- Just because it looks uncut, factory folded, does mean it is. Some can cut part of a pattern and fold it back, with the cut pieces inside, expertly. You'll never know until you open it up.
- Counting pieces to determine if a pattern is complete does not ensure accuracy. Some sewers switch pieces between patterns and do not necessarily get the pieces back in the correct envelopes.
- The pattern may have been altered in such a manner it is not longer usable to all. Or, leg/arm pieces are cut short and the cutoffs not available. Every piece of the pattern has to be reviewed.
ARMED WITH THESE FACTS, I HAVE STRICTLY ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING PATTERN CHECKING PROCESS:
- Remove everything from the envelope. If it appears factory fold, open to the extent to ensure it is uncut all the way through.
- Verify all pages of instructions are present.
- Lightly press envelope & make necessary repairs (as needed) to maintain integrity.
- Accurately note condition on the product listing.
- Check each piece against the instruction sheet. Ensure pieces match pattern, size and condition.
- Remove pins.
- Lightly press & refold individual pattern pieces.
Generally, I do not sell patterns that are missing pieces. If the piece is minor, or the pattern is extra special, I may, but it is always clearly noted.
Extra pieces, partial patterns, items that do not meet my standards are mailed to Pattern Rescue to be prepared for a new life.
You probably haven't thought much about this, but how your pattern supplier stores their sewing patterns can be quite important. Why? Well, because they are paper (often quite old paper) and can be fragile. Paper is subject to foxing (those brown spots) from air exposure. Moisture, humidity and other household factors can also effect the condition and smell of the paper. You know, pets, smoke, cooking, etc.
To protect these patterns, while they patiently await an order from their future owner, I've set up a system.
When I obtain new patterns, the are sorted, (anything with signs of mildew is isolated) and put into large plastic tubs, in numerical order by brand (in case someone asks if I have something specific not yet listed in the shop).
Patterns Awaiting Processing
After checking, the individual patterns are listed in my shop and then they are combined with the other listed patterns, by brand by number. In each storage container, a box of baking soda is put in to help remove any 'old' paper smells that may be present.
Processed Patterns Awaiting a New Home
Here's a portion of the current Butterick and Simplicity inventory.
If you have any questions, let me know. And, if you'd be interested in taking any of these patterns off my hands, please feel free to browse around my shop - Todays Treasure.