Pattern Making Paper

Ever wonder what sewists use when tracing patterns or when they actually make patterns, whether it’s their own or a final copy of a favorite? We searched our membership and came up with these suggestions. Looks like there’s more choices out there than anyone knew! If you have another paper that you find works well for you, let us know.

Prices quoted below were available online as of 1/16/2023.

ALVIN 55W-F Lightweight Tracing Paper Roll

Suitable with ink, charcoal, felt tip pen, for sketching or detailing.

Amazon has a 36″ wide, 20 yard long roll for $26.37 ($0.44 per ft.)

Wawak Dotted Marking #15 pattern paper

Dotted marking paper features gridded dots for accurate pattern making. It is durable enough to reuse on your favorite patterns. The #15 dotted pattern paper has numbers and letters in 1″ increments. Available in a variety of sizes from 12″ to 36″.

Amazon has a 45″ wide, 10 yard roll for $19.00 ($0.63 per ft.).

Bee Paper White Sketch and Trace Roll

This paper is easy to see through but it doesn’t tear when erasing. Accepts media without bleed allowing the artist to create both detailed and rough sketches. Fantastic when used as tracing paper for tailoring. Suitable for pencils, ink and felt tip pens.

Amazon has a 24″ by 50 yard roll for $26.99 ($0.18 per ft.).

CAD Paper Rolls

Bright, coated paper designed for wide-format ink printing.

36″ x 150′ roll available from Amazon for $29.99 ($0.20 per ft.).

Pacon Rainbow Duo-Finish Kraft Paper Roll

One side is smooth and ideal for felt pen, finger painting and fineline drawing. One “toothy” side handles chalk, tempera, watercolor and acrylic paints. Acid free. Recyclable.

Prices vary widely by source, color and length of the roll. For example, on Office Depot’s website a 100′ roll of sky blue is $29.49 ($0.29 per ft.) and a 1000′ roll of the same color is $88.19 ($0.09 per ft.). Both rolls are 36″ wide. The 100′ rolls vary in price by color from $29.45 to $36.99.

Poster Board

Poster boards are a great media for final patterns that you want to keep. They are flat and you can buy them in small quantities if you want. I have always used white posters because they are the cheapest, but Debby Bowles likes to use a different color for each set of patterns.

Amazon has Pacon 4-Ply Railroad Board, White, 28″ x 22″, 25 Sheets for $12.29 ($0.27 per ft.) but they are available at Walmart, Office Depot, any dollar store and many other sources. Colored posters may be a little higher.

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3 thoughts on “Pattern Making Paper”

  1. I really like to work with the tracing vellum I get through sure fit designs. It’s sturdy enough it doesn’t tear easily, but you can really see through it well. It also erases well when I need to change the line.

  2. I use something similar to the Alvin tracing paper, but it’s yellow in color. This keeps it from getting lost on white PDF pattern print outs as easily. It’s easy to draw on but also very translucent and a bit more durable that normal pattern paper, great stuff! In the engineering world, we call it “butter paper.” It doesn’t get used a lot anymore, but can come in really handy for trying out ideas without having to send a new set of plans to the plotter. 🙂

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