Cheap trace and nifty templates

For those of you who painstakingly trace Burda Style patterns from the magazines or for those of you who lovingly trace their vintage or modern patterns to avoid damaging the originals I think I have found a great solution…

Rymans tissue paper roll

It goes under the name of Bleached White Acid Free Tissue Paper and comes in a roll of 25 sheets each measuring 500mm x 750mm and Rymans sell this stuff for £4.99! Though it doesn’t appear to be available online yet, unfortunately.

Up until recently I have been using Burda tracing paper which I have been getting from Jaycotts online, where I get quite a lot of my supplies. It is great stuff and good quality but each pack contains only 5 sheets, size 110 x 150cm for £2.54.

Much like the Burda trace, the Rymans tissue is coated/shiny on one side and matt on the reverse and if you iron it (on a cool setting) much like pattern tissue, it has enough static cling to keep it in position as you trace. But the quality is not as good, it has to be said and tears much more readily. No more so than regular pattern tissue so its no biggie as far as I’m concerned.

Asides from tracing patterns, and adjusting patterns, I also use it to trace templates for my quilt blocks using a trick I learned as a kid:

How to trace and create cardboard templates

If you don’t have a photocopier at the ready, this is a quick and quite satisfying alternative to making templates with readily available materials.

With the original image underneath, place the tissue paper on top, shiny side up, and trace over the lines using a ruler and a softish pencil, like a grade B. I have used an HB pencil and it works but the results are lighter.

traced templates

Turn the tracing over so it is face down on some card and being careful to hold it in place, rub over the back of the lines with the same pencil, applying even pressure, and the image will transfer onto the card.

rub on reverse

transferred image

You may need to go over the lines again – using a ruler and pencil – if they are too light, before you cut them out.

Incidentally I cut out and save the fronts and back panels of cereal boxes so I always have a stash of card for this and many of the children’s crafting projects.

cereal box card

Make sure you label the templates and store them safely so they are readily available whenever you need them in the future.

card templates

And I imagine I will be using them again and again… and again, for my quilt…. 80 times over in fact… but I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that!


10 thoughts on “Cheap trace and nifty templates

  1. Good on you! I think I left my workplace with the impression I”m a bit mad by falling upn a pile of old eastlite folders, cutting the covers off them and taking the heavy card away. TO them they mean “Rubbish” but to me they say, “Bag bottoms!!” among other things!
    I use manila brown paper for patterns – it is super cheap, like me, it holds its shape, and you can write all over it. But then it has been so hard to get specialty supplies here (ahem, although a certain new shop in town is doing its best to source stuff!) and I am so OLD and live in the antipodes where anything useful has only recently become available, so I’m used to making do. I quite fancy tissue patterns!

    • Oooh now theres an idea… folder card! They are always chucking those out at work. Not that I have ever made a bag yet, strangely enough. But I will bear this in mind for when I do! Thanks MrsC!

  2. I’m sure it probably comes as no surprise to you (LOL) that I am one of those OCD people who trace everything… even on modern, readily available patterns, partly to preserve the integrity of the sizing gradations, and partly because I do lots of hacking and slashing on my pattern pieces so I’d hate to ruin a pattern during my experimentation process LOL. At first I felt it to be a bit tedious but now I’ve come to love this drafting process 🙂 I trace the original lines and markings in regular pencil, and then I keep several other coloured pencils on hand for marking alterations and gradations, so I can clearly see where I’ve made adjustments. I also mark on each pattern piece the original size cut and what adjustments I’ve done.

    I keep a large roll of artist’s tracing paper on hand; being a fine artist, this is what came to mind immediately when I began sewing again – it’s thicker than pattern tissue, it’s wide and you can control the length of the pieces you cut, for those larger pattern pieces like pants and longer dresses. The roll is 36″ by 20 yards and is about $30, so it is a very good value. I also keep a roll of scraps I cut off from bigger pieces, to put behind my pieces when doing slash & spread, so I waste very little of it 🙂 Of course, the other bonus is that when I’m doing fine art projects I always have it on hand for overlays and presentation drawings too ^__^

    • Thank you for popping by to comment. My mum taught me when I was young but I really caught the sewing bug a year or sew ago. It appears to be some sort of addiction now!!

  3. Hmmm coloured pencils and acid free tissue paper – a couple of good ideas there, which I’ll look into. I’m planning some sewing projects that will require pattern alteration and am getting my supplies together. Thanks for the tips.

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