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Message Board > Sewing Techniques and Tips > How do you trace your patterns? ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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How do you trace your patterns?
BreathofSpring

BreathofSpring
Intermediate
MI USA
Member since 5/10/03
Posts: 16
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Date: 7/20/03 5:16 AM

What do you use to trace your patterns, where do you buy the paper and how exactly do you do it? I've just used the paper patterns before...but I can see how leaving the original intact can be beneficial especially given the price of patterns nowdays! Any suggestions would be appreciated! :)

VickiL

VickiL
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Member since 12/3/02
Posts: 34
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Date: 7/20/03 6:50 AM

Hi! and welcome!

Many months ago, right here on this message board, I read about "Soil Separation Paper".  This stuff, sold in rolls, is apparently used as a septic tank filter.  (ugh! I know)  Anyway, someone figured out that this see-through paper works great to copy sewing patterns.  One side of the paper is just a little bit "rough" in texture, which means it doesn't shift all over the place when you're copying.  

The company that sells it realized their product's popularity with sewists (I was going to call people who sew "sewers", but considering we are talking about septic tank filters, I re-considered. LOL).  Anyway, they now market this paper as "Sewing Fabric", and they claim it can be used as interfacing (it's washable) and as a stabilizer for machine embroidery.  I, personally, only use it to copy patterns.  

In conclusion, I *very* highly recommend this stuff.  You can find it at Lowes Hardware Stores.  If not, you can get it online direct from the manufacturer:

Carriff

- Vicki

Edited to add:  I don't have any Lowes where I live, so I had to order online.  Due to the high shipping costs (I live in Puerto Rico), it was cost effective for me to order a rather large roll.  I got the 48" x 300 yards.  I've had this for about 6 months, and haven't even made a dent in the roll.  I'm sure I'll be using this same roll for years to come!

Everyday Sewist
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Everyday Sewist
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USA
Member since 9/14/02
Posts: 2707
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Date: 7/20/03 3:15 PM

I use a very expensive gridded drafting paper--similar to pattern paper. (Looks like graph paper but you can see through it.)

I bought the expensive drafting paper because it was easy to find at the local art supply store.  Next time I'll probably buy pattern paper ("Monster Papper").  

The reason I am willing to spend the extra money is because I really like having those 1/4" grids printed on the paper. It makes it so much easier to trace the patterns and make adjustments without distorting the grainlines.

I also like to do pattern draftng, and those grids make it much easier to draw long straight lines and keep everything aligned.

Everyday Sewist
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Everyday Sewist
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USA
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Date: 7/20/03 3:17 PM

P.S. By "expensive" I mean $3.00 a yard. Pattern paper is cheaper, about $1.00 a yard.

I've also used that stuff which looks like gridded interfacing, but I found it difficult to write on and the grids are too easily stretched and distorted IMO.

Everyday Sewist
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Everyday Sewist
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Date: 7/20/03 3:21 PM

Deleted double post

Georgene
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Georgene
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CA USA
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Date: 7/20/03 3:50 PM

I have been buying "signmaker's bond" paper on a roll at the art supply store recently.  Comes in different widths and lengths, sturdy but not too heavy.  You can see thru it a bit for tracing lines thru it, but there's no grid or anything.
I have a bit of the soil separator cloth and I really like it.  One good thing is that you can actually sew it up with a basting stitch and do a fitting if your fabric is not knit or stretchy.

Georgene
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Georgene
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Date: 7/20/03 4:02 PM

Note: if you are using unlined or gridded paper you have to make sure to put your grainlines on each pattern piece as you are tracing.  It makes it soooo much easier if you put the grainline down the entire patternpiece from top to bottom right up to the edge of the pattern.  Makes it easier to line up your fabric grain, easier to trace on to another copy as needed, just easier all around, so I highly recommend extending your line all the way out to the edge.

For this purpose it is good to have a long metal ruler.  They are fairly common at hardware stores in 36" lengths, and not as expensive as the art or sewing supply places.

One way to transfer a grainline that is not as long as the pattern is to take a pushpin or other sharp pointed thing and punch 2 holes thru the grainline onto your tracing.  

Afterwards you can line up your long ruler using the 2 holes on your copy and trace a nice long grainline.

Also, using a clear plastic C-Thru ruler makes things like adding seam allowances and tracing a lot easier.  They are readily available at art supply stores, and some office supply places as well.  The 2"x18" size is essential, as well as a shorter 1" w. version.  I like the 6" one, but 1"x12" is good also.

Judy Williment
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Judy Williment
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NEW ZEALAND
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Date: 7/22/03 9:17 PM

I use the cheapest lunch wrap paper I can find in the supermarket - not waxed, because you can't write on it with pencil!  I like the cheapest stuff because it's the thinnest, and easiest to see through.  I make a lot of kids clothes from Topkids magazines, and most kids pattern pieces will fit across the width of a roll.  For adults you have to tape pieces together, but that doesn't bother me.  I find the paper holds up well to multiple uses as well, and if it does get tatty, it's easy to recopy the pattern.  I used to trace Burda magazine patterns with dressmakers carbon and a huge roll of newsprint.  This was a lot more difficult, because if the layers shifted it was very difficult to line them up again, but at least I could add seam allowances in one go with a double tracing wheel.

------
There are no sewing mistakes - only opportunites for design features.

My blog: http://everythingjustsew.blogspot.com/

BreathofSpring

BreathofSpring
Intermediate
MI USA
Member since 5/10/03
Posts: 16
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Date: 7/22/03 11:44 PM

Thank you to all of you! I really enjoy this site and am spending most of my online time here now! I think I just posted another question on Gigi's forum about copying RTW that should have been here. I can see a lot of fun in the future with sewing and am so glad that I renewed the interest! Thanks again. It's very helpful to have people with so much more experience than I do here in these forums! :tounge:

Jules/Vancouver BC
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Jules/Vancouver BC
Advanced Beginner
BC CANADA
Member since 1/8/03
Posts: 911
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Date: 7/31/03 2:13 PM

If you can't find the soil separator paper (it's nowhere to be found here since septic fields aren't used here because of the high groundwater table), and don't want to order it from Carriff (the exchange rate woulda killed me), you can try row cover fabric from the garden shop (I use Sivatex, but Reemay should work too).  The disadvantage to using this stuff is that it's REEEEEAAALLLYYY wide, so it can be harder to work with, but it's great stuff.  Same type and weight as the Carriff product - 0.5 oz spun-bond polypropylene (aka non-woven geotextile).

I use a supersoft Staedler artists pencil to trace with, since obviously, liquid ink pens will bleed right through this stuff.  Absolutely a dream to work with!

------
what if the hokey-pokey really IS what it's all about?

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