Friday, 14 August 2015

Transferring sewing patterns onto tracing paper

So trying to read and understand a sewing pattern, let alone its instructions, can be a bit daunting especially for a beginner. I don't know about you but I end up muttering out loud not very much unlike a scene of Black Books where Bernard Black was trying to do his taxes.

What? What does it mean!? WHAT !!?

If this sounds like you, then there is good news because Creativebug has made this excellent video to help demystify the elements of a sewing pattern for all us Benards:

One of the tips I took away from Leisl's video was to copy the original sewing pattern onto tracing paper, instead of cutting it out. This is a good idea as it preserves the original pattern to be used again in future. Some good reasons why might you want to make tracing paper copies:
  • own body shape changes over time
  • making garments for friends / family
  • working pattern gets worn out
  • save money by not having to re-buy patterns
  • you may wish to sell it or gift it on when you are done
For the Myrtle dress I made, I decided I defo wanted to do this as I had ruined another sewing pattern by cutting out the wrong size. I purchased a 10m roll of 45gsm tracing paper via Amazon for this purpose expecting the paper to be transparent (that's what tracing paper is, no?). What arrived was surprisingly opaque.

To get around this problem, I used carbon paper, placed it face down on the tracing paper and then placed the sewing pattern on top of that. Then using the nub of an automatic pencil, I traced the lines firmly but not too hard. Once all markings were transferred, I went over them with a black marker to make them stand out better. 

This method worked well to transfer the pattern. The traced copy is durable and should get a number of uses out of it. Whilst taking this extra step does add to the overall time it takes to make the garment, I think it is well worth it.

Do you already do this? If not, will you try it for your next pattern? 

See you next week!

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