Wondering what is the best paper for pattern making?
Making or tracing patterns is a great way of expanding your wardrobe and sewing collections. It is a great way of preserving existing patterns and using your clothes to create new patterns.
The best paper for pattern making is usually a paper that is strong enough to be used over and over again but also often needed to be transparent to enable the user to trace a pattern underneath.
Pattern paper can be used for a number of things from home crafts to clothing and sewing patterns. It is a highly versatile tool and a great tool to have in the sewing room.
I use my roll of brown paper nearly every day for projects that I want to be able to recreate again and again.
What Is Pattern Paper?
Pattern Paper is paper that is used for creating patterns. It can be used for creating patterns from scratch or even tracing existing patterns to preserve the original pattern.
There are a number of more official pattern paper brands and brands that create a number of great sewing products like Hemline, Prym and more. Theses brands are great and often make great quality pattern papers but sometimes can be a little limited.
They don’t often have much length for patterns like dresses or trousers and aren’t see through and can be hard to use to trace an existing pattern.
Some of the more high quality pattern papers that are both fairly see through and sturdy can be quite expensive and harder to find on the market.
What To Look For In Pattern Paper Alternatives
There are so many alternatives you can use for pattern paper but not all papers and cards are right for what you are going to be using them for.
There are certain things you should be looking for in pattern paper which are listed below;
- The paper needs to be easy to pin and get a needle through – paper that is too hard to puncture or falls to pieces once pinned is no good as it will lose shape and not withstand time and use.
- Don’t use anything too thick – thick paper or card will be hard to work with for a pattern that will be used more than once. Thicker paper and card is great for creating a pattern block to use over and over again.
- The pattern paper needs to be durable – Paper that easily rips or isn’t too strong can jeopardise your pattern and it more than likely won’t last use after use.
- The paper needs to be flexible and easy to handle – The pattern paper needs to be able to be folded without causing damage or creating too many creases.
What Is The Best Paper For Pattern Making?
You may find other alternatives that are also suitable to use to create and trace patterns but these are my top picks to help you get started.
I have included Amazon links below each option if you wish to buy online. These are products I have used or use and recommend. These are affiliate links so if you do purchase any of these products I do get a small commission with no extra cost to yourself.
I do recommend going to feel and look at the paper options for yourself if you are unsure.
Brown Paper Roll
Brown paper roll or also known as packing or shipping paper. You can find this in a number of stores and online and is very affordable.
I love using this paper to create my own pattern pieces as it is easy to use, thick enough to withstand using over and over again along with a great base to draw on.
Due to the paper being paper and fairly easy to see pencil and pen marks on it is great for using to create sewing patterns.
It also folds fairly well and doesn’t tear as easily as natural pattern paper which is very flimsy and thin. Using brown paper is great as it doesn’t leave any marks or lasting oils on your fabric.
You can find this type of paper in post offices, in the shipping and packaging areas of the supermarket and stores and even online. I found a perfectly good roll I use in Ikea.
White Paper Roll
White paper rolls are easy to find in shops, supermarkets and speciality crafts stores. This paper is also popular for using with children for painting and drawing crafts as it is an ‘almost’ endless paper.
Buying a roll is great as it comes in a great size width and great for using to draft dress and trouser patterns as the roll creates great use of the length.
The paper much like brown paper is easy to fold, it doesn’t tear without clear force and it is easy to work with. The white paper roll is easy to make clear markings on for future use which is a great element in pattern paper.
You can find these in the arts and crafts aisles of the supermarket, craft stores and online.
Baking Paper/ Parchment Paper
This is probably one of the most popular pattern paper alternatives for people at home and using in craft rooms. I am part of a sewing group on Facebook which constantly recommend using baking paper to create patterns.
I love using baking/parchment paper to trace existing patterns as it is easy to see through, easy to use and is durable. It doesn’t rip well and folds well without creating big creases and is durable to use time and time again.
I personally wouldn’t use baking/parchment paper to draft my own patterns as I like the ability to use it for tracing but it can be a little harder to draw on due to the waxy finish.
Baking paper/ parchment paper is easy to find and pick up while you are doing your food shopping and will be near the foil and sandwich bags.
It isn’t always wide so it may require you to tape sections together but apart from that, it is a great pattern paper to have on hand.
Designers and craftspeople often use dotted paper to create accurate and intricate designs. This is also often the paper that is sold by brands such as Prym and Hemline in small packets.
This is also a great alternative to the more expensive alternatives. The dots help to create a great base and accurate measurements to create pattern pieces.
I have used this many times in the past and still use it when I can find it in stores. If you can find this in a roll it is great to use in your sewing room, if you find it in individual sheets you may find you need to tape sections together.
I hope you have found this guide useful and helpful in choosing a paper to create your own patterns. If you have your own pattern paper alternatives I would love to know what you use and how you find it.