@>~~>~~~ (caliginous) wrote in advanced_sewing,

Pattern Scan

Over the summer I visited a small museum with a collection of in-package sewing patterns from the 30's and 40's. Talking to the curator, she said she'd be happy scan them for me, but isn't sure how. Does anyone have any advice? The best I can come up with is just do it chunk by chunk on a regular scanner, and I can piece them together with indesign or something similar. Would love to hear better ideas that are easy to translate to someone remotely, who may not have much in the way of technology available. She said I could share them too once they are archived...
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If you're willing to spend the money, copy and print places have large format scanners which will be much better for the artifacts. Or, you can take high quality digital photos and enlarge them to the original size.
Digital photos would need to be taken from directly overhead using a tripod in order to get the desired result, I suspect. (I've tried using a digital camera as a substitute for a scanner when dealing with artwork, and it always seems to distort the proportions and/or pick up ripples in the paper.)

It's very hard to get the outlines fitted together again correctly when dealing with something scanned in chunks - again, I've had this issue when dealing with pencil artwork and a small handheld scanner.

Would the simple labour of tracing by hand be worthwhile, or would this be liable to cause even more damage to the archived patterns?
I would think copying by hand would be best.

But I disagree about it being difficult to reassemble again once scanned. on the scale of a pattern it's not too hard to get it right. But extra marks to help you align it up would help a lot.

I know someone who copied a pattern onto a4 sheets of paper, and then scanned each one in, and they lined up just fine afterwards.

But I think it would be easier to get some large size tissue paper or tracing paper/pattern trace interfacing, then trace it out onto that.

Then draw a grid over it a tad smaller than the A4 paper size (So you're including a margin to allow for easier re-aligning at the end). Then manually draw some marks up across each side of each A4 rectangle to help you align it all up together again. Squares or a couple of lines crossing the border or something.

Also include a sizing test box to help you make sure you can keep (or rescale to) the original scale. A lot of PDF patterns have a 4 inch square, or 10cm square. Stick it on the first piece of paper you're likely to print off, for ease.

Then cut the pattern sheet up along your marks, you'll then have a whole lot of just smaller than A4 you can scan. Reassembling them again would be a lot easier either manually, or on indesign.

This has the advantage of the scans being better quality and more reliably consistent than in chunks with a handheld scanner. Also means you can scan with a flat-bed scanner or printer-scanner thingy.

I've read a number of tutes on PDF-ing patterns and this way is pretty much the most common way. Sounds like it's fairly doable.

If the patterns can't be copied, unless you can get it scanned professionally (or just simply photocopied professionally) on a large commercial scanner, I think your only other realistic option would be scanning in chunks - with a hand-held scanner, preferably. Though they're so expensive.
Or a regular scanner (Though I can't imagine how she could do it without damaging the patterns accidentally)

If she ended up doing that, if there was some way she could rig up a grid like I mentioned above including the alignment marks and sizing box (like make it heavy enough to see underneath the pattern, then put it underneath and lay the pattern out like that.

If you do find out a way to do it straight from the pattern that is better than that, I'd LOVE to know!

But really, if she's ok to scan them, but copying was better, and she was prepared to do it, she could just copy them and send the copies to you. Then you can do whatever you want for them.
If this is confusing, there are some free PDF patterns that you could download to see what I mean. Like say something from here: