Sewing with Swedish tracing paper

My mother has ordered a dress from me. She gave me her measurements and we selected a pattern (New Look 6340 – an easy one to start with) and even fabric. Now we did all this via email because we don’t live in the same country. That means nipping over for a cuppa and some fitting won’t be possible. Of course, my mum’s measurements don’t match the sizing on the pattern. Do they ever? We think we’ve chosen a dress that’s fairly forgiving should you have the odd centimetre more on your body and I did measure the flat pattern pieces but I’d feel better if she could try on a toile before I mess around with the lovely fabric we bought for the project.

I’m making view D.

At first I was going to send her a toile made with calico but I quickly realised that it would have cost me a fortune to send 2 m of calico abroad. I am not sure where I got the idea to buy Swedish tracing paper from in the end but it’s great for this purpose. I got mine from Barnyarns. It’s much lighter than most fabrics and a pleasure to cut. Because it’s paper you can also make all sorts of markings on it. It’s a bit stiffer than fabric so setting in the sleeves was tricky but the rest of the dress was quickly assembled (it is a rather basic cut, mind).

Sewing with Swedish tracing paper
Sewing with Swedish tracing paper

Obviously, being paper, it isn’t exactly drapey so the end result looks more like a tent than a dress. I really hope it won’t look like this in the actual fabric we chose.

T for toile - not tent!
T for toile – not tent!

As you can see I didn’t bother with the second sleeve. I don’t know if you’ve tried but I found it impossible to ease the paper into the arm hole without creating lots of crinkles. But the whole purpose of this was to see if it will fit my mother. Looking at this picture I am pretty sure she’ll have ample room to maneuver in this. I’ll let you know how it goes! In the meantime, if you have any tips for dealing with Swedish tracing paper or genius purpose ideas for it, do share.

Thanks for reading!



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