Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Design Trick

Here's a neat little design trick I thought I'd share. Sometimes I want to play around with trims and embellishment ideas on a pattern, so I make myself a template of sorts that I can print, draw on, and color to my heart's content.

For the example I'm using McCalls 5305, a darling child's dress with a great collar. It's currently on their website.

I access the line drawings, then right click and copy them. Paste into Word, crop off everything you don't want, then enlarge it by holding down Shift and dragging a corner down and out. Holding down the Shift key maintains the heighth/width ratio so the drawing isn't distorted.

Once you get it to a good size (about 3 x 4 inches is good), copy and paste it on the page four to six times. Turn the page to landscape and lay them out. If you can't move/crop them like you wish, go to the Drawing toolbar, Grid, and turn off the Snap-to-grid gizmo. This allows you to place items anywhere on the page. Name it, save it, then print them out to your heart's desire. Grab the colored pencils and start designing!

This is great for getting a feel of how color trims on collars, pockets, buttons, bias binding, etc. will look before actually cutting into the good stuff. If you need to remove any lines in the drawings, just spray paint them out or put a drawing shape filled with white over pieces you need to get rid of.

You can do the same trick with a scanned image, of course. If you want to play around with this particular pattern, just click on the image above to enlarge it, then print it. This pattern is a must have, I think. I'll post some of my doodlings later. If you come up with something neat, please share it via e-mail and we'll start an idea archive. Have fun!

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