How to Print a Miniature Pattern on Tissue Paper

Our online miniature group has been making sewing room boxes for the last few weeks, and a question came up about how to create good patterns. I’ve not had time to put together my box, but this part I can handle!

Step 1 – Print the pattern you will be using on plain paper.

Dollhouse pattern tutorial 001

Step 2 – Cut a piece of tissue paper (gift wrap, not nose blowing!) comfortably larger than the printed design. Using removable tape if you have it, or regular scotch tape if you don’t, tape the tissue directly over the print out. Be sure you tape the entire edge that will be going into the printer first, but you can spot tape the sides. Make sure you have this nice and smooth. If the pattern you are printing out does not already have a colored background, use the spare blank areas from a real pattern for your tissue. If you don’t have real patterns around, they can be obtained for pennies at yard sales and thrift shops.

Dollhouse pattern tutorial 002

Step 3 – Put the paper back into the computer the same way you did before, and print it again.

Dollhouse pattern tutorial 003

Step 4 – Carefully remove the tissue paper from the plain paper. If you work gently, you can reuse the removable tape.

Dollhouse pattern tutorial 004

Step 5 – Cut out the pattern pieces. To add a touch of realism, fold them at somewhat odd angles. If you’re a seamstress, you’re smiling right now. If not, suffice it to say, refolding patterns along the original lines makes map folding look like a game for sissies!

Dollhouse pattern tutorial 006

Step 6 – Layout is everything! Most cotton or blend fabrics these days are about 45″ wide, and as you go back in time, it’s even narrower – 36″ in the mid 1900’s, and 28″ in the early years of that century. Be sure the fabric you’ve chosen is era appropriate, both in design and color! For a modern scene at a 1:12 scale, cut your small print or solid fabric about 4″ wide and fold it in half lengthwise. Think logically when you lay out your pieces! For the pattern I used, in real life, at least one skirt piece would be on the fold, as would one of the bodice pieces. The other skirt and bodice would be on the “straight of grain,” so place the edge that would be the center of the garment parallel to the selvedge and fold. There would normally be a straight of grain line on the sleeve pattern, but since there isn’t, you can get away with fudging a bit on that.

Dollhouse pattern tutorial 008

Step 7 – No pix for this, as I’ve not made pins and don’t have the other ideas readily at hand. One member of our group suggested making pins with bits of fine wire, dipping the tips into thick paint for heads. For my room, I’m more likely to make pattern weights, as that’s how I cut my own patterns. In real life, these are huge washers, sometimes encased in plastic and sometimes not. For my mini scene, I can just buy tiny washers at the hardware store or use my hole punches and some metallic paper. My largest real life weights are about 3″ in diameter, so I need 1/4″ washers. Another fun idea for pattern weights is the old-fashioned way – using canned food! Just might have to do that in a sewing room in my farmhouse!

Published on August 31, 2009 at 2:04 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] “in use” for miniature scenes. You can access it through a direct link in my sidebar or click here. Have fun! And let me know if you try it. I’d love to see your finished projects! Published […]


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