Bunny punch

On another discussion forum, visitors were asking how we hung our patterns. I thought I’d taken a picture of the tool we use when I did my entry on Tools and supplies but it wasn’t in there. So here it is:

This is what’s known as a pattern punch but often described as a bunny punch or just “bunny”. These are very heavy, solid cast iron with a round 3/4″ steel die. People will mistakenly stick a whole stack of patterns in there to try to punch them in one fell swoop but it will only cut a few layers readily. You can see a punched hole off to the side with a pattern hook threaded through it. If you need these, Southstar sells both of these items. The punch isn’t listed on their site but call them up. I think they cost about $70. The pattern hooks you can buy by the dozen or by the gross.

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  1. Karen C. says:

    I really needed a punch so I could hang all of my patterns, but thought the $60-$70 price a little steep. So I went to my local scrapbooking store and bought a 3/4″ circle paper punch for $7.99. Works great!

  2. Erin says:

    I’ve heard about these punches, and it’s interesting to see, but I’ve also wondered how the professional system of hanging, storing and orgainizing the patterns on those t-hanger-things worked. At my old work (a very small manufacturer/custom place) we used pants hangers with clips, hanging on a clothes rack – and we only used alpha-numeric paper. Ah, to graduate to oak tag would be divine. My inner librarian took over, and I did my best to orgainize that place, but 20 years of neglect is a lot to overcome.

  3. christy b. says:

    While the pants hangers sound bad, my work uses alphanumeric paper only and I have to FOLD my patterns and put them into envelopes. Envelopes! The boss thinks oak tag and hanging patterns takes up too much space and looks messy. Every time I want to look at a pattern, I have to find the envelope, take out the pattern, unfold it… I’m going to sneak in oak tag and a punch and never say anything about it.

  4. Josh says:

    So I went to my local scrapbooking store and bought a 3/4″ circle paper punch for $7.99. Works great!

    Karen, I use the same thing. I may buy the bunny punch if my business takes off but for now, just learning pattern making, I’m fine.

  5. J C Sprowls says:

    Fortunately, a list of equipment comes with the syllabus, if you fortunate enough to attend a class on the subject. This is a surefire way to accumulate all the tools you will need. I’ve had my pattern punch for … ummm-teen years; and, I believe I paid $25 at the time.

    $70 does seem steep; but, imagine how steep $25 was to a college kid who earned $150/week waiting table. I saw a couple used ones on eBay – and a few new ones, too. I like SouthStar’s catalogue; and, I also have a few favorites suppliers of my own – everybody specializes in something.

    I think the point is to establish your presence through as many avenues as possible. It’s certainly better to call in your orders, make contact with your suppliers, and build up a reputation with them. Start early and practice often – make small improvements in yourself, your business, and your relationships.

    Sometimes you’re buying more than a punch ;-)

  6. Jessika says:

    This post got me thinking…I am going to give pattern hooks another chance. I used these in college but got frustrated by them. Maybe I got a bad first impression, but my patterns were getting all tangled up and sometimes the oaktag would curl in the most irritating way. (Does this happen to anyone else??)I make a lot of paper patterns that get used a few times and then that is it, so I store them on wire hangers with bulldog clips which is not at all expensive. My oak tag blocks get stored flat in a horizontal filing system.

  7. Jane says:

    I am accustom to calling it a Rabbit Punch. Although, I like the Aussie version of Rabbit-O.

    As a new item these things are pricey. However, if you keep your eyes open you can probably find one used. I think I have seen them on Ebay before. With the death of the Domestic Manufacturing market, they tend to turn up as manufacturing businesses go under. (How bleak does that sound!) Don’t worry it will be those of us that have a passion for apparel and its construction that will resurrect the industry. (Remember there is a need for small runs and quick turnarounds!)

    Anyway if you find a used one, ask or check to see that the spring still works in the handle. If it works correctly you push the handle down and cut the hole and then the handle springs back up to its origanl position (like a staple does. The other thing is that the round die that does the cutting should still be sharp enough to cut the oaktag cleanly and not mangle it.

    Those of you that posted you only use soft paper patterns. Are they hand done soft patterns? If so, How do you get markers made with only soft patterns? Do you digitize them into a system? or are they hand done?

  8. GM Denaia says:

    I just got my first bunny punch over a month ago. It makes my life easier and looks pretty serious on the table. I found mine on ebay new for $40. I believe SouthStar has theirs for $50. Ahhh, I love getting new “toys”.

  9. Erin says:

    “Those of you that posted you only use soft paper patterns. Are they hand done soft patterns? If so, How do you get markers made with only soft patterns? Do you digitize them into a system? or are they hand done? ”

    Yes, we were using hand drafted paper patterns, and the “markers” were either figured out on the fly, were stored in the cutters head, or I would sketch out a marker on a main pattern piece. We did usually 2/2 of smalls and mediums, out of various fabrics in various widths, and so the arrangement would change some with the various fabrics. I did say it was small, and I mean very small. And some of those patterns were old, and well used and would be copied by hand when gettign too old, losing no telling what kind of detail. It worked for what we did, but now I see how limited we were in potential for growth.

  10. Bunny M says:

    I just got myself a bunny punch and a big bag of pattern hooks – and I can’t stop smiling!

    Our pattern pieces were previously stored flat, kept together with those black office clips. This worked fairly well, but the more pattern pieces we made, the more aggravating it became to try to locate a specific pattern, and we were reluctant to splash out for a flat file.

    I read this posting and immediately wanted my own punch and hooks, but $60 seemed like a lot. So I did a bit of research and found a place in LA that sold me the punch for $30 and 144 hooks for $20, so I got the entire setup for $50! (Shipping is extra, of course, unless you can pick it up from them in LA’s fashion district.)

    They are PGM Plus, http://www.pgm-pro.com

    They also have dress forms and some fancy display items, as well as some other pattern making supplies.

    213 628-1991 is their phone number and I talked to Erika, the offiver manager. Tell her Bunnywarez sent you! (That’s bunny wares, not bunny juarez.)

    (I am still envious of the pink powder-coat bunny punch, but if we have a good year I suppose I can always reward myself by getting mine painted pink!)

  11. jocole says:

    i ordered mine from pgm plus as well, off of ebay actually, and i LOVE it. i actually organized all of my patterns yesterday, what a treat to see them lined up in my office closet all organized and pretty instead of strewn about.

  12. Kathleen says:

    Update on the PGM Pro Bunny Punch. One of our members bought one and was very disappointed. It’s not cast iron but plastic. It broke in less than six months. However, I bought a gross of pattern hooks from pgm and it was a very good value. Their muslin quality is also very good, best I’ve seen altho the way they fold it makes it difficult to use so you’ll have to refold it. I also don’t recommend their dress forms if you plan to rely on one heavily for accuracy and durability. They’re okay if you’ll only use it occasionally and fit accuracy isn’t paramount. In sum, be selective of items you buy from PGM Pro.

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