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Swedish Tracing Paper – my product review of Patterntrace.

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.

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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.

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I was absolutely thrilled when I lay the tracing paper over the pattern. Look how easy it is to see what you are tracing!

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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

  • pencil
  • Frixion pen
  • Chaco chalk liner pen
  • Regular biro
  • Water erasable fabric pen
  • tailor’s chalk

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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!

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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!

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This is the ‘before’

 

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This is hand flattened after screwing it up as tightly as I could.

 

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After ironing – 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!

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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.

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Don’t judge me..

 

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,

Kathy x

 

 

 

 

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My Favourite Sewing Machine Feet

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Just lately I’ve been adding to my collection of sewing machine feet. It’s becoming a little out of control – like my fabric and pattern stash!

However the satisfaction of reaching for the perfect foot to get you through a particular part of a sewing project is so great, I love them all – and of course have my eye on a few others, which I will no doubt write another blog post about in the future!

I wanted to write this post because I have purchased them all, over the last few months, from the same retailer. This is not a sponsored post, I have paid for them all myself and all views are my own, but I have been so impressed with the quality, price and service received that I wanted to share it with you.

The company I have purchased all of these from are Austin Sewing Machines. I have purchased them all via their eBay shop here, but their website is worth a browse – they have all your sewing machine needs covered!

Some of these feet are snap-on, and some are low shank screw-on. If you have a machine which will take snap-on feet, then I personally find these much more convenient. They are universal feet so will fit many different makes of machines. I have been more than impressed with all of them and have had no problems with the fit on my machine ( a Janome DC3050).

The first foot I purchased was the 1/4″ snap-on Quilting Patchwork Foot with edge guide. Just before Christmas I took on The Sewing Directory’s Simple Sampler Quilt A-long challenge, which I have written about here. When I first started, I was struggling to get a perfect 1/4″ seam allowance, and this foot was a lifesaver – it’s so clever, and gives a fantastic result every time. No quilter would be without this foot I’m sure!

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As I continued with the quilt a-long challenge mentioned above, I realised that I would need a Walking Foot in order to sandwich my quilt together and be able to stitch through the layers of fabric and wadding. So my next purchase was a low shank screw-on Walking Foot with guide. This is quite a scary looking piece of equipment, but so very satisfying to use. It has coped with all the thick layers of quilting that I have sewn with it perfectly, and I have also used it on slippery fabrics with great success too. A very handy part of my sewing machine kit now. I’m so glad that it comes with an adjustable guide, as this ensures my straight line quilting stitches are nice and parallel.

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My next little foot is a low shank screw-on 3mm Rolled Hem Foot. I purchased this as I was making a kaftan using a fine floaty fabric and wanted to neaten the hem with a teeny tiny hem. As it turned out the edges of the kaftan were faced so I didn’t need to use this foot on that project, but I do have a couple of other kaftan patterns that I plan to make this Summer which will allow me to make use of it then.

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This foot is obviously intended for using with very fine sheer fabric, but you get the idea …

Next, the narrow snap-on Zipper Foot. My machine does come with a zipper foot, but it can sometimes feel a little bulky, so I had been wanting a narrow foot for a while. I am so pleased with this one, it feels like you can get so much closer to the teeth of the zip now, I know this will be a very well used accessory.

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Finally, my last little beauty is the Adjustable Bias Binding Tape Clip-on Foot. After seeking advice from good old YouTube videos, it was easy to set up and after years of sewing on bias tape and it not being accurately stitched on the wrong side I am now delighted to have a fail safe tool that give me a perfect result every time! Expect lots more bias tape on my projects in the future because this is such a fun foot to use!

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Oh and by the way, if you didn’t see it, I have a tutorial on how to make your own continuous bias binding tape here.

My latest purchases were the bias tape foot and the zipper foot. When I bought these I didn’t notice that I had selected a clip-on for the bias foot and a low shank screw-on for the zipper foot. This isn’t a problem really, as both work on the machine fine, but I was really impressed to receive a phone call from Austin Sewing Machines as they were processing the order to check if this was a mistake and whether I would prefer them both to be either snap-on or screw-on. What amazing customer service – I was happy to accept their kind offer to change the order to both having the snap-on attachment, and was delighted when they both arrived a couple of days later – they are always quick to send your goodies.

In an attempt to try to organise my sewing room I was chuffed to find a little sectioned storage box from The Range which now is home to my growing collection of machine feet. This little box was only about £3 I think, and don’t think I haven’t noticed there’s room for lots more feet! Ha!

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What’s your favourite/most used foot?  I would love to hear your recommendations.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x