Over the past few months, I've had the chance to test a new product, Pattern Flex. It's hitting quilt stores this month and I can't wait for it to start shipping.
Pattern Flex is like Swedish tracing paper, but is available in a printable sheet format, for home printers. I use it to print patterns for my dolls instead of having to trace them. I just printed and I'm ready to go. The patterns are reusable. I've used it over a dozen times.
Why not just use copy paper?
I have never cut out a project with designs printed on copy paper. Never. I haven't done it in years. It's difficult to pin copy paper to fabric and not jam it. This often results in less than precise cut parts.
Copy paper dulls your sewing scissors. I don't know when it became the norm to use sewing scissors on paper patterns, but I would never do it. No one in the house would ever dare use my sewing scissors to cut paper.
You can't see through the paper if you try to make sure the designs are centered or straight. It never takes long for the pins to tear the paper, especially when you use it multiple times.
Why model tracing equipment?
It won't dull your scissors.
Easily see through and see the pattern of the fabric for difficult cutting or make sure it is centered. Patterns can be used over and over again, pins don't make huge holes or tears in the Pattern Flex.
Since it molds and adheres to the fabric, you can use fewer pins, or even use tape to hold the printed design in place, which works especially well when cutting out those little collars! Using Wonder Tape also allows you to use a ruler and rotary cutter to cut straight edges, like the shoulders and center back edges. Wonder Tape removes easily and leaves no residue on fabric or Pattern Flex.
You can also use it to test the fit on your dolls!
It is designed to be sewn. You can sew the printed pattern pieces together and test the fit on your doll, instead of using fabric. You can see the adjustments you want to make, and even pin and mark on the Pattern Flex with a pencil. Stitched seams can be gently removed using a seam ripper, and the pattern used to cut out your fabric.
What else can you use Pattern Flex for other than printing small project templates?
So many uses!!
Save those leftovers!
I kept the small pieces that remained from cutting out a doll's clothing. I then use these scraps of Pattern Flex to stabilize the start of a seam, such as shoulder seams. Works better than tissue paper. The fabric does not fall or get stuck. This made making the little sleeve hems much easier.
It tears in all directions, so I rip it from the seam after I sew it.
I use Wonder Tape to hold the trims in place and cover the exposed tape with Pattern Flex, so it doesn't stick to the presser foot while sewing. I can see through the Pattern Flex, so I can still see the border while I sew.
Laying the foundations is simplified!
Small quilt blocks are very easy to work with when stabilized with Pattern Flex. Pattern Flex does not need to be removed like Foundation Paper. Pattern Flex doesn't dull my needle as quickly as sewing paper.
You can see through it! You won't need to use a light box or hold the block up to the light to see its alignment.
Quick and easy little patchwork with matching stitches!
Printing the small scale grid on Pattern Flex makes it easy to sew 1″ squares and the stitches match up effortlessly. It’s time to take out your stash of leftovers!
My daughter was there one afternoon and wanted to try it. Within hours, she had completed a rug for her friend. She needed very little help. Once she mastered the technique, she had a great time chatting and sewing with me. Once the quilt was finished, she was delighted to see all the stitches matched. We love it when our patchwork stitches match perfectly 🙂
The sash panels can also be pieced together for larger quilts, like the Pixelated Rose Mini Quilt that is included in the Pattern Flex package.
I made a doll sized quilt and a few different designs.
I have also used Pattern Flex to stabilize machine embroidery, often with remnants.
I used it to cut out tiny wool applique pieces – again, save those scraps! Placing tape over the pattern instead of using pins makes it easier to hold the small piece of felt and cut it out perfectly.
I've created a few different sized grids, pieced together foundation blocks, and the free projects will be dropping soon.
Get excited! Once you try Pattern Flex instead of tracing and using copy paper, you'll never go back – it's a complete game changer!
You can pre-order a Pattern Flex pack here: https://www.ctpub.com/pattern-flex/