Thursday, July 30, 2009

How I transfer a pattern to my project:

I have tried many different methods for transferring a pattern to a project. The one method that works the best for me is to use carbon or graphite transfer paper and a stylus. Here is what I do:

I start with a pattern and my favorite tool - this little embossing stylus. I love this tool because it is as easy to use as a pencil. Each end has a steel ball tip. This strong steel tip allows you to get a precise even line while applying enough pressure to make a clean, easy to see transfer. I always use the end with the super small ball tip. I bought this embossing stylus at a craft and hobby store called Ben Franklin.

The transfer paper I usually use is called
graphite transfer paper. I buy it at Joann Fabrics. It is black and has a dull side and a shiny side. This graphite transfer paper works perfectly for transferring onto light colored fabrics. It leaves a very nice clear easy to see line. However - it is NOT removable from fabric. It leaves a permanent line. That hasn't been too much of a problem for me - I have made a few mistakes but was able to cover them up with creative stitching :)

If I am working on dark colored fabrics, I will use
this tracing paper that I also buy at Joann Fabrics. The marks are removable with a damp cloth.

Once I have my pattern ready to go, I cut a piece of the transfer paper about the same size as the pattern I am transferring, and lay it on my fabric. So the transfer paper is sandwiched (shiny side against the fabric, dull side against the pattern) between the fabric and the pattern. I usually put a few pieces of tape down to keep all the layers in place. Then I use the little embossing stylus to trace all the pattern lines. I always peek under the transfer paper when I am starting to make sure I am getting a good transfer. One time I traced an entire pattern with the transfer paper wrong side down so ended up with a blank piece of fabric :(

On this work-in-progress picture, you can see what a nice easy to see line the transfer paper left. It is very easy to stitch on those lines!

I know there are a so many ways to transfer patterns but this is the easiest most accurate way I have found.