02 February 2011

S&S Sew-Along: Tracing Tutorial

The first order of business is to get all participants the first S and S Sew-Along badge.
Just go to the HTML Image/Link generator and use this link for the image: 
And this link for the link:

In my zeal yesterday, I forgot a very important step: tracing! I was only reminded this morning when I went to MPB for the men's shirt sew-along update and saw Peter going through his own tracing how-to (I recommend reading his as well as my own).

This is my material/pattern for the MPB sew-along, in case you were wondering. The fabric is from Lorraine Fabrics, from their upper floor where everything is $1.99/yard. I'm pretty sure it is mostly cotton with a smidge of something stretchy. It has sort of a beachy feel to it, so if it is a little wrinkled it will look all right. I'm making the long sleeve version, with no pocket, as requested by Mr. WWNDW. What Would Ned Nickerson Wear?
Anyways, on to the tracing! It is important on old patterns and multi-size patterns to trace a copy for sewing purposes.
Materials Needed
-paper...I use medical paper (or "exam table paper", the stuff you sit on when you have your check-up at the doctor's office. It is just wide enough and you get a ton of it. Just make sure you use the not shiny side. Amazon (18"x 225'): $35.99
-pencil...not pen/marker! It may leak through the paper. I've ruined patterns this way.
-weights...I use stone coasters, rocks, anything heavy for this pattern because it is of heavy duty paper. If it is a vintage pattern I use my old coin collection.
 1. Lay out your pattern. Then roll out the tracing paper over it, smoothing as you go. Add weights as needed. Since this paper is so thick I didn't iron it and used the weights mostly on the creases.
2. Trace away! Mark everything that is on the original pattern. This means name, size, how many to cut, notches, arrows, the works :) I usually don't draw the seam allowance but I will make a note of it on the pattern if it is smaller/larger than 5/8" to remind myself. You can also write this on the cutting layout for a mini reminder.
3. Cut out around the pattern pieces you have traced, not on them! It is easier to cut away the excess while cutting your fabric as well, otherwise you may take extra off. Other than that, smile and have fun!


  1. That's very smart, I still have never traced a pattern!

  2. I bought a massive box of flat metal washers from Home Depot I use as weights, but an old coin collection sounds more charming.

  3. hard work with smile
    this is always well:)
    well done!

    pi Toronto

  4. Neat! A button!

    I cut my fabric out the other night for both garments (making a men's outfit for Mr. Fiance to go along with this), but there will probably be no post about it for a good two weeks. I have to catch up with all my other bloggy business.

    Also, nice tip on the medical paper. Wouldn't have thought of that.


Folks Serv