Have you created a tru-grid pellon pattern to aid in your design and sewing process? We have sold a lot of gridded pellon fabric during the pandemic as we have shared our design and piecing ideas with many new sewing friends online. Because I talk about it so much, I felt sure there was a blog post with the step-by-step directions to create this essential wearable art tool. A quick search made me realize that we had not shared our technique with you until now. So here you go.
This post will be focused on making a jacket pattern, but you can use this material and technique with any pattern. Don’t begin your Tabula Rasa Jacket journey by tracing onto the grid pellon. It is much easier to do your fitting work and adjusting with the paper pattern. Once your pattern is tested for wearability and fit, then spend the hour it takes to make the full set of pellon pattern pieces.
You can see from the photos that my paper pattern, used to cut and mark the grid pelon pattern pieces, has been adjusted for my full bust, additional sleeve cap and rounded back. As mentioned above, those adjustments are hard to do in the pellon fabric but easy in the pattern tissue. Once you have a well-fitting pattern and are ready to do some clever fabric placement or piecing, it’s time to make this tool.
Here are the steps:
- Acquire a piece of gridden pellon, that is not fusible, and is big enough to cut out the entire pattern including a right and left for every applicable piece. We have Tru-Grid Pellon for sale by the yard in the Fit for Art online store for your convenience. It is so reasonably priced and is so very useful.
- Press the paper pattern pieces you are copying so they are smooth.
- Fold the grid pellon along one line, creating a double layer with the marked grid aligned.
- Carefully layout the pattern pieces, using the grid as you prefer. You can line it up with the grainlines or with the balance lines. Usually, an adjusted pattern will not line up perfectly to the 1” grid blocks but each line should run parallel or perpendicular to the grid of lines.
- Pin the patterns in place so no shifting happens during cutting or marking.
- Cut carefully, being sure to cut out the notches too.
- Clip the pellon at the end of each grainline and HBL to be transferred. If you have a foldline, mark where the lines cross with a marker dot.
- Mark the darts and any other marks you use in construction.
- Remove the pattern pieces and connect the clips or dots with a heavy marker line. This gives you a pellon piece with all the HBLs and the Grainlines drawn on.
- Draw the darts in completely with a marker so you can see them as you design.
- Mark each piece with the name and date, for instance Right Front, Left Front, Full Back, etc.
I use these full size pattern pieces when I am fussy cutting fabric, designing a complicated pieced project, or trimming a pieced panel to the correct shape. They don’t slide around while I am planning the design and then I pin them in place before cutting the fabric. Having the paper patterns that match the grid pellon pieces works great if you need to cut sections.
One of the most used tools in the studio is my tru-grid pellon pattern and I have several. When I cannot find them, I know they are folded up inside a piece of fabric I started to work with and then had to set aside. This new set of pellon patterns reflects some fitting changes I have made in the last few years for a cleaner fit. I will save the extra gridded pellon in case I need to extend the length or make other finesses for a future project; I can pin some additional pellon on the to existing pattern to adjust as needed. You can sew the pellon too, so if you need to make a permanent change, just stitch it into place.
Have you made or used a Tru-Grid Pellon pattern to create some fun garments? Be sure to send us photos of your work or post them on Instagram and tag them with #fitforartpatterns and #TabulaRasaJacket. Keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram this week for more photos and a peek at some new patterns in tru-grid pellon.
Happy Sewing, RAE