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First Things First

As promised, I’ll begin with my ode to freezer paper. You’ve probably seen the freezer paper stencils all over the craft blog community, which is one excellent use for our underrated friend. I tend to rely on it more for pattern making, especially when using patterns that come in craft books. Since I prefer to keep the originals as-is, I simply trace the patterns onto freezer paper. Here’s the best part about this method, though: you can just iron the pattern right onto the fabric, which eliminates the need for pins. Then, depending on the size of your pattern, you may even be able to lay it on your cutting mat and use the rotary cutter and ruler to cut around your pattern. That’s gold, baby!

Actually, it might be time for another Make It Snappy Sewing Secret*, which is more of a confession in this case. Friends, I am severely challenged when it comes to wielding the scissors. It’s bad. Maybe it’s because left-handed people hadn’t yet come into full acceptance in the 70s, and we were stuck using the one dull, rickety pair in the scissor box. I don’t know. All I know is that the rotary cutter is the best thing that ever happened to me craft-wise (and it still doesn’t eliminate my errors!), so when I have the opportunity to use it, you’d better believe I do. Oh, and rulers and pins don’t mix, but I should save that for a future segment that I plan to feature called “Sewing with Idiots”. This will be where I share all of my “clever” tricks so that you won’t make the same mistake. Trust me, there are some doozies.

But I digress – back to the freezer paper pattern, because – wait!- there’s more. Once you’ve cut out your fabric, you can just peel off the pattern, and use it again. Oh yeah! And since it’s just a copy, when you have used it enough times that you’ve started shaving down the sides a little as you cut (hey, it happens), just toss it and copy yourself a brand new one. Done and done.

I love you, freezer paper!!

Hey, don’t you find that starting a project is like priming a water pump? When I finally sat down to sew this weekend, all of these other projects started calling my name and now I have a brand new stack growing on the table. Best of all, most of it is just for fun. Oddly, that increases their chance of being finished in a timely manner. What’s up with that?

*This is to be said in a stage whisper a la Conan O’Brien’s Celebrity Secrets, which was one of the funniest bits on his show back when I was awake late enough to see it. Ah, so long ago….

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7 responses »

  1. I think my confession is that I’ve never used freezer paper for a pattern. Sounds like I must try it!

    Reply
  2. What a great idea! To think that I used it for my Amy Butler pants last weekend (to extend the size of the given pattern) and didn’t even think of ironing the pattern on. Brilliant!

    Reply
  3. Genius! I’m going to try using freezer paper the Meg way.

    I hear you on the whole scissors thing. When we were older one of my sisters and I came across our pre-school “report cards” and the teacher commented that her only concern was we were the only kids in class who couldn’t use scissors. Man, we gave my mom grief about that! I think all the failures in my life can be traced back to this childhood deficiency.

    Reply
  4. Excellent tip. I’ll have to try freezer paper.

    Reply
  5. THANKYOUFINALLY! I have heard many a story about the legendary freezer paper but no one has been able to boil it down for me.

    So THAT is why it’s so special. You trace your pattern right on there, iron it on to your fabic, cut it out and PEEL the paper right off. Damn genius if you ask me.

    Take that stupid pins that always stab me. TAKE IT!

    Thank you MIS.

    Reply
  6. Wonderful tip! Please share more!

    Reply
  7. What a great sounding tip! I have never bought freezer paper, but you’ve just given me a reason to. Thank you!

    And I was useless before I got a rotary cutter. Sure, I’m right-handed and I can cut paper pretty well, but fabric is just so different.

    Reply

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