Monday, 31 March 2014

pattern tracing paper (on the cheap)


Pssst, want to know a secret? I'm a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to tracing out my sewing patterns.

I have actually never cut a sewing pattern in my life. I'm a tracer all the way. It means I never have to buy a pattern more than once (unless I lose it!) and I can use every size in the pattern if I want to.

This is fantastic for kids patterns, because kids grow so fast you usually need to make more than just one pattern size. For some of my favourite patterns I have actually made every single size available on the pattern. The original pattern is still in great shape though, because after tracing, it can be carefully stored back in its packaging. You can really get your money's worth out of a pattern.

Look, I know there are all kinds of fancy tracing papers out there built specifically for the job. They might be great too. But the truth is, I just haven't tried any of them (well not yet, anyway!). The reason being: I like to save my money for nice patterns and fabric!

So what is my cheapskate solution?
Supermarket brand greaseproof paper. You find it in the sandwich wrapping section in the supermarket and it costs about $1.50 per roll. With 30 metres per roll, you can get bucketloads of patterns out of it.



It only comes in one width though, which is sometimes too narrow for the pattern piece. So what do I do if the pattern piece is too wide for the paper? Sticky tape. Yep, I'm super technical like that. I just sticky tape two pieces of paper together (on the shiny side, while I mark on the matte side).

I must have traced hundreds of patterns out this way and it works a treat. It's particularly useful if I mess up when I'm tracing or cutting the tracing, because I can simply rip another piece of paper off my roll and just go again (after chucking the dud tracing in the recycling bin). It's also really easy to get your hands on, as pretty much every supermarket stocks it.

My other favourite tracing tools (apart from the paper and sticky tape)?
A 2B pencil. It helps all those markings show up a little darker and makes it easier to transfer later on. Oh and a cup of tea and some dark chocolate. Can't trace without those!


So what do you guys trace your patterns on? Am I missing out on something great by using my cheapie paper?

14 comments:

  1. Great tricks for sewers....and your garden is looking yummy indeed. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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  2. Is greaseproof paper what we call waxed paper in the U.S.? If so, I used to use that too! Then I started using this method I found on Burda (http://www.burdastyle.com/techniques/trace-a-pattern-easily-without-cutting-it) which is kind of a shortcut but honestly doesn't yield the most accurate results for me. I should go back to the wax paper trace.

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    1. It's not waxed paper- it's kept in the same section and looks a bit like it, but it's actually unwaxed which makes it easy to write on and cut. Thanks for the link to your method, I haven't seen that before!

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  3. Love me a 2B pencil, dark chocolate, and saving patterns from being chopped into. I'll swap your tea for a glass of red wine and while I used to use greaseproof paper I now use the really thin interfacing. I buy it for about $1.30-$1.50/metre, so yes, it costs a bit more. But I tend to buy a 10 metre roll whenever I get a voucher for Spotlight or another store. It's wider (obviously) and is much nicer to pin to fabric and it folds up into little clear plastic pouches that I store in folders, and doesn't crease like paper does.
    Confession time: I trace off the lettering on the pattern exactly as it's written. font nerd!

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    1. I imagine the interfacing would last better, if you are planning on using it again, and useful being wider! Your tracings sound like works of art McStitch, I should like to see them with their perfect font :)

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    2. I use cheap interfacing too. It is easy to see through and I like the way it almost "clings" to the fabric and stays put while cutting on many fabrics especially knits for kids. I used to make so many track suits.

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    3. i must check this cheap interfacing out next time i'm in spottie :)

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  4. I have been doing this too over the last year or so. And I buy the same greaseproof paper. It seemed such a waste to cut up the patterns, especially when I wanted to make it more than once in different sizes. The cheap interfacing is a good idea too, for those extra special patterns.

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    1. oh i love to know i'm not alone heather :)

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  5. Sorry, there is a typo in my blog address. Should be www.littlegreenvillage.wordpress.com

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  6. I use grease proof paper too! The cheap interfacing sounds like a good idea :)

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  7. I love this idea! Will totally be doing this in the future.

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