burda 07.2011.105 – on tracing

With a mountain of grading staring me down, and the end of two contracts, i’ve been throwing all caution to the wind and sewing – as I’ve hardly got any done in the last few weeks. I’m nearly done a little hoodie – destined to be one of my very favourite me-mades – from the Built by Wendy Sew U Home Stretch book – and I just traced and cut out top #105 from July’s Burda issue.


It was my first Burda magazine tracing experience, and I have to say… not so bad. It was *far* preferable to taping together printed pages from downloaded patterns!

This was surprising to me, as I generally don’t enjoy tracing patterns (though my risk averse nature prevents me from throwing caution to the wind and just cutting into the pattern tissue). When I first started sewing, I used tracing paper to transfer the markings to new tissue – but peering to discern the always soft lines was time-consuming and frustrating. Then I started laying tissue over my patterns, and traced over top – this went much quicker, but the markings were never quite precise. Now, I think I have a system down. I picked it up from the lovely book called “Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit” – all about rubbing off existing garments. (Now that I have a serger, I have a few knits I can’t wait to knock off!)

To trace, I pull out a big piece of foamboard, and a piece of plain flipchart paper, both available at any art supply shop. Then I simply place my pattern over top, with a few river stones as sewing weights, and trace the lines with a tracing wheel. The perforations beautifully transfer to the flipchart paper, and I can quickly connect the dots. So easy, so fast. Even adding those seam allowances – hardly as tedious as I thought.


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