*****UPDATE MARCH 2011*****
I now have an updated version of this post which is here
Ever since I subscribed to Burda World of Fashion Magazine about 6 months ago, I’ve been receiving each issue with anticipation and each month have glossed over some of the fantastic patterns. Of course, not all of them are great, but there is always one or two items in each magazine that I like/love, making the high price of subscription worth it. The major downer is tracing the damn patterns. I loathe doing it! And no matter how accurate I try to be, I suck at tracing. I’m also lazy and this just cuts into my free/sewing time way too much. For those who are not familiar, the magazine comes with all the patterns on newsprint type paper on approx. 4 sheets. Each sheet is labelled with a letter. They are double sided – so Sheet B would be on the underside of Sheet A for example. There are several patterns printed on each sheet, they are distinguishable by color. So say pattern 117 would be on Sheet A in green.
If you were to cut your pattern out, you would not only ruin other patterns on that sheet, you would destroy the other patterns on the underside as well. The only solution is to trace them. Or is there another solution?
I cut them up. Yep, you heard me right.
Initially, I checked if Kinkos had a large size scanner. Hubby had mentioned he saw people scanning architectural drawings. Well, they charge 8 dollars a square foot. Yikes! There goes that idea. So, being the uber geek that I am, I came up with a plan. Careful, this is not for the faint of heart or for those who want to sell their back issues in future. You will need a flatbed scanner, a color printer – either inkjet or preferably laser and transparent tape.. and a photo software program such as Photoshop:
1. I cut the pattern sheet into pieces a little smaller than 81/2 x 11 letter size. This is to leave room on all sides for margins on most printers. I also NUMBER each piece with a highlighter so as not to get mixed up later on.
2. I scan them on my flatbed scanner.
3. Scan them into Photoshop, save each sheet as a .psd file (do not save as .jpg or attempt to reduce the file, it will mess up the print size and you will end up with a Barbie sized pattern!)
4. Send them to the color printer and I now have approximately 16 printed sheets of the pattern
5. This part is a little fiddly. You need transparent tape and a good eye to piece all of the pattern pieces together and make sure all the pattern lines line up correctly. And voila, you have a copy of the pattern sheet which is now on thicker paper AND you can cut out your desired pattern. Also, you now have the sheet on computer – if you want to make another pattern from the same sheet, all you need to do is print it off again. All told, it takes about an hour to scan one sheet. So this may be for you, it may not. I guess it depends on how geeky you are. For me, this saves me hours of tracing and I can scan while I’m watching the tube.
I am lucky that hubby and I both have home offices and the equipment to make this possible.
The Burda company seems to be more technologically advanced than most of the pattern companies out there, considering you can buy patterns on their website for download. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had the option to get the magazine patterns in paper or electronic format? That way I wouldn’t have to bother doing this and they would save some money on paper!