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pattern question from newbie

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    jhganis @jhganis

    Hi, sewing friends. I hope someone can help me. I just purchased the sandbox pants pattern. And…this is the first time I’m working from an actual store-bought pattern. (I have sewing quite a bit before, but with handmade patterns or patternless stuff.)

    My question is this — I want to use size 6 now, but I still want to be able to use the pattern for sizes 7 and 8 later. So I can’t cut the pattern pieces. Does this mean I need to go find some tracing paper or something, and trace each piece in the size I want now, preserving the entire pattern for later? If yes, what is this special paper called, if I want to buy it at a mundane shop like JoAnn.


    norasroom @norasroom

    Hi, and welcome. You’re absolutely right that you can’t cut the pattern pieces if you plan to re-use the pattern. What you want is Pellon Easy Pattern, and you’ll find it on a bolt at JoAnn where they keep the interfacings. In fact, I use my 50% off coupons to buy it by the bolt. It’s translucent, but thicker and sturdier than tracing paper. I give the whole sheet of pattern paper a quick press with a warm dry iron, lay it flat on my cutting table, and then trace the pattern with a sharp pencil and cut it out with my rotary cutter.

    I know a lot of people kvetch about tracing patterns, but I really get into it, especially if the pattern is new to me. It helps me get all the pieces straight in my head and sort of picture how they go together.

    Hope this helps!

    Toyota888 @Toyota888

    Yes you’ll need to trace it – unfortunately I can’t help you with the exact paper name that sewing folks use – my husband is an architect so he brought me home some “detail paper” which is more flexible that genuine “tracing paper” (but these are staples of an architects office and may have different meanings elsewhere!). I would have thought anything light and see-through would do the trick though. I would have thought you could even stick together a whole lot of strips of baking paper if you have it lying around – maybe?

    sews4kla @sews4kla

    I use this tracing paper


    The roll lasts for a long time. Other ladies I’ve taken sewing classes with like to get their paper from local medical supply stores (same paper that doctors put on their examination tables). I haven’t tried this yet but if the price is cheaper then that would be my next stop. Hope that is helpful.

    It takes a little time to trace the pattern pieces off but the more you do it the faster you’ll get. Also, this keeps the master patterns in tack and makes for a better pattern collection in the future.

    jhganis @jhganis

    Thanks so much, masterful sewers. This info really helps. I’ll get that Pellon Easy Pattern at JoAnn with my next coupon and I will be off and sewing!

    Lizabeth @Lizabeth

    I actually use old manilla file folders. I tape the full pattern sheet to my sliding glass door so the light shines through it, then I hold up the file folder and trace away. you can tape the folders together edge to edge to create the length you need. I just traced off the size 4 pants this way 🙂

    I guess I like the folders better because they last longer and don’t tear as easily. using these though, means you can’t pin through them, so I use old heavy glasswear as pattern weights, place my quilting ruler along the pattern and rotary cut away. love it.

    MyBellaGirl @MyBellaGirl

    I have used Reynolds Freezer Paper in the past. Works really well and you can iron it on to the fabric so it stays put. When you are done, just pull it off- really easy!!

    Liesl Gibson

    Oh, that’s a great idea! I’ve never heard of freezer paper being used in this way, but it’s a great solution to pinning the pattern pieces down.

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