Do you hate printing, sticking, tracing, cutting, pinning then cutting again on your PDF patterns only to realise the size doesn’t fit? Or you blinked and your kid is in the next size so you have to trace and cut a new size?

“Well, be prepared to have your mind blown”

Using a projector in sewing is an emerging trend, bringing sewing and patterns into the digital age. This exciting use of existing technology holds so much promise for sewing enthusiasts.

So, what is projector sewing you ask?

Projector sewing is using a common household or office projector to project your pattern pieces onto a flat surface. Place your fabric down on the surface, use your rotary cutter to cut out the pieces you need.

By using a projector, you eliminate the very lengthy and cumbersome steps of having to print your A4 pages from PDF patterns and assembling them together, or even with traditional paper patterns, having to trace and cut the size you need.

A big incentive for me is the fact you don’t then have many ten’s or indeed hundreds of patterns and sizes lying around trying to store them. All you need is data storage, either on your computer or online, a place for your cutting mat and projector itself (if you don’t have a ceiling mounted model). Most Ultra Short Throws are around the size of a large shoe box.

Which leads me to my next point, what type of projectors are there?

There are 2 types of projectors being taken advantage of at this point. Ultra short throw projectors, or ceiling mounted.

In a nutshell, Ultra Short Throws (or UST’s) are being utilised as a more portable option. Ceiling mounted is better for those who have a designated cutting area.

There is a lot of factors to take into account when deciding on a projector, I highly recommend joining the Facebook group; Projectors for Sewing. This group is a wealth of knowledge, they have checklists and advice on what might suit your situation the best.

From my personal experience, these are some of the distinct advantages and ultimately disadvantages of projector sewing:

– No printing, cutting, sticking, tracing etc.
– Time saving, you can get to the sewing much quicker
– Can grade easily
– Can try multiple new patterns and styles very quickly
– No storing of patterns
– Layers on the pdf make it incredibly easy to see which size you are cutting
– Fabric pattern matching or placement is easier to see while you are cutting

– Modifications of pattern pieces is more challenging, but not impossible
– Can not lay pattern pieces ‘jigsaw’ style to get the most from fabric. You need to plan a lot of that virtually
– If you don’t have a dedicated sewing area, there are a couple more steps each time to set up your projector

As projector sewing becomes more popular, I have no doubt we will start to see projectors emerge that are targeted to the sewing world specifically. With the development of this technology, it may help overcome some of the challenges with the current set up. A lot of pattern designers are already offering pdf print as well as projector files, A0 or copy shop files are generally also able to be used successfully as well.

But how much do they cost?

A very important question. I was able to pick up my projector second hand from a school for $250AUD. It is an Epson EB-595Wi UST, I know a number of people who have bought their projector second hand as well. It is worth keeping your eye on eBay and Facebook marketplace for any deals. Otherwise a brand new ceiling mount projector is approximately around the $200-$300AUD mark for a reasonable one, while the UST’s can be around the $2k-$3k AUD price bracket.

Since becoming more adept at using my projector, I have been soooo much more adventurous in my sewing. I have been confident to use more of my fabric stash, as I don’t have the challenge of all the prep work in trying new patterns to hold me back. What previously might have taken me a whole night to print, stick, trace and cut to try one new pattern, now takes me no time and I have been known to cut out 2 or 3 patterns in one night ready to sew up the following day. Or sometimes, the same night! It is just SO MUCH quicker.

To watch my video overview, click the play button below. Otherwise, I’ll see you in the projector world! ❤️

What next?

Stop wasting fabric and time on projects that don't fit right. 

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