Sunday, April 05, 2009

I forgot I had it....but I'm happy I remembered

Do you have a problem with your pencil lead breaking when you're trying to draw straight lines on backing? A year or two ago, my Dad gifted me some drafting supplies leftover from his life as a mining engineer. Unlike regular mechanical pencils, this drafting pencil uses thicker 2mm leads. The only one I've used so far is the HB lead, and I've had zero problems with it breaking. If you're going shopping, you should also pick up a sharpener at the same time.

Anyone who hooks knows how important it is for your pattern to be drawn on the straight of the grain. I always like to draw a line in pencil first, then I trace over it with my Rub-a-Dub. A great tip for helping stay in the right grove or track is to hold your pen (or pencil or marker) at a sharp angle - that is, closer to parallel with the table than straight up and down. You also need to press down firmly with the point of your pencil - not only does this help you stay in the groove, it also creates a loud popping sound if you "jump the tracks" - so you easily know when an adjustment is needed.

When you are drawing multiple versions of the same pattern, here are a few other tricks to help you speed up the process:

1. Write the necessary backing dimensions right onto your pattern. Not only do you avoid unnecessary calculations, measurements, and incorrect assumptions- you always know where to find your notes. (AJ must be credited for this one! ;-) )
2. Make yourself a customized ruler. Mark all measurements (outside frame, border, centre line, etc.) onto a ruler (you can remove them afterwards with a Magic Eraser) or use a leftover bolt board and different marker colours to distinguish between various patterns. Include the "seam allowance", so your pattern is always centred.
3. If you're dealing with an unusual shape, make yourself a template out of cardboard or thin plastic. It's much faster to draw around a template than it is to trace the same shape off a piece of paper.


I'm really happy with the progress I've made over the last couple of days. The best part is that I've been able to work at an enjoyable pace...thus avoiding some of those "I can't believe I just did that!" moments that so often come when I'm rushing to get things done.

Now that I've had a break and sat for a bit, I'm off to draw more patterns...and then I'll begin working on writing the instruction booklet for the new purses...