Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Cartoon: Transcript below.

I've always looked like someone you thought you knew...
Unremarkable, but pleasant.
Then a few years ago, I had some medical stuff I was figuring out.
In the meantime, I lost some weight.
It was weird to have a smooth stomach,
All these newly visible bones...
And it got weirder.
People who had never had anything to say before started commenting on my body. A lot.
When everything got back to normal, it didn’t seem like the same normal.
The comments about my body went away, but now it felt like they were still there, just left unstated.
Now I knew that people were noticing me, but what were they thinking. Was it good? Bad? Kind? Cruel?
It sucked. It still sucks.
But sewing lets me define the person that people see.
Sewing is a secret superpower.
Sewing lets me craft the armor that I wear to tackle the world.
So, I guess what I'm saying is...
Here's a bright, bold, pink and blue, floral and striped dress that I LOVE.
Say what you will.

Monday, January 29, 2018

How To Trim PDF Patterns

Scissors, printed PDF pattern for Helen's Closet Blackwood Cardigan, and Fiskars paper trimmer.

Just a quick post today! I recently acquired a paper cutter, and I wanted to share how I trim PDFs using it. It took me a few tries to figure out a method that was both quick and effective, but I like the one I've settled on.

All you need is a pair of scissors, a paper trimmer, and your pattern. I'm cutting out the pattern for the Helen's Closet Blackwood Cardigan!

Scissors, printed pattern, and paper trimmer.

First, I trim off each of the corners, intersecting with the corner of the rectangle that needs to be cut out. It's like a tangent line, except with a rectangle in lieu of a circle.

Scissors cutting off the corner of a paper pattern piece.

Paper pattern page with corner cut off, intersecting with the corner of the usable pattern.

Then, I set to work with my paper trimmer.

Align the cutting line on the pattern with the lower cutting edge of the paper trimmer. The beauty of cutting off the corners is that it makes aligning the cut line super easy! No eyeballing from an inch away. You may want a bright light so that you can see the cutting edge of the paper trimmer.

Pattern page sitting on a paper trimmer with trimming blade raised.

Pattern page sitting on a paper trimmer, cutting line aligned with trimming line.

Once everything is aligned, just hold the paper in place and trim away!

Paper trimmer blade intersecting with the cutting line on the pattern page.

I like to repeat this action for each side, even though a lot of PDFs recommend trimming only two sides. I find having every side trimmed off and taping sheets next to each other (instead of overlapping sheets) makes the pattern easier to fold up later.

Scissors, printed PDF pattern with a trimmed page, and paper trimmer.

Hope this was helpful!