Sew, What's New?

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So for years I have bought several patterns of one style so that I would have all the sizes I needed cut for that pattern and saved for all the sizes. Well how foolish of me RIGHT!  Who new you could trace them, so off I went on tracing and failed several times as the pattern would keep shifting or even the paper on top. UGHHHH frustration once again and back to buying several packets of the same pattern.
Then a light bulb came on for me and I came up with an idea, now this one might already be out there but in my travels through the web I have yet to come upon it so I thought I would share how I trace my small to medium pieces patterns and how I store them. 
Instructions with smaller pattern pieces to medium. (I just tape larger pieces to my work table and trace with freezer paper in pieces)
I cut out the pattern with all sizes first and then iron it out nice and flat.

Next I will then add double sided tape to the back of the pattern and adhere it to a piece of paper or card stock. The card stock works the best as it will not fold easly or tear and stores flat. I use 8.5 x 10, 12 x 12, 11 x 14 and some poster board for larger pieces.
Now that you have your patterns adhered to the paper you can now begin tacing
I use freezer paper for almost all my pattern pieces and those who do appliquing knows this is a great way to work with patterns as they can be ironed in place on fabric so that they do not move around so much therefore I do not have to pin I just trace the pattern with my chalk. I place the freezer paper on top of my patterns and tape it down to my table so that it does not shift on me. Be sure to use a ruler to get your lines straight and the key is to trace slow.
I trace everything from the pattern to the freezer paper. I find using a mechanic pencil works the best for me as it is very thin.
Now that your pattern is traced you can now cut them out.

I store all my pattern pices in a ziplock bag and try to keep all pieces nice an flat so as not to place any folds or creases in them. I keep a backet full of these standing up.

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Comment by Robyn on November 2, 2011 at 11:16pm

Great idea. Thank you for taking the time to share it.


One question, though. Is it easy to store the original pattern pieces. I'm afraid they might get ripped easily on the cardboard (when moving the pieces in and out of storage to use).




Comment by Shannon on October 28, 2011 at 6:18pm

What a bunch of AWESOME!!!!! Techniques for pattern tracing!!! Thank you all for sharing :-)


Comment by Lou Cariveau on October 28, 2011 at 3:21pm
I've been tracing for years.  That way I always have the original pattern in case something gets lost or damaged.  I use a fabric that is made for tracing or a light weight interfacing.  This doesn't tear like pattern paper.  I have even run pieces through the printer using regular paper or cutting interfacing into 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch pieces.
Comment by Sewbusy on October 28, 2011 at 1:37pm

architectural paper is the best (I think :) and you can iron it and it is sturdier than the pattern tissue paper and you can see through it, so you don't need a light source (glass door or window) and it does come in a huge roll (so split it with a friend) 


thanks to all for the other tips too!

Comment by Kuby McCarty on October 28, 2011 at 1:11pm
What a good idea!  Years ago, I'd use wax paper and gently dry ironed the tissue to the wax paper.
Comment by Jenni on October 28, 2011 at 11:04am
I actually learned to do mine differently, but this is a good idea too!  I take my patterns, iron them so that they're nice and flat, then i put paper down on a cork board or my cutting cardboard table cover.  Next I pin the pattern to the top of the paper and use a tracing wheel to copy to the paper the size I need.  I then mark the notches and notes from the pattern to the paper over my tracing marks, then cut it out along the lines!  super easy and doesn't require lots of extra steps:)
Comment by Fernanda mehta on October 28, 2011 at 10:27am
Thank you!! What I do is - I buy those plastic rolls people use when painting their house. They are supposed to be used as drop cloths. I but the 2mil after trying different thicknesses. SO far ( I have been doing this for a couple of years) I have not had any problems with it. I just lay down the pattern on my table. Lay the plastic over it and trace since I can see everything. I have reused the plastic patterns again and again with no problems.
Comment by Traci Akierman on October 28, 2011 at 10:00am
Thanks for sharing this.  Just one tip to add - It's best to cut off the black lines on the pattern.  Otherwise, when you trace them you are making the pattern larger, or in the case of necklines, smaller.  I also trace the patterns on to my fabric with tailor's chalk and cut those lines off as well.  I got this tip from and it has made a big difference when it comes to the fit of traced patterns.
Comment by sews4kate on October 28, 2011 at 9:19am
Thanks for sharing!  I will try that next time I need to trace a pattern!  I've always just taped it all up to my big sliding glass door and let the sun shining through help me trace.
Comment by Andrea Schlickbernd on October 28, 2011 at 8:50am
Excellent, thanks for sharing and I also like Lisa's idea of the Architectural paper!! I'm going to be doing this from now on.

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