Expensive Pattern Tips

I love to buy patterns. I manage to buy most of my big 4 (Vogue, McCall’s, Butterick and Simplicity) dirt cheap at sales, but I also like buying patterns from independent companies such as Colette or Megan Nielsen. For those of you that have not tried one of these brands yet, let me show you a little about why they are more expensive.


Yes, it says suggested retail $18. It is rare to see them marked down much. In case you can’t tell this envelope is thick.


The pattern is printed on a more substantial paper than the tissue you find in the big 4. That book I am holding there contains the instructions.


Here is a page out of the instruction booklet. It is very detailed and step by step. This is nice for people new to sewing garments. Sometimes the company will host a sew along for their pattern which includes alterations and ideas to try. I find these an invaluable resource. I posted on my blog a while back how I use these patterns in case I want to change sizes later on. This allows me to trace them without cutting the original.

I trace the pattern with a Sharpie in the size I need to make it darker.

I then trace the pattern in the size I need onto Swedish Tracing Paper along with any necessary markings. Why Swedish Tracing Paper? (That link is to the store on Etsy I buy it from. Support small business!)You can actually sew it together. This makes for easy pattern fittings. I just baste it, then rip it out to ensure the right parts hit in the right places. This also allows you to make any adjustments you know you need without destroying your original pattern.

“OK, stupid Stacie Thinks She Knows it All, now I have Sharpie all over my floor!”

I tell you what, Magic Eraser by Mr. Clean takes anything off the laminate flooring (and tile) including Sharpie!

About 10 minutes of extra work and your expensive pattern is still in tact and you have a personalized pattern in just your size with any adjustments you need already made! I usually include the pattern name, size and number of pieces to make it easy when I want to make it again later.

Now, I don’t do this on my patterns that go on clearance at Joann’s, but for my well loved, tried and true and expensive patterns, I don’t know a better way to do it! You can also use this when tracing patterns out of magazines.

2 thoughts on “Expensive Pattern Tips

  1. judy

    Staci, I love patterns too.. And I am constantly buying them.. [I too get the big4 pattern companies, when they have the 99 cent sales].. But, there is a big difference in the nicer patterns…like colette, indygo junction, etc.. Thanks for sharing your way of tracing your patterns. Great ideas.
    Ps…do you know what is so bad about having so many patterns? I can’t decide what to make next.. hahaha

  2. Pingback: Expensive Pattern Tips « Sew Vac Outlet (Humble Sewing Center … | Make A Baby Quilt

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