Pattern Paper Sewing: Forgotten Skill or Wasted Time?

When it comes to sewing, precision and accuracy are key. Whether you’re an experienced seamstress or a beginner, having the right tools and materials can make all the difference in the outcome of your project. One essential item that every sewing enthusiast should have in their arsenal is pattern paper. Pattern paper serves as the foundation for creating and transferring patterns onto fabric, allowing you to bring your design ideas to life. In this article, we will explore the world of pattern paper for sewing, its importance, and how it has revolutionized the way garments are made.

The Importance of Pattern Paper in Sewing

Pattern paper, also known as tracing paper for sewing or pattern makers paper, is a specialized type of paper that is used to create and trace sewing patterns. It is typically translucent, which allows you to see through it and accurately transfer the pattern onto fabric. Pattern paper is often gridded or dotted, making it easier to measure and mark precise points on the fabric.

One of the main advantages of using pattern paper is that it allows you to preserve the original pattern. Instead of cutting into the original pattern, you can trace it onto the pattern paper, making it reusable for future projects. This is particularly beneficial if you plan to make multiple garments using the same pattern.

Another key benefit of pattern paper is its durability. Unlike regular paper, pattern paper is thicker and more resistant to tearing. This means that you can handle and manipulate it without worrying about damaging the pattern. Additionally, the thickness of pattern paper makes it easier to pin onto fabric, ensuring that the pattern stays securely in place during the cutting and sewing process.

Choosing the Right Pattern Paper

When it comes to selecting pattern paper for sewing, there are a few factors to consider. First and foremost, you want to ensure that the paper is translucent enough for easy pattern transfer. Look for pattern paper specifically designed for sewing, as it will have the necessary transparency and durability.

Additionally, consider the grid or dot size on the pattern paper. This will depend on your personal preference and the complexity of the patterns you typically work with. A smaller grid or dot size allows for more precise measurements, while a larger size may be easier to work with for beginners or when dealing with larger pattern pieces.

It’s also worth noting that pattern paper is available in various widths and lengths. Choose a size that suits your needs and the types of garments you typically create. Having a wider paper roll can be advantageous when working with longer pattern pieces, such as dresses or coats.

Real-Life Examples of Pattern Paper in Action

To illustrate the importance and practicality of pattern paper in sewing, let’s explore a couple of real-life examples:

Example 1: The Custom Fit

Imagine you’re a fashion designer tasked with creating a custom-fit wedding gown for a client. The measurements and design details are crucial to ensure a perfect fit. Using pattern paper, you can meticulously trace the pattern pieces according to the client’s measurements, making any necessary adjustments along the way. The translucent nature of the pattern paper allows you to lay it directly on the client’s body during fittings, ensuring a precise and customized fit. The pattern can then be transferred onto the chosen fabric, and the sewing process can begin with confidence.

Example 2: The Reproducible Design

Let’s say you’re a pattern designer who has come up with a unique and trendy skirt design that you want to sell as a pattern book for sewing enthusiasts. By using pattern paper, you can create the master pattern and reproduce it multiple times without losing the original. You can then package the pattern book with the pattern paper included, allowing your customers to trace and cut out the pattern pieces easily. This way, your design can be enjoyed by many and replicated accurately.


Pattern paper is an indispensable tool in the world of sewing. Its ability to preserve patterns, facilitate accurate transfers, and enhance the overall sewing process makes it a must-have for any sewing enthusiast. Whether you’re a professional fashion designer or a hobbyist, investing in high-quality pattern paper will undoubtedly elevate your sewing projects. So, the next time you embark on a sewing adventure, don’t forget to grab your trusty pattern paper and let your creativity flow!