Yesterday I started my attempt to make a paper pattern copy of my natural linen pants using Jean Haas' tape method.
The steps are described in detail a few posts ago.This is how it went.
Step one outlining the seamlines with short bits of tape was easy.
Nice relaxing TV compatible work. Being a fairly random person I much preferred this to careful measuring methods I have tried before. So far so good. I put one leg of the pants inside the other and worked from the wrong side so I could see the crotch shape easily.
The next step, to fill in the interior shape with wide horizontal strips of tape, was also easy. To prevent distortion from too many layers I pulled the pant leg out and laid the full pair of pants flat. Since I don't want to bother with the inseam pants it was simple to just lay the tape over
Then it got tricky, or I thought it might. The tape had to be pulled off, slowly. Here I was glad I opted for duct tape instead of the painter's masking tape Haas also recommends.
My duct tape "pattern" came off really easily in one sheet (I had run two strips of extra tape lengthwise to make sure and that might of helped).
I then had to put this onto paper, brown wrapping paper I decided because I thought it wouldn't wrinkle. Haas suggested laying the tape pattern sticky side up on a table and rolling the paper over it, I tried that but got mega wrinkles, probably because I couldn't see what I was doing.
Since my pattern was something I could pick up and move, I then tried laying it sticky face down on the paper and that was much easier, although there really were more wrinkles than I could deal with, definitely the part of the process I will need to refine. I then traced around the tape pattern, added hem and seam allowances and was able to then remove the tape. I was interested to see how shallow the front crotch curve was, quite different than anything I have seen in a purchased pattern.
I have the pants back to finish now (going to have to enlist help stretching out the waistband) and I am done.
So what do I think about this method?
First off it's really easy, about a two and a half hour process and I felt that the tape was in fact more accurate than measuring in some ways as it was a direct copy of the garment shape. Also when working with the pant back, which is wider than you can see when the pant leg is laid flat, it was possible to stick on the tape and roll it around to the back to find the seam line that lay underneath (does this make sense). This method would be wonderful for rounded shapes like sleeves I think that you can't flatten to trace.
However until I sort out how to eliminate the wrinkles in the tape (maybe a more careful sewer can) it is not obviously 100% accurate. I feel I am generating a good basic shape, which is important in pants, but is it accurate to the 1/8" ? No, probably not, but I think I can work with this and get a reasonable facsimile, which is what I am aiming for right now.
The real test will be the translation to fabric. Evening project for the week.