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Best way to re-use a pattern?

Sewmary | Posted in General Sewing Info on

 What is a good way to make a paper pattern re-useable and long-lasting?  I want to use a particular pattern many times, so how do I transfer it and its markings to a more sturdy paper?


  1. marymary | | #1

    Sewmary, I use a piece of foam core and tacks.  Cover the pattern with whatever you are going to use as your working pattern and tack the two together on the foam core and trace.  You can then keep the original in case you want or need to retrace it in the future.

    The only place I have found the large size foam core is Staples.

  2. damascusannie | | #2

    I use freezer wrap and a sharpie marker. The freezer wrap is transparent enough to see through, but sturdy and the plastic side prevents the marker from bleeding through to the front. I use a lot of multiple size patterns and I don't like to cut them down. I store my patterns in expandable envelope style file folders in a file cabinet.

  3. sewchris703 | | #3

    I've been successful in saving and extending the use of favorite patterns, especially baby and children's patterns by ironing cheap iron-on interfacing to the back of the tissue pattern. For patterns that are printed on heavy paper, such as KwikSew and Folkwear, I trace off the pattern pieces onto cheap sew-in interfacing.


    1. Sewmary | | #4

      Thank you, everybody!  These are great helps!

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #5

        I purchase rolls of drafting paper at Staples. It is heavier than tissue, and easy to trace with. It holds up well to multiple uses, and refolds down fairly small to store in large ziplock bags. It is not too expensive either. When laying out on fabric that I want to match stripes or plaids, it is see through enough to do this. Cathy

        1. Sewmary | | #6

          I appreciate your help.  Thanks very much.

  4. nmog | | #7

    Someone I took a class with once used 6ml plastic vapour barrier from Home Depot or the like. She said that it didn't yellow and was easy to store as well. It always seemed to make sense, but I haven't done it yet!

    1. Sewmary | | #8

      What a great group of helpful sewers!  Thank you for your suggestions.

  5. melanie | | #9

    With regard to prolonging the life of paper pattern pieces the best solution is to use the film that comes from the dry-cleaners – at no cost whatever!

    Place a sheet of tissue paper down on your table first, on top of which you put your pattern piece face down, then cover with the cleaner’s film and then cover with another sheet of tissue paper for safety and to protect your iron. Press gently. The film acts as a kind of adhesive. The finished pattern may be stored by clipping it on to a hanger or rolling it loosely. Needless to say it would be well to test this on some scrap material and paper first so you will get your iron at just the right temperature.

    In Threads “Sewing Secrets & Trade Secrets” there are a few other options on pages 13,14 and 15 but the one above is the cheapest, and the softest. I think fusible interfacing might result in a rather stiff piece and then of course it would work out quite expensive for larger pattern pieces.

    1. Sewmary | | #10

      Thanks for your help! 


    2. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #11

      Just so that I am perfectly clear, the cleaner's plastic fuses the tissue to the pattern? Cathy

  6. charm | | #12

    sewmary, there is somewhere that sale a huge tube like the shape of the toilet paper tube but it has lids on it. anytime when you are re using your pattern and want to put it away you can store it in that huge carboard tube, than you'll be able to keep it neat and and free of wrinkles. just roll it up insert it in the tube.

    1. Sewmary | | #13

      Good idea.  I was just trying to figure out a solution to that storage problem.  Thanks!

      1. charm | | #14

        your welcome

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