funnel Neck Sweater from Erika Knight’s book, Men’s Knits: A New Direction.  Here’s an Instagram post that I made about this project recently so you can see part of the sweater design:

While this is a big project to tackle for my first serious knitting project (I’ve never properly followed a pattern before), I think it’s a good choice because it is something that I REALLY like and want to see finished.  I was hesitant to choose a smaller project that I was less excited about because I wouldn’t be as inclined to finish it!  I’m using the Maxi Wool from our shop for this project.  Sonia helped me choose slightly smaller needles since this wool is a little bit thicker than the pattern calls for.  I knitted a test square and it came out exactly the right size!

I didn’t get a photo of Sonia working on her sewing project unfortunately, but you can take my word for it that she did an excellent job!

Thread Theory Menswear Supply Shop-41

We grabbed one of the new Carry-All Bag Making Kits from our shop for her to work on.  She chose the “Ready for the Next Adventure” design and tackled the project on my industrial sewing machine.

Thread Theory Menswear Supply Shop-40

I know a speedy industrial machine probably isn’t the best suited for teaching new sewers but I thought it would be excellent practice for her because she hopes to learn how to sew on a Sailrite machine so that she can sew canvas and repair sails for their sailboat.  Working with heavy sails and a finicky but powerful machine is a whole different ballgame than sewing garments and working on a domestic sewing machine.  The industrial machine and the canvas bag project were a step in the right direction for her.

Have you ever taught someone to sew?  This was my first time and I really enjoyed it!  It felt very satisfying to provide Sonia with the skills to hem her own pants and dresses (she’s short like I am so I know just how empowering that can be!) and to start her on her way to sewing for her sailboat.  She was stoked with her new bag too, so that’s a bonus :).

 

Happy sewing!  I hope you enjoy the 50% off pattern sale!


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The Ins and Outs of PDF Patterns

Edited-15

Today’s post is a feature on using PDF patterns meant to eliminate the fear that some sewers have of them.  I realize that they aren’t the most convenient way to receive a pattern because they must be pieced together but I think they are not as much work as someone who has never used one would think!  Actually, compared to printed tissue patterns, the taping process is really the only extra step because it is necessary to cut out tissue patterns just as you would a PDF pattern.

Another interesting comparison was pointed out to me by my co-worker, a professional seamstress.  She has never used PDF patterns before but when I explained them to her she laughed and said that even though sewers are embracing new technology, to her it just seems like history is repeating itself!  She explained that her grandmother used to lay out pieces of paper on the kitchen floor to assemble her quilt patterns.  Instead of printing them off of the computer she would spend weeks and weeks collecting them from her local newspaper which offered one quilt square an issue.  Each square contain a pattern for piecing or embroidery which could be completed each week while the sewer anticipated the next square.  Now that’s devotion!

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A sample of a vintage newspaper quilt square. I wish this was still a feature of modern newspapers!

My tips for using PDF patterns are probably pretty self explanatory to some but I thought I might as well share them in case they will help someone save some time and create a stronger and easier to store pattern.

Tape thoroughly: Our patterns print so that the top left corner ends up on the top of your stack of papers.  Simply lay out the sheets in rows from left to right.  We include a layout sheet and instructions to help you out.  I like to cut off one of the margins and tape and overlap all the columns and then piece the four columns together as the last step.

For added strength, tape the back of the sheets as well.  When taping, you only need to tape areas where a pattern piece extends to the next page – no point wasting tape on blank areas!

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You will end up with a single sheet of pattern pieces (which our cat thought would make a perfect bed):

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Storage:

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I simply fold them up crisply in a ziploc bag labelled with the pattern name and size and when I go to use them again I iron them out using an iron with no steam and a press cloth to ensure that I don’t melt the tape.

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If you prefer, you could always tape the sheets together and, instead of cutting out the pieces, you could trace them using tracing paper (I find white tissue paper works well enough for this but you could also buy the paper designed for this which is available at most fabric stores) and a pencil. Then you can cut out your tissue paper pieces and use those just like a normal pattern.

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If you are really worried about preserving the pattern you could roll up your un-cut paper pattern after tracing and store it as a tube to re-trace a different size at a later point.

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Also (though this next option isn’t very tree-friendly), once downloaded you could simply save our pattern and re-print it to use when needed. This would work especially well if you need to use a different size next time.

We are considering offering a version of our pattern for download that is a single sheet fit for printing professionally.  Would you like this option made available to you?  Let us know by leaving a comment and we will prepare it to add to the store!