This brings up another question
How about getting templates for the moulds? I could still use the 8.5x11 sheets taped, but again, the results weren't great. It seems I'd have to get a lot of these full size print out to also be able to cut out each of the moulds, since they overlap. Suggestion on that?
What I do is a tedious process but it will leave you with fairly durable templates which can be used for several kites.
First you might want to make your own kite table. I purchased a couple of 35" x 23.5" cutting boards from 'Hobbico' years ago. I taped them together on my work table giving me a 35" x 57" cutting surface. These were much more reasonably priced than those you will find at your local craft shop. I use the cutting board and a utility knife to cut out my templates (from construction board) and to cut my rip-stop panels. I do not use a hot knife like some and have not had any issues of material fraying, as long as I change the snap off utility knife blades often enough. I also use sticky seam tape along the entire seam edges of my kites so that also helps on a long term basis to keep your material edges from fraying. Others like to use a glue stick but I have not tried that method. The PC31 we use for kite making is coated material so it does not easily fray on a cleanly cut edge. The Hobbico cutting boards are a great investment that will last you years and years.
After printing out the full size sail pattern. I use FedEx Office Print and Ship Centers to print out a full 'right' side of the sail pattern. This saves a lot of time and frustration over trying to assemble dozens of 8 1/2 X 11 sheets of paper. which are nearly impossible to do without deviating from the intended end product.
...I then start the process by making my panel templates. First, after trimming the pattern down, I tape the edges of the pattern down on my work table, laying my construction board underneath, between the cutting surface and and the pattern, taping it on the edges/corners to keep it from moving while I trace the individual fabric panels using Carbon Paper and a rolling (non-cutting) wheel (the blue handles tool in the photo below). I use a long aluminum ruler to help for straight edged panels. After the trace is complete, I then use a utility knife to cut the templates out, again using a ruler for a straight edge on the edges that are not curved. I careful cut the curved edges by following the lines created by the carbon paper tracing process. You can see that I also number my panels to help keep track of which panels go where.
I then use those templates and a ruler to cut all my panels out for the entire kite. I use strips of blue painters tape to keep the fabric from moving and additional strips of tape to keep my templates from moving on the fabric. I do this all along the edges of the templates, using more on the curved edges of the template since I will need to cut those out free-hand and I don't want my utility knife blade to slip underneath the template. This is a tedious process but it is one that has worked well for me. I also use a long ruler over the straight edges of my templates to help as I cut the panels out.
After all panels for both sides of the kite are cut out, I start to assemble the panels on top of the sail pattern, taping the lighter colors down first. You will want to have your darker colored panels overlap the lighter panels for the best results.I use seam tape along the entire joining edge and carefully align the overlapping sail panels using the sail pattern as my guide for aligning the panels, since most colors (other than the very dark colors) will allow some transparency to help in this process. I do this process for both sides of the kite. I like to have a flipped (left side) pattern printed out when kite building. It will cost a little more but will make the build process much easier. Costs me about $9 per side, left and right sail pattern.
After both left and right are finished I join the 2 side together in the center, again using the sail tapped to the sail pattern ...and using seam tape down the center of the joining sides. Once that is done, I like to use a one inch strip of mylar down the back of the kite center for added stretch protection. Some builders, including professionals, do this and some don't feel it's necessary. I also, use a triangular piece of mylar for reinforcement at the keel of the kite. During the sail panel assembly, I partially seam tape the mylar TE reinforcement 'panels' and finish securing those reinforcements with seam tape from the back side of the sail.
I now begin to sew all seams. I sew down the center of the kite where the two sides are joined first. Then I sew along the edge, both sides, of the one inch mylar reinforcement that was attached to the center of the back of the kite. Next, decide which way you plan on sewing your kite panels most efficiently, without having to start and stop your seams any more than necessary. This will vary from kite to kite, depending on how many panels there are and how those panels converge together.
More later if you need any help once you have reached this point! I need to fix myself something to eat and begin cutting my Monster kite rods for final assembly!