As someone who traces out EVERY pattern that they use, I am always interested in learning about different products and techniques that will make my life easier when doing so.
A few weeks ago, I was approached by Patterntrace who asked if I might be interested in testing out some of their Swedish Tracing Paper in return for writing an honest blog post with my thoughts. I absolutely jumped at the chance of course, and after testing it out for the last few weeks, using it on 4 or 5 sewing projects so far, I think I am ready to share my thoughts with you.
Your Patterntrace tracing paper comes to you on a 10 metre roll – long enough to last you for several projects. This roll is lovely and wide at 1 metre, so it easily fitted all my pattern pieces on nicely. I was interested to see what it felt like, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it feels and looks a little like very lightweight interfacing (but more see-through). It’s made from plant fibres therefore giving it a greater level of strength than paper, and this also means that it is compostable too. It will tear – but you need to try quite hard to make it do so – and this is such a bonus, as paper pattern pieces can take quite a beating what with pinning, cutting, marking and folding.
Before using it to trace out my patterns, I find that it is best to give the original pattern pieces a good press. Skip this step and you will find that wrinkles in your pattern will distort your tracing lines and give you an inaccurate traced pattern piece.
I was absolutely thrilled when I lay the tracing paper over the pattern. Look how easy it is to see what you are tracing!
When tracing my patterns, I usually just grab the nearest biro for transferring my markings. But during sewing I am also likely to use other tools for marking. Below you can see how easy the Swedish tracing paper is to use with
- Frixion pen
- Chaco chalk liner pen
- Regular biro
- Water erasable fabric pen
- tailor’s chalk
What is also really clever is that because it is fibrous, you can also sew it together therefore using it to make 3d shapes, toiles or accurately help with fitting issues. Just machine sew through it as you would with any fabric!
Something else that I really liked was that when you unroll it to use it, it lays lovely and flat on the table. You can imagine that a regular roll of paper would not behave itself like this and just curl up. Just a small thing, but so helpful!
I always keep my leftover scraps/offcuts of tracing paper too, do you? Often they can be used again on other projects for small tracings like neck facings, cuffs or pockets, or they can be taped together to be used for slightly larger pieces. Just to let you know that it tapes together really well without any slipping and holds it perfectly. So don’t throw the small leftover pieces away, you can use it all!
I was also keen to see how little space it would take up when it was folded for storage – and also how it would look when it was then opened out again. Would it crease? Could the creases be ironed out? The good news is that it folds up nice and flat ( rather like the tissue paper that you find in the big 4 pattern envelopes), and it will iron out on a cool iron setting so that it is super easy to use again. To put this to the test I cut a rough square of Patterntrace tracing paper, screwed it up as tightly as I could, and then flattened it out by hand and ironed it. As you can see from the pics below – the final pic after ironing is almost as good as new!
After I finished with this particular pattern, I folded it all up, gently ironed it flat and it fitted into the pattern envelope (with the original pattern and instructions) easily. What a bonus!
I shudder to show you the chaos that is my current pattern tracing storage situation, but brace yourselves, that is exactly what I am going to do! Below is the how I store my current pattern tracings. There’s lots of them, I know. Told you I traced everything! So these tracings are using 90gsm tracing paper. It’s much thicker and stiffer, and whilst it’s fine to trace through, it does tear easily, it’s bulky to store as you can see, and you cannot really fold it. This is definitely a situation that could be avoided if I were using Swedish tracing paper.
If you think that this might be something that you would like to try, I am delighted to share with you a 10% discount code. The code is sewdainty and you are able to use this for anything on the Patterntrace website (not just tracing paper), and just so as you know, there is free postage on orders over £10 within the UK too!
There are all sorts of sewing goodies on their website, ranging from sewing workbooks and notepads, to fun clothing labels and pin badges. Do take a look, and if you’re not quite ready to splash out on a full roll of the tracing paper and would like to try it out first, why not add a generously sized sample to your order (at only 50p) and you can see what it’s like for yourself.
Thank you so much to Patterntrace for sending me this roll to test out. It’s safe to say that I am very impressed by it and can certainly see what all the fuss is about. It’s been a real pleasure to use and although I have used it on several projects already, I have so much left on the roll it will last me for quite a while yet!
Take care, and I’ll be back soon,