Tracing Paper Troubles

tracing1I had to take a break from making my wallet because the pattern has oodles of fold lines and guide dots that needs to be marked on the fabric. When I was doing redwork, I used a makeshift light-box to trace the designs on my fabric. That method won’t work with my printed fabric. I decided to use tracing paper to make sure I get the placement guides and fold lines in the right spots.

I have a pack of tracing paper that I bought about 1985. I used tracing paper a lot in them days. I sewed constantly back then making toys and clothes. I went to my old sewing box and got out my old tracing paper and my tracing wheels. I lined the tracing paper in the fabric and pattern. And began to trace a test spot… imagine my surprise when no line was on my fabric. I tried a dark color and again no marks.
Well, horse-feathers I reckon that after 3 decades my old tracing paper doesn’t work anymore. Imagine that? :/

Time to go shopping:
I went to 2 different department stores: they had fabric, patterns, pins, scissors, buttons and many other notions, but not nary a bit of tracing paper. ~bummer~

I know that sewing is a fairly big industry since so many folks are running home businesses selling homesewn bags, clothes, accessories, etc… A lot of patterns have fold lines and guides that needs to be marked or traced.  I think tracing paper is best for that task. I went online and nosed around to see what the sewers are using now-a-days. Well, I discovered that the favorite suggestions was to either use a long baste stitch along the pattern guides or take a sheet of paper and heavily scribble/color on it making it tracing paper; they did warn that it was awfully hard to remove the traced color lines from your fabric.
Um, nope… I don’t want to fight with removing color marks from my fabric. If the color lines won’t come off, the newly sewn project would be odd looking.
*I’ve always used a baste stitch for darts. However, I choose not to use basting stitches for marking oodles of fold lines and guides.

tracing2I shopped online and ordered some tracing paper. I had to wait for a few days for it to arrive.  Of course when I have to wait, I get sidetracked with other projects. Finally, the tracing paper arrived, but I haven’t used it yet.  At least it’s on hand whenever I need it. Hopefully, I’ll have an updated sewing post on my wallet soon.

Do you use tracing paper or something else for guides, fold lines or darts on patterns, when you sew?

Do you have problems finding supplies for your crafts and creations in your area or do you have to order them online like me?

Wishing you all much success in your creative projects.

*Just an added note here:
I haven’t finished my redwork project. I stopped working on it in early 2014. I put it away until I’m ready to work on it again. I hope to get back to it and finish it someday.


16 thoughts on “Tracing Paper Troubles

  1. I haven’t thought about tracing paper in YEARS! So many of our fabric stores are going out of business. I guess those who still sew have to resort to what you did and order online. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I was in high school I sewed a lot of clothes. I remember using a blue pencil for marking. Our fabric stores closed. Now we have “craft” stores with one little area for sewing supplies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Laura
      We have a craft store but it’s usually closed at the times we shop, plus it’s prices are usually quite high. It’s quite frustrating sometimes.
      In my opinion, the lack of fabric & craft supplies offered in stores is a sad loss to our heritage.


  3. Hancock Fabrics stores recently closed in our area. All we have left is Jo-Ann. I don’t know if the art supply stores carry tracing paper. I think I may have seen some there, but not sure if it was for fabric. I didn’t know tracing paper would lose it’s marking ability.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Patti
      I always wanted to go to a Hancock Fabrics Store, my BFF used to shop at one and she would tell of the wonderful fabrics, patterns and notions they offered. It’s a shame the one near you closed.
      I buy at lot of stuff from Jo-Ann’s online. I would love to visit their actual store, but unfortunately there isn’t one any where near us. I bet it’d be like a buffet for my old hungry crafting heart. lol
      It’s possible not all tracing paper goes bad. I’ve dragged mine around through a half dozen moves and even though it’s been safe in my sewing box, it’s be subject to varying temperatures. I figure that may have had something to do with it.

      Liked by 1 person

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