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Idea for pattern alterations

randadore | Posted in Patterns on

I always have to make a lot of alterations to any pattern I use.  I’ve never been satisfied with any of the solutions for what to use when making them.  Over the years I’ve heard a lot of ideas:  tissue wrapping paper, and old patterns are a couple of them.  However, the paper available for wrapping is stiffer than the paper commercial pattern-makers use which created problems when I tried to fold the pattern back up, and old patterns never worked for me because: 1. I never get rid of old patterns, and 2. they have markings all over them which could cause confusion when I went to cut-out and mark my pieces.  I have FINALLY found a solution which works great for me. 

I realized that pattern-makers use a lot of excess paper when they print.  So when I cut out the pieces of a new pattern, instead of throwing away tons of pattern tissue with no markings on it at all; I keep a large plastic grocery bag where I put all that left over tissue paper.  When I need to make alterations, I simply find a piece that is closest in size to what I need and tape or “glue stick” it in. 


  1. starzoe | | #1

    I have a solution for your quandry about what paper to use: rolls of newsprint. The machines cannot use the newsprint right down to the end of the rolls. Find a place that sells them - the unprinted rolls. A roll will last you five years and the rolls usually sell for about $4.00. Phone around to the printing shops and you are sure to find some.

    Also, about folding your patterns. No matter what the weight of the paper you use, a solution is to roll them up and put them into the leftover rolls from (1) cooking foil, (2) filmwrap , and at a pinch, toilet rolls.

    1. sewelegant | | #2

      I like to save the long rolls from Christmas or other wrapping paper to roll my traced off patterns on.  The newspaper sounds good to me, but I bought a roll of paper from Clotilde called pattern tracing paper and it is lasting a very long time!  I keep these rolls in a basket in my sewing rooom.  I used dividers from a discarded wine bottle box found at the Beverages store and cut it to fit so the long rolls will stand up straighter.

    2. randadore | | #3

      You're right about newsprint being an inexpensive source of thin paper.  Anytime I am going to completely re-draft a pattern piece, that is what I use.  However, I still find pattern tissue paper a better alternative if I simply want to re-draw a dart or extend a shoulder line.  I like keeping my patterns in their original sleeves because they have so much information, the pictures on the front make it easy to sort (I have different "Rubbermaid" bins for dresses, pants, blouses, etc.), and they are easy to store.  If that is not a concern for you - rolling the pieces is a good idea.

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