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When Tracing Patterns Stops Progress
It takes so long to trace the patterns
Sandra
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Sandra
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Date: 11/23/02 11:47 AM

When I first started reading about pattern tracing, I thought you all were nuts.  Why, when the patterns are only 99 cents on sale, just buy one in every size and skip the whole pattern-tracing thing.  Then came Burda World of Fashion, and I had to make a skirt out of that Pick Up Sticks Fell on the Paper visual workout.  Later, as I saw the need to preserve expensive designer patterns or to preserve another view of the pattern when they are printed atop each other, I realized tracing was the smart thing to do.  

So, expensive patterns must be traced, but also any pattern that offers additional views, or patterns which might be used for sizes other than your own.  Even the 99 cent sale patterns might be good to trace since they could just go out of print the instant you sew something up and realize it's just the perfect thing you've been looking for all your life.......too bad I cut it out one size too small (I did this with a Burda top).

I'm totally on board now with tracing ALL patterns, and I now laugh at how I once wondered why people did this.  The thing is this.  It is time consuming!  I have good medical paper, a marker I like, and good lighting.  Yet, I am stalled between projects because I don't feel like tracing!  Yikes!  That is not the way to be.  How do you all manage this? :(

Tini
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Tini
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GERMANY
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Date: 11/23/02 12:28 PM

Hi,

I mostly trace out everything. Maybe due to the fact, that the burda magazin is so easy availble here and patterns are NEVER on sale in Germany and 10 - 15 € is a bit expensive....

If you know a couple of things you like to sew, like me, take a day just tracing out everyhing. I use foil, that you use when you are painting your house. Then I trace maybe 2 or 3 patterns at a time and then I sew them one after the other....
So you just spend some ours tracing and you don't have to trace between projects....

So long
Tini

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read my blog:
http://www.tininaeht.blogspot.com/

Georgene
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Georgene
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Date: 11/23/02 12:42 PM

Sandra,
There has been some discussion on other threads here regarding "soil separator cloth" being used for tracing.  Its a non-woven extremely light weight see-thru cloth available at Home Depot and other hardware type stores.  Normally its used in septic tank systems!  You can check out the manufacturer's website at Carriff.  Apparently they got hip to the fact that sewists are using it, since they now have a product category called 'sewing cloth'.  Its exactly the same thing as the soil separator cloth.
The only thing about using it for tracing is that you can't use marker pen, as it bleeds thru.  Also it folds up nicely with nary a wrinkle when unfolded, and it can actually be stitched together to try out for fit. (useless for stretch knits, but then so is tissue paper...)
Anyone else with stories about using this tracing material?  I'm very interested in it, and still waiting for my delivery from Carriff.

Everyday Sewist
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Everyday Sewist
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Date: 11/23/02 12:46 PM

I don't really mind tracing, so I'm not sure how helpful this will be... but anyway:  

I use tracing paper from the art supply store which comes in pads of 50 sheets, 19"x24" (about the size of a poster.)

The paper is probably more expensive than other options and you do have to piece it together with tape to trace some larger pattern pieces. But this is what I like about it:

1. It lies flat-- no ironing required, no curling. Just tear off a sheet and start tracing.
2. The pad is easy to store flat on a shelf.
3. It is very see-through. So I can easily see what I need to trace.
4. It clings to the pattern paper, so the pattern doesn't slide around under it as long as I am reasonably careful while tracing.

I trace on top of my rotary cutting mat. The paper also seems to "cling" better on that surface. I use a ruler to quickly trace the straight lines. Another thing that helps: I have a nice high cutting table so my back doesn't have to suffer through the tracing process.

For marking seam allowances, I have a fashion ruler with slots all around at 5/8". This makes it fairly quick to add in the seam allowances.

Gigi Louis
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Gigi Louis
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Date: 11/23/02 1:21 PM

I too hate tracing off patterns, yuk!  But I do it for the same reasons you do Sandra.   I've been using examining table paper for many years - it's cheap, easy to see through and comes on rolls.  I'm on my last roll now from a case I bought about 10 years ago for $35.00!  I have also been using the Perfect Pattern Paper from McCall's which I LOVE - except that it comes in huge sheets which have to be pressed before you start tracing.  I am going to write to McCall's and recommend that they sell it on rolls.  Rolls are much more convenient because you can just roll off what you need and the paper is nice and flat for tracing.  I haven't tried the soil separator cloth as I'm not sure how well tape would stick to it and I always have loads of alterations to make to my patterns.  Guess that's why I prefer to use paper.  I've tried Pellon Tru-Grid and the like and it's not as cooperative when you are slashing and taping.

Dale C
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Dale C  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/23/02 1:37 PM

I don't like tracingpatterns either.  But my Chinese blood requires that I conserve whatever I have. :D   Jus' kidding.  Actually, while I trace, I usually do simple adjustments.  I try to do the adjustments for petites at that time.  That, and tracing the corresponding sizes, you know... from bust size 36 to waist size 38?  Wish it were the other way around.   :(

I also like to keep my patterns intact so I can reuse them for my family and friends.  And the ones for kids... gads they grow so fast that you just can't cut them.  They always want another after they outgrow the first one.

Dale

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"ACK! I'm having withdrawals! Get me to a sewing machine... NOW!"

Nancy L

Nancy L
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Washington USA
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Date: 11/23/02 2:29 PM

Yes, tracing is a chore but as with everything else, speed does come with practice. I use a shorthand version of marking my patterns which speeds things up a bit. Using a straightedge and a french curve and doing alterations on the paper while tracing makes things go faster, too. I found it was best to set "tracing" time  aside and do it all at once and just accept tracing as part of the creation process.

Sandra
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Sandra
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California USA
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Date: 11/23/02 3:12 PM

Thank you all for your encouraging words.  I do look forward to doing that task faster which will come with more practice, I suppose.  I appreciate the mention of tracing marathons.  That seems like a good idea.  Instead of feeling like the tracing is keeping me from the vast productivity I would otherwise enjoy  ;) (kidding there) it would feel like getting ahead of the game by tracing "ahead."  Thanks everybody!

Marita_old
Marita_old
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Date: 11/23/02 5:06 PM

Hello Sandra :D ,
I do it in bulk too, usually when I get a new Burda WOF or some other patternmagazine I'm doing some serious browsing thru and then I trace all the patterns that are maybe worth making someday. I use the ordinary patternpaper and colored pencils. The soil separator feels like it would be a great material (Deepika sent me a swatch).

Tini
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Tini
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Date: 11/24/02 3:31 AM

Another thing I like to use is a paper-tablecloth. It is cheap and you can easily trace on it with tracing paper ( burda ) and a douple tracing wheel, which also adds the seamallowance in one turn and you can decide how much seam allowance you like to have....
Some of my friends asked at the local newspaper print, if they can have the rolls of paper, which can't be used for printing, they have normally 50 m of paper left and mostly they don't have to pay for them...
so long
Tini

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read my blog:
http://www.tininaeht.blogspot.com/

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