At a young age, Bontrager fell in love with sewing and felt called to create a business devoted to the craft. In 1985, she launched Dana Marie Design Co., where she designs and sells custom sewing patterns for fashion pieces – everything from blouses and skirts to sleepwear, jackets, tote bags, and more. Dana Marie Design Co., along with its sister site, The Sewing Place, sells thousands of sewing patterns a month – and involves printing and folding processes that, until recently, proved painstaking.
“Few wide-format printers understand the uniqueness of printing sewing patterns,” Bontrager says. “Sewing-pattern printing has its challenges, as not all sewing patterns are of a standard size, plus the type of paper is a consideration. We print on 16-pound translucent bond [paper], so the end product is as light as possible while still offering a sturdy end product. The sewing patterns are folded to various sizes – 5×8, 6×9, 8×10 – depending on the customers’ needs.”
Until recently, each and every one of Bontrager’s prints were folded by hand. “On average, I could hand-fold about 60-70 patterns per hour,” she says. “It was not only time-consuming and labor-intensive, but it was also hard to keep a consistent size, and the end product was bulky.” But with the help of the Estefold 3000, Bontrager can get closer to 100 folds per hour, “and the wear and tear on the human is a lot less! We get so much more consistency in size as well as a tighter, flatter end product. And our turn-around time is fast and efficient!”
Bontrager is now sharing this newfound efficiency with other indie pattern designers by way of Pattern Printers, a website that offers large-format printing options for indie pattern designers and consumers. These fellow creatives receive their sewing patterns professionally printed and crisply folded – ready to spread their love of wearable art to the masses.
Check out Large Document Solutions’ extensive selection of large format folders here.