How do I use Swedish Tracing Paper?

Posted by Freya Gilbert
on April 29, 2018

Swedish Tracing Paper (STP) is a new addition to our shop and we've had lots of questions on how to use it.  STP is very versatile and there are lots of ways to use it, from tracing off your flimsy tissue paper patterns so they last longer, to helping you get the perfect fit.

You might find tracing off patterns useful if you think you want to use the pattern again in another size, if you are using a vintage pattern and want to preserve it for future use or if your not confident which size you want to use.  

STP is a soft, semi transparent paper, ideal for copying dressmaking patterns.  It can be sewn through, allowing you to sew up your toile and make adjustments straight onto the pattern pieces.  

Swedish tracing paper can be marked easily with a standard pencil or pen, and works well chalk pencils too!  It's nice and translucent, so you can trace through it easily, allowing you to make a hard wearing master copy of your favourite patterns with ease.

The patterns you trace off with STP will last and last.  They can be folded, ironed, drawn on, sewn through and tried on.  I wouldn't use STP for every project (sitting firmly in camp 'cutting out my patterns'), but I have a couple of patterns I have made a dozen times, which are definitely worth preserving.  You can read more about preserving your patterns with STP on the Oliver+S blog

Other Tips-

  • You can cut through STP with your regular paper scissors, saving your good fabric scissors and keeping them sharp! 
  • Roghly cut out your pattern pieces with out cutting through any of the size lines and tape them down to avoid them shifting while tracing.
  • STP can be held down with washi tape or regular tape to stop it moving around.
  • Make sure you copy all the information on to your new pattern pieces- notches, darts and design/size and info about which pieces it is.
  • If sewing pattern pieces together, use a long stitch so it is easy to remove and doesn’t create too many perforations

While STP can be sewn through, it has quite a lot of body to it and very little drape.  If you're working on a very fitted garment, you might find it useful for toiling too, but if you need an accurate fit for most garments, you're likely to want to sew a regular toile from muslin or an old sheet too.

You can pick up a roll from the shop now, pop in and pick up a roll, or order from our online shop at




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