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Tracing, keeping patterns

Nicoleah | Posted in Patterns on

I am a beginer garment sewer (intermediate at home dec and quilting).  I am want to extend the life of my patterns and also modify them to fit me.  I am struggling with the best way to do this.  Can I trace a patter on some type of paper (big!!) and then save the original?  Where do you get the Big Paper?  What is the best way to trace?   OR, is there a better method for this? There was a previous discussion for saving patterns but this isn’t quite the same question.

Thanks All!  Nicole


  1. Johanan | | #1


    The best way to preserve your patterns, I find, is to use a product which I think is called "Trace a Pattern" and is found on a roll along with the sew in paper type interfacings.  Just lay your pattern onto the product and cut it out.  Before removing the pattern trace darts, etc.  If you can't find the product, you can always use non-fusible interfacing.  Both work well because they are more durable than the paper pattern, roll or fold easily for storage and are available in big sheets. 



  2. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #2

    It really comes down to the same thing. Trace out your pattern on some sort of tracing paper. Then cut it from muslin to fit. Mark your new fitting lines on the muslin in marker, then transfer the new lines to the traced pattern, or retrace a new pattern on a more permanent pattern paper like the nonwoven interfacing or whatever.
    Everyone has found a way or product that they prefer, depending on what is easily available in their area. Have a look at the different products and see which you might like.
    You can trace through some see through products, or use carbon paper like products and a tracing wheel with others.
    There really is no shortcut, but it is really worth the time and effort.
    Personally, I spend about 3 times the amount of preparation time to the actual amount of sewing time, and though I don't like it, I know it is worth every second in the end. Cathy

  3. User avater
    artfulenterprises | | #3

    Check your local art store for 48" wide bond paper on a roll (usually 3 or 4 yards). Or, check with your local neighborhood newspaper and see if they have newspaper "roll ends"...usually they will give them away because they can't be used for the presses any longer. Some people like to use the thin paper rolls that can be purchased from medical supply houses (used for covering examining tables) although I can't say that is a favorite of mine. Of course, there are fairly pricey "pattern paper" products you can buy at tailors' supply firms or fabric stores although I don't recommend them to my students either. I think the dotted papers tend to confuse the issue when making adjustments, etc. But all that is a personal choice. You can also use mid weight or heavy weight "sew in" interfacings as a permanent pattern that is easily foldable. The possibilities are endless. I design patterns so I buy plain white bond pattern paper (called marker paper) on rolls that weigh about 100 lbs. (My husband says no...they weigh about a million tons.) : o ) I had to build a steel pipe construction to hold the paper roll. So, you may want to go back to top and read the first sentence in this post! Glad to hear you are sewing clothes...enjoy the journey!

  4. LeeK | | #4

    Here's one more suggestion: I trace patterns onto clear plastic drop sheets, preferably not the very thinnest (too clingy). I use a permanent Sharpie marker. I'm still working on some giant sheets I found on sale very cheap - they're 25' x 10' - and when I've run out of them, I'll likely buy a roll of the stuff from the paint store. It's truly transparent, and you can tape pieces together for fitting without their tearing. The marker is permanent when dry, so you can label each piece. This is not my own idea, btw; someone on the old Sewing World forum posted it years ago.

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