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template for patterns

suern | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hi everyone,


I make a lot of nursing scrub tops.  Have been selling a lot at work.  Initially I transferred all of my patterns onto poster board, so I have every size ready to go and i just trace it onto the fabric.  Some of the edges are already wearing out.  I’d like to find something better to transfer patterns to;  possible  a plastic similar to what is used for stencils, but a little thicker.  Anyone have any suggestions.  I would love to find something in a roll,  right now I have to tape poster board together to make it long enough for my pattern.


Happy Holidays!


  1. sueb | | #1

    you could try using matboard which would be a bit thicker than the poster board and you can get pretty large sheets of it.  I trace my patterns onto a heavy duty interfacing which works well for me.  If you really want the pattern to be sturdy and you have room to store the pieces you could try using a sheet of plexiglass.  It comes in a bunch of different thicknesses.  

    1. Teaf5 | | #2

      Plexiglass is nice, but it's expensive and tends to shatter and chip easily; matboard is very expensive, too.You might want check out your local fabric or hardware store for their varying weights of vinyl or plastic. The fabric store versions come 54" wide and include some very thick types that would be ideal for templates; it's flexible, but the edges don't wear the way anything made from paper would. Plus, you can make marks on it with permanent pen and can see through it to see how the motifs or designs on your fabric will be positioned on the garment. I had very good results from a thick yellow-tinted vinyl; the color helped me see it against the fabric.Hardware-store plastic is sold by the foot or by the roll and is usually about 60" wide or wider, very nice for large pattern pieces. The thicker (>10 mm) plastics are surprisingly stable and easy to handle. If vinyl gets creased or rumpled, you can tumble it in a warm but not hot dryer for a few minutes, then spread it flat on the floor to cool. I would use masking tape rather than pins to fasten it to the garment fabric.

  2. FitnessNut | | #3

    I use professional patternmaking paper myself - it is often referred to as "hard paper" as it is fairly stiff, like a tagboard. It can be purchased in rolls from a supplier to the garment industry. You may also wish to consider using a heavy acetate (available at an art supply store) to make permanent patterns. I use this for my slopers and it is still going strong after almost 9 years. You can trace your patterns onto it with a fine point permanent marker.

    What are you using to trace your patterns? Poster board should be tough enough to withstand the process if you are using a pencil or chalk to trace. Any paper will be damaged at the edges if you are rough with it. I also recommend hanging your patterns to protect them.

    1. user-23092 | | #6

      To Fitness Nut.  I read your comments about using tagboard for making sturdy patterns.  I have been trying unsuccessfully to find a source for tagboard.  Can you suggest a vendor or two that sell via the internet?  Thanks.  Susan P

      1. FitnessNut | | #7

        Hmmmm....good question. I purchased mine through a garment industry wholesaler here in Canada (Cansew, if it is of any help). I have no idea as to who would sell it in the States. Perhaps you should google and see what you can come up with. I vaguely recall seeing ads for suppliers in Threads (in Chicago?), but I'm away from my magazine collection at the moment and so can't be of much help. If you find a source, you may consider posting it here for all to see.

      2. mimi | | #8

        At school we order tagboard in large sheets.  I will go into the supply closet after the holidays and see if I can spot a vendor label.  We make patterns of things that the kids trace (stockings for Christmas, hearts for Valentines, etc) and they hold up for a long time.


  3. MrsKeds | | #4

    You may possibly want to check out Velum.  It is a heavier plastic paper like product, that is often used for blueprints.

    I have purchased some at an office supply shop, but those sheets were about 11x17".  I know that they can order it on rolls.

    I have used Velum on some of the patterns that I love and make alot.  The velum will roll onto a tube for easy storage when not in use.

    1. mimi | | #5

      Velum is what was used for making/drafting blueprints, and is getting harder to find.  The engineering draftsman replaced that with mylar in the 1970's; this holds up very well.  I have used stencils made with mylar for the past twenty years that still look brand new.


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