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Tracing patterns (Tip/Technique)
Viewed 5566 times
Review rated Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 24 people   
Posted by: Diane Yaghoobian
About Diane Yaghoobian star
Member since: 8/24/02
Reviews written: 25
Sewing skills:Intermediate
Favored by: 2 people
tips added: 11
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Posted on: 11/11/02 3:03 PM
When buying multisize patterns, esp. from companies whose patterns are on stiff paper, I always trace onto Pellon's Tru-Grid or a similar weight non-fusible interfacing. It is very easy to see the lines of the pattern through this for tracing and the resulting pattern is very thin (for storage). It's sturdy, so I write tips and additional information (like the measurements for the knit rib/cuff) right on one of the pieces. It "clings" to fabric when you lay it out, so you need few pins (or weights). Because it IS fabric, you can pin a mock-up of the garment for testing (which would be awkward with a paper pattern) and because fusibles are more popular, you can often find this cheap. Color doesn't matter because it is only a pattern: I have gotten some beige stuff under 50 cents a yard. Just keep an eye out for interfacing at 50% off at Joann's (for instance). It's wider than most tracing papers and much easier to handle, doesn't rip easily. It will last longer than any tissue pattern, so if you have a favorite pattern that is falling apart, or one you think you will use a lot, this is a more durable method.
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9 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
Lou. said...
Great Tip thanks!!
11/11/02 5:13 PM
I've taken well-used patterns and traced them on heavier paper. Then covered both sides with clear contact paper. I took 2 pieces of posterboard and stapled them together to make a large envelope and kept it behind my large sewing table, next to the wall. But I like your idea a whole lot better. It's a lot easier. Thanks.
11/11/02 9:52 PM Click here if you wish to edit your comment
Ana Gill said...
That sounds like a great idea - Will try it as I am about to start using the patterns from the burda magazine - this will be a lot easier to manouver than the newspaper roll I am using. Thanks for sharing this. A na Gill, Barbados.
11/12/02 8:28 AM
irini said...
Fantastic idea, Diane! It is greatly appreciated and is my next project. I'll use it for modifying already printed patterns, combining pieces of different patterns, and in redesigning clothing. Thank you for a truly useful idea.
11/12/02 7:23 PM
SouthernStitch said...
Ditto. this is the best idea I have seen for preserving patterns!!
11/19/02 6:10 PM
Mary in FL said...
I trace with PatternEase(tm). After tracing, when I cut it out, I also cut out the notches. When I cut the fabric with this pattern, I use rotary cutter and mat, but cut straight across the notches. I mark the notches at the edge of the fabric with permanent marker. This saves me lots of time! I store each pattern in a manila envelope, and write on the envelope the pertinent information - pattern brand, number, size, for whom, SA's, elastic size and length, hem allowance. fabrid used, date, etc.
12/29/02 4:57 PM
Diana M said...
Every time I use paper for tracing or alterations, I regret it! I love using the cheapest interfacing I can find for all the reasons you gave!
7/17/04 3:09 PM
yummymummy38 said...
I also use this method, it's less bulky and more durable than paper. I think we call it Vilene here in Australia. I like to store my pattern envelope, instructions and pattern in a zip clock bag.
6/8/06 10:04 AM
aunt saidee said...
I use exam paper for tracing, but I think I will try this, especially for TNT patterns.
7/26/07 4:59 PM

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