Trace a Pattern materials and helpful hints

Gather your Materials

  • your personal measurement chart
  • pattern sheet for the garment you want to make
  • Pellon 830 pattern ease,¬†Swedish Tracing Paper, butcher paper roll, medical paper roll, or sheets of printer paper taped together
  • a good pencil
  • quilting ruler or straight edge of some kind
  • Scissors or rotary cutter for paper
  • Low-tack tape or heavy pattern weights
  • optional: curved patternmaking rulers
Supplies for tracing

Trace the size(s) you need with your finger

Before you lay your tracing paper over a pattern template, go over the size (or sizes, if your measurements fall between sizes) with your finger. This will fix the shape in your mind and make it easier to track through the paper.

Follow the size lines with your finger before starting

Lay your paper on the template

Tape your pattern sheet to a flat surface. If you're tracing a pattern piece that's cut on the fold, place a folded piece of tracing paper aligned w/ the fold line. This way, you will end up w/ a full-sized pattern piece that can help save fabric while you're cutting, and prevent print placement problems, when using printed fabric. (You can always fold the piece to cut on folded fabric if you prefer!)

Folded tracing paper, placed on the fold

Capture every marking for your size.

Darts are easier to trace if you start with the point, and then connect the legs.

Marking darts: start w/ the end point.
Connect the legs
Finish each dart leg by tracing all the way to the edge

Cut your traced pattern piece while it's still folded

Use scissors or a rotary cutter

Trace markings through to the other side before opening out the folded pattern piece.

Transferring markings

Open the pattern piece and use it to start making your dress!

Finished pattern includes notches, darts, grain line, and cut information
Created By
Karen LePage


Photos and tutorial by Karen LePage

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