Oliver + S

reusing pattern

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    Suzy @Suzy

    I just purchased by first Oliver + S pattern. With the pattern going up to size four, this pattern could be used for a long time. Do you have suggestions for tracing/using this pattern again and again.

    AngelEden @AngelEden

    I have children of different ages so don’t like to cut my patterns to just one size. I use greaseproof paper to trace over the lines and then just cut out as normal. Just buy it in your supermarket. You can buy special pattern paper, but it’s much more expensive. Hope that helps



    janimal @janimal

    I trace all my patterns. You can use refrigerator paper from the grocery store. This has the added advantage that you can iron the paper actually to your fabric, and then cut around it, and then just peel the paper off. You can do that a few times before the stick doesn’t work anymore.

    It is a bit harder to see through the refrigerator to trace than it is if you use tracing paper made for patterns. You should be able to get pattern paper wherever you buy fabric. I buy mine on rolls from Nancy’s Notions online.

    Congrats on your first pattern! I’m totally addicted to sewing with them now – the instructions are terrifc. Please post pictures of your creation when you are done, we love to see completed garments!

    Loralee @Loralee

    Suzy, many of us reuse the patterns multiple times. There is a thread in the ‘Sewing with O + S’section titled ‘How to trace Patterns’ or something like that. Lots of discussion on the methods others use to trace and mark patterns. Good Stuff. Check it out. And have a blast with your new patterns! 🙂

    E1izabeth @E1izabeth

    I always trace my O+S patterns so I can make all of the sizes as my children grow and to give as gifts to friends and family. I use parchment paper from the grocery store to trace them. It is not too expensive and I don’t have to make a special trip to the store to get it – I can just pick some up during my weekly grocery shopping.

    Anonymous @

    Hi Suzy, You’ve probably already read the other thread on this, but you can also use Pattern Ease (available at JoAnn with the interfacing) or Swedish Tracing Paper (I order that online). They are sort of like non-woven interfacing. I personally prefer the Swedish tracing paper because I find it easier to write on and a bit more durable, but either works great. The nice thing about these is that you can pin and sew it just like fabric. You can also iron it (wool setting) after storing it folded for a while. I trace with a self-feeding mechanical pencil and a quilter’s ruler (for the straight parts, of course). It doesn’t take long at all and it helps me become familiar with the pattern before I start cutting and sewing.

    I hope you enjoy sewing O+S – they are wonderful patterns!

    Lori @Lori

    Another easy option is to:

    1) Cut out the pattern on the largest size (retaining all information, for all sizes)

    2) Identify which size you want to make your first time using the pattern

    3) Then, every 1 to 2 inches, cut lines that are –perpendicular– to the printed pattern lines and stopping exactly on the pattern line indicating the size you wish to make. (You can also think of it this way: cut lines that are perpendicular to the cuts you just made when cutting out the pattern on the largest size). On curved sections you may need to cut perpendicular lines that are closer to each other than 1-2″.

    What you’re doing is creating something very similar to those posters that have pull-off tabs for passerbys to take “Lost Kitten, 555-1212”. Except your tabs probably won’t be nearly as deep and you’re not going to rip them off.

    4) Finally, fold each 1-2″ section of paper toward the back of the pattern. The cuts you made end at the line indicating the size you are wanting to make. When you’re done folding, you’ll have loads of little ‘turned over bits’ that are all hidden at the back of the pattern. As you cut out your fabric, be extra careful not to cut into the paper at all (or you –will– lose the sizing information you are trying to retain…but if this happens, Scotch/clear tape fixes it easily enough, no biggy).

    Because you initially cut the pattern out on the biggest size, no vital information has been thrown away (like it would have been had you cut out one of the smaller sizes). And the perpendicular cuts (and the folding back which those cuts allow) permit you to choose whichever size you’d like to make.

    The folds build in flexibility to use ANY SIZE of the pattern in the future. If you eventually want to make a size that is smaller than your first attempt, simply cut deeper perpendicular cuts and re-fold (resulting in each turned-over ‘tabs’ at the back being longer than your first attempt). If it’s a bigger size you’re after, re-folding will yield smaller ‘tabs’ than your original folding job (or perhaps NO tabs at the back, if you are wanting to make the largest size).

    A clever little trick a sewing teacher taught me. Hope this helps!


    TriMama @TriMama

    Lori, you are brilliant! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Lori @Lori

    Oh, I’m not so sure about that, TriMama…but you’re certainly welcome 🙂

    I have so little experience with sewing (Music Box jumper being my first ‘real’ attempt at sewing clothing post-sweat pants in home ec class in 7th grade, 25, er 27(!) years ago). It tickles me pink to know this one little nugget of info I have has helped you (and hopefully others). Patterns are expensive enough; it’s great to have a way to use and re-use them…esp w/these ‘classic’, timeless designs.

    Happy sewing,


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