Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tip: Enlarging and printing patterns from books

In my last post, I talked about my two Madeline Vionnet books, and how they contain scaled-down patterns that one could enlarge and use to sew up her dress designs.  This is exciting!

Naturally, I wanted to have some of these patterns enlarged to life-size and printed.  Finding a copy shop that would actually do this proved to be far more difficult than I had anticipated.  I went to several small copy shops, only to find that they didn't have a large enough printer, their staff couldn't figure out how much to enlarge the patterns, or they weren't willing to reproduce copyrighted materials even for personal use.

So, the next time I was in Austin, I went to Miller Blueprint, the copy service which caters to the architect/construction crowd.  They had printer that was large enough, and their staff knew what they were doing. Enlarging and printing three patterns ran about $30 in total, which I thought was entirely reasonable. I still had to tape some of the pieces together, but at least it was two giant sheets of paper instead of an inordinate number of 8 1/2" x 11" sheets.
I store the patterns folded up in gallon Ziploc bags with a drawing of the pattern on the outside so that I can tell them apart.

So, if you want to enlarge patterns out of a pattern book, I'd recommend figuring out what local copying and printing service the architects use, and then going there.  Good luck!

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