ZJ Humbach

How to Make Patterns That You Can Reuse

ZJ Humbach
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Duration:   14  mins

No matter how long you’ve been sewing, most of us have a favorite sewing pattern or two. ZJ Humbach shows how to make a favorite pattern last longer by tracing it onto a pattern tracing material.


Most sewing patterns are printed on lightweight tissue paper and are purchased in a pattern sleeve or envelope. The multiple layers of paper have been folded numerous times and are fairly easy to tear when using or trying to refold. ZJ shows how tracing a pattern onto a different material can make it much easier to work with and allow it to last longer. The product ZJ uses is a pattern tracing material by the name of Do-Sew, though there are other brand names available. What is important to have when learning how to make patterns, is a material that has no direction. Do-Sew is a bonded polyester, which means that it has no grainline and will not stretch in any direction. This allows you to lay out pattern piece on it in any way you want in order to maximize tracing space.

Tips for Tracing

When showing how to make patterns out of Do-Sew, ZJ shares several tips. While many people often place what is being traced on top of a material, ZJ shows how placing the pattern piece under the polyester can actually work better. She also shares tips for how to keep everything lined up by using either pattern weights or pins.

Pattern Markings

Whether you are using the original pattern or are learning how to make patterns out of another material, it is important to know what all of the different pattern markings mean. ZJ shares what information needs to be transferred, including marks for aligning, sewing or making pattern alterations. Making a more permanent pattern out of a pattern tracing material is not only a great way to ensure your patterns last longer, but it is also good to use when learning how to alter sewing patterns. Changes can be made on the polyester pattern piece while still keeping the original unchanged.

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