There was a discussion on the forums a while ago about how to trace a pattern so you can preserve the original. My favorite method is to use Canson tracing paper to trace my pattern pieces. But there are many other products and methods you can use, and our wonderful forums moderator Sarvi has generously offered to tackle the subject for us. In fact, she wrote four blog posts about it, and she’ll walk you through the most popular methods. So I’m going to turn the blog over the Sarvi for a few days and let her explain it all to you. Thanks so much, Sarvi!
Why to Preserve Your Pattern
Like a lot of us, I “grew up” as a sewist with Oliver + S patterns. I remember my first pattern with the paper doll vividly, so I have a sentimental attachment to my patterns. Some folks are natural-born archivists who want to keep their patterns in good condition for their own re-use or maybe even hand them down to the child wearing the clothes now, who will, after all be old enough to sew one day.
If the intended wearer measures between sizes (for example, a size 3 at the chest but needing a 5 in length or differently-sized twins) you might find it easier to try out adjustments on a copy, rather than the original. And perhaps most practically, you might want to make the same garment in more than one size as your child grows. Many of the pattern pieces are nested, with the smaller sizes tucked inside the largest piece, but some are stacked and fanned, and for these pieces it will be inconvenient to try to cut out one size while preserving the usability of the others.
Tools for the Job
There are a variety of substrates (like freezer paper, Swedish tracing paper, and interfacing) that can be marked with a variety of tools (pencils, chalk, transfer paper). You have a lot of freedom in combining tools and techniques to find what best suits both your project and your personal preferences.
Coming up over the next three days, I’ll walk you through some of the most popular combinations.
Updated: here are the links to all of Sarvi’s posts.
- How to preserve a pattern: freezer paper
- How to preserve a pattern: Swedish tracing paper
- How to preserve a pattern: carbon tracing paper