Seven steps to perfect templates

When starting a new project that requires paper templates, here’s what to do:

1. Print the templates

Print (or photocopy) the sheet of templates. (Use card stock, which is slightly heavier than regular copy paper.)

2. Glue the templates to the back (smooth) side of a sheet of sandpaper

The sandpaper gives the templates some “bite” when laid on fabric, so there’s less slipping around. I use a medium grit sandpaper; if the grit’s too fine, the sandpaper slides.

3. Cut the templates apart

Lay your acrylic ruler along the seam line and trim the templates with a rotary cutter.

Trimmed templates
Trimmed templates

4. Push a straight pin through the templates at all corners

5. Pin corresponding templates together

With right sides together, straight pin the templates together, through the previously-made holes.

Pinned templates, exposing excess points
Pinned templates, exposing excess points

6. Trim off excess points

If the templates fit together by shape alone, so should the resulting cut fabric.

7. Notch the templates

While the templates are still pinned together, press the blade of the rotary cutter through both layers within the seam allowance (it’s OK if the cut extends further).

When you lay the templates on fabric, the sandpaper keeps them from moving around. After cutting the shapes, but before removing the templates, press the blade of the rotary cutter in the notches, within the seam allowance.

Matching the shapes and the notches of the fabric pieces assures perfect blocks. Perfect templates, perfect blocks.

Have you tried this method? Did you like it? What were your results? Please join the conversation by leaving your comments (Comment link at top of this post).

5 thoughts on “Seven steps to perfect templates

    1. I use medium grit sandpaper . . . if the sandpaper is too fine, it slides like paper. The sand needs some “bite.”

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