Vintage Sewing

Pattern paper advice please

December 1, 2011

Hi everyone,

I am having a hard time finding a good pattern making paper on a roll.  Amazon does not seem to have anything quite right and art supply stores seem to have paper that’s too heavy weight for pattern making. Can someone – anyone – give me some suggestions of where I can buy pattern making paper (it doesn’t have to have dots). Thank you!


  1. I use greaseproof paper usually used for baking. Its transparent enough to trace through yet sturdy enough not to rip at slightest touch.
    I got mine from 99p shop so it was cost effective.

  2. i would try again at a local art store–although i am not sure where you are. here in the US (in NYC) i buy paper on a roll from u-trect. it’s slightly translucent and a little heavier than tracing paper, and it is perfect for pattern work.

  3. I just went through the same thing! I was really surprised that Amazon didn’t have anything suitable; they are my go to source for so much.

    I finally found this at Mood

    and it appears perfect. At $30 a bolt, the pricing isn’t bad, either. Since I don’t need it just yet I was waiting to see if they have a coupon soon, though.
    Good luck!

  4. I currently use parchment paper but I know that Casey from Elegant Musings uses medical paper (the kind they use to cover the chair/platform thingie in doctors’ offices.) It’s thin, but relatively sturdy, on rolls, and is usually bought in bulk. 🙂

  5. i use parchment paper too… and when i run out of that and am in a bind, i have a giant pad of newsprint paper left over from my drawing classes in collage! it works alright, but it is a bit thing and flimsy…

  6. I am also among the cheap who buy parchment paper from the grocery store to use as pattern-tracing paper. It’s cheap, it works well, and you can easily glue it together if you need wider. It’s also easy to get and I never have to pay shipping for it or go out of my way to buy it.

  7. I previously bought pattern papers here. Not sure where you are located, but they are in Los Angeles and I went to pick them up so I wouldn’t have to pay shipping.
    Since I ran out I’ve just been using a roll of 36″ wide kraft paper I got from my dad. Not sure where he ordered it initially, though.

  8. I like brown “butcher” paper. I find 30 feet long yard wide tubes of it in craft stores like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby.

    1. I like Swedish Interfacing as well that I bought on Amazon for all the same reasons that Melizza listed. Because it is pricey I only use it once I am happy with the pattern, after alterations etc., and want to keep that for future use. It stores much better that the tracing paper, in my opinion, as it responds to the iron better as opposed to the paper that crinkles and distorts under the iron.. I use some drafting/tracing paper I bought at Aaron Bros. (on a roll) to alter and make the initial draft then trace it out onto Swedish. Reynolds makes something called “Freezer Paper” it comes in large rolls in a box lik aluminum foil. I have seen it at the grocery store as well as some craft stores and it works pretty well but I’m not sure if it can be ironed.

  9. Up until I ran out I used a roll of tracing paper from a drafting class I took in college (architectural drafting for the stage, not pattern drafting), it was only a foot wide, but it was see-through, fairly sturdy and pretty cheap. It’s possible that it’s exactly the same as the tracing paper that C.B. mentioned.–vellum–and-more-tracing-paper-seth-cole-tracing-paper-rolls-white.html
    Looks like it’s available in 6″ increments from 12″wide to 36″wide on 50yard rolls.

  10. Free source- construction company plans. Now that so much has gone online/cds, there are fewer options, but even in my little construction company office we still have more than i could ever use if i moved every month, and had time to sew 24 hours a day. It’s solid white paper in 4′ lengths, about 3′ wide. Pros- free, usually plenty wide enough, and you can tape it together, doesn’t tear easily, and you can write all over it. Cons- not see thru, unless you have a window or light box handy, not usable for making a muslin.

    I am at an advantage here- i work for a construction company. If you don’t, or don’t know anyone who does, you can try calling a place that prints plans, they usually throw away gobs, and/or a larger company that supplies something- rebar, steel, plumbing, electricians, someone who would need paper plans. Make friends with the front desk/secretary/admin ass’t. They’ll be your best bet.

    (note- i’m not talking about blue lines, the blue/carbon plans that i’ve heard architects use- i’ve never been in an architects office, so i don’t know if they still use those or not)


  11. UK based – I bought dot and cross and pattern tracing paper from Morplan. Their site advertised the tracing paper as 45gsm, the roll that arrived (which is enormous) was 60gsm and it is really hard to trace through. It does come in same widths as fabrics up to 60″.

    After a discussion with another sewer who recommended it, I have this bookmarked for when (if) I run out of my current supplies:

  12. Another vote for (non-fusible) interfacing. I hate using patterns on paper because of how they wrinkle. I buy gobs of interfacing when it’s 50% off at JoAnns.

  13. Burda makes tracing pattern paper designed for their magazine patterns. I bought mine on EBAY from England. It’s the weight of commercial pattern paper, white, fairly strong, and just sheer enough to trace through. Ann Rowley, who posts on many sewing boards and blogs, is from Britian and uses this for her patterns.

  14. You can also use a roll of medical paper (the kind they put over the bench when you visit the doctors office). Its very inexpensive, easy to see through, and the width is good for most pattern pieces. Its a light weight paper, so if you want to save the pattern to use over and over it would need to be stableized.

  15. Ladies and fellow “sewists”, while taking a sewing class in Miami, FL at Miami-Dade College, some of us were able to find exactly the right kind of paper for tracing sewing patterns. It comes in 48″ and 60″ widths from in California. They carry numerous fashion industry supplies you will have difficulty finding anywhere else–and they are very nice. Also, free shipping–what a bonus!
    Good luck; this paper is marked with numbers and letters to keep you on track.

  16. I tried the website Bernie suggested and it went straight to some Asian writting then to a weird (did not stay and look to long ) site. I would suggest to skip it!

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