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Rescuing a Pattern After Your Cat Destroys It

Is it just my cats or do all cats find crinkly, fragile tissue paper patterns to be irresistible toys?

So here is Yoyo demonstrating his amazing pattern destruction abilities… and now I have 2 pattern pieces to use for this tutorial. Thanks Yoyo!

The first step to protecting your patterns is kind of obvious: try not to leave them on the ground at all. I try to remember to lay pattern pieces I’m not currently using over the back of my chair or on my ironing board. Sometimes I forget though or sometimes they fall off the chair (no doubt helped along by a paw or two).

Rescue your pattern piece from your fuzzy monster and lay it out as flat as you can on your ironing board.

After assessing the damage, this pattern doesn’t look too bad actually. If the pattern just has some crumpling and tearing, we can save it. If it’s been completely destroyed (like your cat used it for a chew toy as well as a scratching toy), it’s probably time to start stalking Joanns for the next 99 cent pattern sale, and just replace the pattern.

Set your iron to the lowest setting and start ironing your pattern. You want to go gently and lift up your iron in places where there are tears so you don’t tear the pattern farther. If the iron isn’t hot enough to press your pattern flat, turn it up a little. You don’t want to get too hot though as that will cause the tissue paper to warp.

Once you’ve ironed the pattern smooth, it’s time to perform some patch-up surgery. Using clear tape, seal all the tears and holes.

And now we have a usable pattern piece again!

If this is a pattern you really like and know you will be using a lot, a basic patch up job might not be enough. In that case, I like to reinforce the pattern piece by backing it with fusible interfacing. Interfacing isn’t cheap though so I only do this for patterns I will be using a lot.

I’ll use my second destroyed pattern piece for this part of the tutorial.

If you plan to back a pattern piece with interfacing, don’t put any tape on it. I haven’t verified this, but I have a feeling scotch tape will melt onto an iron and that could get very messy.

So the first step is to iron your pattern flat just like before.

Now get a piece of interfacing big enough to fit your pattern piece.

I like to wait for interfacing to go on sale at Joanns for 50% and then buy an entire bolt of the lightweight fusible interfacing. Always having interfacing around is pretty handy.

 Lay your interfacing on the ironing board so the fusible side is facing up. Lay your pattern piece on top.

Now grab a scrap piece of fabric to use as a press cloth. I used a scrap piece of muslin. Lay the press cloth on top of the pattern and fusible interfacing, making sure you cover the areas where the fusible surface is exposed. The press cloth is to protect your iron from getting fusible gunk on it as you iron. You’ll probably want to throw it out after you’re done as it will have sticky residue on it.

Start ironing your pattern. You might need to turn the iron a bit hotter to make sure the fusible melts and attaches to the pattern.

Iron down your entire pattern and when you’re done, trim around the pattern piece.

And now you have a sturdy interface-backed pattern piece that will last a very long time!

Of course, the whole point of this exercise was to seal up those tears and holes that Yoyo put into the pattern and as you can see, the interfacing does a great job at it.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2012 in Tutorials

 

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