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In part 2, we discussed the information that is contained on the back of the pattern envelope, but what about what you’ll find inside?
The Pattern Tissue The pattern pieces are printed on large sheets of tissue paper. These large sheets are then folded so that they fit neatly into the envelope. There can be up to four pieces of tissue in a single pattern envelope, depending on how many items are in the design and how many pattern pieces are included.
When you unfold the tissue paper, you’ll find several different shapes, which are the pattern pieces. You will need to cut these pieces apart, which also makes them easier to work with. Cut around each piece, just outside the solid line; you will not need the excess tissue that is left over.
After the pattern pieces are separated, you’ll be able to use them to cut the fabric for the item you are sewing. For example, if you are making a pair of pull-on drawstring pants to lounge around in, you’ll have a pattern piece for the legs and another for a drawstring. If you are making a collared shirt, you’ll have separate pieces for the front, the back, the sleeves, the cuffs, the collar, etc. – you get the idea. Every item in design will have the necessary pattern pieces included in the envelope.
Each item in a design is assigned its own view letter such as A, B, C, etc. These letters are printed on the pattern pieces, so you can easily see which ones you will need to make a particular item. For example, if you are making item view A, you will only need the pattern pieces that are marked view “A”. These view letters correspond to the instructions on the guide sheet.
Printed along with view letters on pattern pieces are piece names such as Front, Back, Sleeve, etc., further identifying them. There will also be various markings such as dots and notches, which are explained and referred to on the guide sheet in the instructions. All of this cross-referencing makes it easy to match pattern pieces to instructions while you are sewing.
Stare at the seemingly endless choice of sewing gadgets, accessories and sewing machine choices.
This is exactly what its name implies – a how-to guide for a particular pattern. When you open up the guide sheet, you’ll see a wealth of information that can seem intimidating at first glance. Let’s break it down, step by step: