Today I’m sharing an interesting question that I found among my fan mail recently.
Marti asked, “What [is] the measurement tool… and how [do you use it]?”
I live in Idaho, in the United States, and we use the old English (imperial) measurement system and Standard American printer paper. If you also live here in the US, then you may not realize that the whole rest of the world uses the metric system. To my knowledge, the only other countries that still use the imperial system are Myanmar and Liberia. (Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.)
Because of this, most of the world prints their PDF patterns on A4 paper, which bases its paper size on the square root of 2. In some countries, you would have to be in a major city and shopping at a store that sells unusual foreign paper products to find American Standard paper.
Therefore, to address the needs of my followers living in countries outside the US, I have devised a measurement tool that lets them print my patterns on A4 paper. They adjust the pattern size by following these steps:
1. Copy the JPG image of the pattern
2. Paste the JPG image into a document
4. Take out a metric ruler and measure the “measurement tool” on the pattern
5. If the JPG image is too large, shrink it a bit on the page; if it’s too small, enlarge it
6. Repeat steps 3-5 as needed
In case this is hard to imagine, here’s yet another photo to help you understand what I mean:
In the image above, I’m holding a ruler up to the “measurement tool” on the neckerchief pattern for 18 inch dolls.
In the close-up image below, you can see that the ruler’s centimeter marks for 1 cm, 2 cm, 3 cm, etc. almost match the marks on my measurement tool. They’re just slightly smaller, but when sewing tiny doll clothes, every millimeter counts! You might want to enlarge the pattern slightly before using it.
That’s how you use the “measurement tool” on my patterns to help you adjust the size of the printed pattern.
It’s a little embarrassing that we, here in the US, have not yet caught up with the rest of the world, when it comes to measurements and paper styles! But every week, I try to post a JPG image of my patterns–usually on Wednesdays–as well as a PDF, to honor those who follow my blog from outside the US by offering a method for adjusting the patterns to suit the world-wide norms.
Some of my followers in the UK, Australia, and South Africa have asked me, “Why don’t you just switch to A4? It would make everything so much easier!”
And while this does sound like an obvious choice, the mass majority of my followers live in the US. So if I switch to A4, I’d lose a lot of my following.
So instead, I continue to provide a measurement tool on all my patterns as a quick-fix to a much larger problem that literally spans the entire United States.
If you’d like to learn why the US chose not to switch to metric back in the 20th century, there’s a great podcast on this topic from Josh and Chuck at Stuff You Should Know. Click here for the link to that podcast. I highly recommend their podcast on the whole, as one of my #FridayFollows.
I’d also enjoy hearing comments from those of you who print my patterns outside the US. Are you still having difficulties printing my patterns, or is the measurement tool helpful to you? Is there more I can do to make printing my patterns an easier task?