How to… trace a pattern without cutting it

I didn’t want to cut this Cynthia Rowley tunic pattern because I wanted the other size options, perhaps for other ladies in my life. With only five pieces, two of them bias strips, I thought I could do it.

The straight lines were easy enough to mark and connect with a yardstick. But the underarm curves on the dolman sleeves, the neck? I don’t really trace with chalk, and drawing through the pattern lines with marker threatened to weaken them.

Time to start engineering. I weighted the pattern on my kitchen floor, using cans and jars. Started tracing the lines.

pattern weighed down

When I got to the curves, I started gently peeling the pattern back, slowly, a bit at a time, and then making a marker dot on the fabric at the pattern line.

pattern how to: start folding, dotting

Fold back a touch more, make another dot.

pattern how to: keep folding pattern back, dotting

As the underarm curved more, I dotted more frequently.

pattern how to: make dots closer on the curves

pattern how to: see the curve

When all the pattern was folded back, and the curve was visible on the pattern, the work was done.

pattern how to: finished dots

Voila, a curve good enough to cut confidently.

  1. March 21st, 2010

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