I’ve received several questions about what to use when tracing pattern pieces for repeated use (paper? tissue? interfacing?). My absolute favorite choice is Swedish Tracing Paper, which is washable, reusable interfacing (“paper” is a bit of a misnomer). You can even make your fitting toiles from this stuff, as it will stand up to sewing and seam ripping. I absolutely love it and use it for all my master patterns.

I get this from Birch Street Clothing, which sells it at a special discount (buy two rolls, get one roll free!) Click HERE to go directly to the product page.

24 comments on “Trace those master pattern pieces!”

  1. I would like to know more using this “paper.” Why do you need to trace the master pattern? Do you do it each time you make a dress? If I get an epattern, is it the correct size, or do I have to alter it? I’m new and like the patterns, but am not sure I know what to do.

    • Hi, Meredith! If you trace off your pattern pieces, then you don’t cut up the paper pattern, which means all the sizes are intact for any future projects you might wish to undertake in other sizes. šŸ™‚ I also have fitting tips that explain how to modify patterns to fit your unique shape. Once you know what you need to alter for your own silhouette, you can trace your master pieces to match. Using interfacing like the Swedish Tracing Paper makes it possible to experiment with the pieces (basting them together; even washing them!) before you cut into fabric. Hope this helps!

      • Yes, thank you, Jennie! I’ve just discovered this site and I’m excited to find so much information, which allows me to get going rather than being confused. I’m going to get some of this “paper.”

  2. But you also cut the tracing paper, and so need a great deal of it? Sorry to be so naive, but I’m new to sewing, and trying to figure out what I’ll need.

    • Hi, Martha! It depends on how many pattern pieces you plan to trace. šŸ˜‰ A ten-yard roll will last quite a long time unless you sew up a new pattern every week. I use the Swedish Tracing Paper to trace my “master” pieces after I have made and adjusted my bodice fitting toile. That gives me sturdy pattern pieces to use over and over again–and they don’t have to be pinned for cutting, as they naturally stick to the fabric. I love this stuff!

  3. Thanks, Jennie. I have to say, I stumbled onto your site after watching Pride & Prejudice (1995), and wanting patterns for some Regency gowns. Your name seemed SO familiar to me, and I couldn’t place from where, until I was browsing for a book one day on my shelves, and realized you co-authored the Passionate Housewives book! What a great read! Thank you for such an inspiring treatise on motherhood; it really put things in better perspective for me. God Bless you!

  4. Hi, just discovered your site via eBay. A comment on the tracing paper…..I have arms that are 2 sizes around larger than my body size. The paper has helped me trace out a sleeve that actually fits. It’s not fun to wear a gathered sleeve all the time, so this gives me lots of options. Love the patterns!

  5. Hello! I was wondering where I can buy muslin for a cheap price. I am making myself a dirndl. For the vest I have to have it fit perfectly, so I have to try it out in muslin before hand, and then use the perfect one as a pattern piece and lining.I’m going to need quite a bit of muslin, because I have bavarian silk dirndl fabric, and the bodice material is silk embroidered with gold thread.As you know, this isn’t cheap. So I’m wondering where I can get chap muslin, beacause in my area I can’t find a cheap one.

  6. I found a cheaper alternative to Swedish Tracing Paper.
    I bought a case of the paper that your doctor uses on his tables.
    It is cheap by the roll or by the case around $30..luckily I have a medical supply place locally.
    If you want to look for it, it is called Medical Exam Table Paper. It comes in smooth or crepe and about 18″w x 225’long, 12 in a case.

    • Hi, Cookie!

      The difference, though, is that you can sew Swedish Tracing paper, as it’s really more like interfacing. It can also be washed and re-sewn several times as you experiment with various pattern mockups. But if you just want to trace pieces onto paper, those long rolls do work!

  7. If anyone from Canada is looking for the tracing paper here, there is a good online store from BC called Stitch In The Ditch.
    Rolls are 29″ wide and 30 ft. long, She has it listed for 15.99 but it is on sale for 13.99 at this time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *