This is a sponsored post. Products have been given to me in exchange for a review.
If you’ve been around the sewing world for very long you know that projector sewing is here to stay. I’m always on the cautious side of ‘trends’ and usually wait way too long before I pick up anything new technology-wise. I’m a creature of habit and comfort and it’s got to be GOOD for me to change my ways. It seems to take me far too long to pick up on things and man, do I need things dumbed WAY down for me to understand them. So of course I’ve been dragging my feet forever when it comes to switching to using a projector for sewing pdf patterns. When Vankyo reached out to me to see if I would be interested in trying one of their projectors in exchange for a post about my experience, well, let’s just say it was the push this stubborn lady needed!
Vankyo has multiple projectors they promote for sewing (you can see them here) and I got the Leisure 470. It checks all of the necessary boxes for ideal use with patterns- 720p, remote, screen mirroring, WiFi connection. They sent along a ceiling mount as well so I was set to get started.
My ceiling had a spot where a chandelier used to be that was just waiting for a projector to be mounted there. It also means that I will be able to easily wire my projector to the ceiling and ditch the power cord soon! We had this up and mounted in no time.
My sewing space is in our basement right at the bottom of our stairs. It’s not big and glamorous but it works really well for me (and now my girls too!). I was a little concerned that my throw height would be too short since it’s a lower basement ceiling but with 5 feet from the projector to the tabletop, it works great! I loved that this projector was sooooo user friendly- like plug it in and follow a couple of easy steps and my pattern was screen mirrored in seconds! Now actually getting to where I felt good about cutting a pattern took me a bit. There are so many helpful resources out there that really walk you through every aspect of setting up your projector, from calibrating to pattern adjustments. I’ve been in the Projectors for Sewing Facebook group for ages and it was the first place I turned when researching. I highly suggest starting with the files in this group to get you started. Many pattern designers have blogs that offer useful information, especially if you are using one of their projector files. I turned to Love Notions since I was sewing up the Allegro pattern and Katie Kimmell has an excellent post that takes you through the basics of using a projector file.
While the projector itself was a breeze to setup, I thought I’d share a couple of my stumbling blocks as I started this new way of life (there’s no turning back now right?!). With my sewing space in the basement, I typically use my phone for reading pattern instructions so I was hopeful I could use my phone to project from as well. It opened up and mirrored easily but I couldn’t get my pattern zoomed large enough to be calibrated correctly but small enough to fit a pattern piece on my tiny phone screen (that then projects onto your surface). It was also suggested to use Adobe Acrobat to project files (it’s what you typically use to print files as well). One snag is that the mobile app doesn’t support the layers function making it difficult to calibrate a file if you can’t turn on the grid and also difficult to cut the correct size if you can’t turn off the size layers. Now, these are all newbie issues and I’m sure there’s a work around that I’ll need to look more into.
Once I snagged my husband’s laptop we were in business! I was able to easily project my first pattern, the Ellie and Mac Oversized Tee. I went with a loose, knit pattern to keep it simple but I didn’t need to worry. It was super easy to check the 1″ square on the pattern page to ensure my pattern was the correct size. One reason many people are hesitant with projectors is that it makes pattern adjustments a little more difficult. For me, my most common adjustment is adding length and it was so easy! No extra paper to tape on, just my trusty quilting ruler.
Since I sew for my kids so much a projector just makes so much sense! This is my pile of printed patterns from the last year or so that I hadn’t filed away. Going through them about 75% were for my kids which means you guessed it, they had already outgrown them! I can’t wait to not have to print and cut out multiple sizes as my kids grow and grow or when I’m sewing up the same pattern for multiple kids. I’ve cut way down on pattern testing but in future tests a projector file would save a ton of time and paper. Paper- that’s a whole other issue. For patterns that I use again and again, I never felt bad about printing a pattern. But for those patterns that you might only use once or twice the waste is a little disheartening. Not anymore!
This is my first official ‘projector’ outfit: an Ellie and Mac Oversized Tee paired with a Love Notions Allegro skirt. I used a super soft jersey knit I got in LA for a comfy on the go summer look. I’m really wishing I’d sewn this earlier in the summer because it’s so breezy and cute!
It might not have been the simplest choice to use stripes for my first project but it wasn’t too bad. I was easily able to make the adjustments I wanted to these patterns. For the top, I added an inch to the sleeve length and two inches to the hemmed crop top length. For the skirt, I did a yoga waistband to keep it extra comfortable.
I kind of feel like the last person to jump on the projector band wagon but let me tell you, I am so excited! Vankyo has such affordable options and amazing reviews. If you’re anything like me you like to scout out as many reviews as you can and guess what? They all said the same thing- great, easy to use projectors at incredible prices! Thank you Vankyo for bringing this sewing chic into 2022!