Tracing Paper for Transferring Patterns

The internet has made it possible to quickly and easily send out patterns in digital formats. So, how does a stitcher transfer the digital design onto a piece of fabric for stitching then? There are several possibilities for transferring paper printouts onto fabrics. This article will describe a method that uses tracing paper.

Materials needed:

  • Pattern printout – Important- The pattern should be the reverse of how you want it to look on the fabric. So make sure all lettering is mirrored!!
  • Tracing paper. Parchment paper works well. Any paper you can write with a pencil and see through easily is fine.
  • A pencil – Mechanical pencils are best. You really want to be able to make fairly thin lines
  • Tape
  • Fabric for embroidery

Step 1
Tape your paper printout onto a hard surface, then tape the tracing paper over it. With your pencil, go over all the lines of your pattern. Just erase and redraw any mistakes. Remove your papers from the table.

Step 2
Tape your fabric down. Then tape your transfer paper over the fabric so that the side with the writing is face down on the fabric. Be careful not to move the tracing paper around a lot because the pencil markings can leave smear marks on your fabric.

Step 3
Now with the pencil again, draw over the lines of your pattern. Press firmly, so the pencil markings are transferred to the fabric. If you wobble off the line, don’t worry, just draw it again. Markings will only transfer where your original lines are.

Remove the tape and there you are! Your design is now ready to stitch.

There are a few things to be careful of when you use this method. First, test the pencil on a scrap of your fabric. With some fabrics that are very “smooth” the pencil lines may smear a bit and can leave discolored areas. Secondly, make sure you use stitches that cover the entire pencil line, since pencil lead doesn’t always wash out of fabric. You may want to test how well the pencil markings wash out of your fabric on a little test sample too.

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