Tracing Sewing Patterns

You can spend a lot of money on sewing patterns, especially if you are an avid seamstress. Save yourself a little money by saving your original multi-sized patterns uncut. Most all patterns come in multiple sizes these days. If you cut it to make an X-small size, it is most difficult to impossible to piece it together to use it to make the same item in an X-large. Save yourself the headache! Simply purchase some blank pattern paper (for smaller patterns, you can use a less expensive tissue wrapping paper).


Lay out your uncut pattern and lay your blank pattern paper on top. Take care to smooth them out carefully. It pays to gently iron them before proceeding for greater accuracy. Gently iron on a low heat setting. After layering the blank pattern or tissue paper over the marked pattern piece, weight it down and simply trace the pattern marks with a fine point marker or soft point pencil. Don't press too hard, as the paper is delicate and tears easily. Frequently check to be sure the patterns aren't shifting during tracing. Be sure to copy all notes and markings pertinent to your sewing project. You can copy the pieces over and over and save the original in its' uncut state. It takes a little time, but well worth it.

I do this and then file them all together and place the copies in Ziploc bags and mark the sizes on the outside. If the copied pattern starts to get worn, simply recopy it. It works well, too, with patterns you use often. Hope this saves some of you a little money :)


By Cheryl from Peebles, OH

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By sue (Guest Post)
January 3, 20070 found this helpful

To save a little work, I just trace the smaller pieces for the size I need. Then I fold back and pin the tissue for the longer pieces like skirt lengths, sleeves lengths etc. Then I take the smaller traced pieces and lay them over the full piece. This works great for sleeve caps, little girl's bodices and jumpers, blouses. It saves work for me and preserves the original patterns.

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By Lynda (Guest Post)
January 3, 20070 found this helpful

Takes me WAY back to when I used to make my own clothing, my children's clothing, by turning something that looked good, fit well, wrong side out and tracing on newspaper the outline of the parts of the garment, then cutting out of new fabric from my newspaper patterns, and altering the trim, buttons, pockets, collar? That was a blast and kept me busy for many years. Try that for a change to see if you like it too? I began with a simple cape, then a skirt, a jumper, etc.( I lost interest eventually as we began to travel/move/travel/move in the military all of 22 moves over four years.


I was fried, but still had my good memories in tact, moving on to the next phase of my life back then, Hairdressing/Cosmetology school at the Honolulu
Beauty College for over a year, while living in Hawaii
for three year total. I was young and bored, but was not able to stay in one place long enough to work
at it, only accommodating my family's hair needs each month.I actually saw my first "hair jewelry" there...earings made of human hair from the 1800's
or something. Strange.) :-~

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By thirtypal (Guest Post)
January 4, 20071 found this helpful

I have been doing this for years. The only difference is I buy 1 mil painter's plastic drop cloths. They are good for copying patterns and doing alterations. I never cut the original pattern and if you roll your plastic copy instead of folding it up. When you need it again there is no need to have iron pattern pieces. They relax and lay flat when opened. Also I use magic markers to do my tracing.

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By Glenita (Guest Post)
January 4, 20070 found this helpful

I was taught to use freezer paper. You can see through it and it is stronger than tissue paper.

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