HOW TO TRACE A PATTERN TO FELT

Would you like to sew a colourful, fun felt toy or a beautiful felt ornament or accessory? You’ve already got the right sewing pattern and some quality wool felt, but you’re not sure how to trace the pattern to felt? No worries – I’ll show you how!

There are more ways of transferring a pattern to felt. Some people like to cut out the paper pattern pieces roughly first, leaving some extra space around the cutting line, then pinning it to the felt sheet and cut the pattern piece along the solid line out of both layers at the same time.

 

I CHOOSE THIS TECHNIQUE

Another technique is tracing (drawing the outline of) the pattern pieces to the felt sheet.

Some sewers do it using a regular drawing pencil, writing pen or permanent marker, but if you don’t want any ink to remain on the felt, use a tailor’s chalk, a bar of soap or an erasable marking pen – just like I do!

There are water-soluble, air-soluble and heat erasable marking pens.

I usually choose the air-soluble one because its ink vanishes after a few seconds, minutes, hours or days – depending on the type and colour of the material I’m working with.

 

HOW I DO IT

This is how I trace a pattern to felt:

  • First, I cut out the paper pattern piece (with my paper cutting scissors) as neatly as I can. 

TIP: It’s advisable to print the pattern pieces on card or if it’s not good for your printer, just print them on average copy paper then glue them on card before cutting.

  • I place my pattern piece on my felt sheet. Since felt doesn’t have a right and a wrong side, it doesn’t matter on which side you’re tracing, however, it’s advisable to position the pattern piece in a space-saving way (so not in the middle of the felt sheet). 

  • I’m trying to keep the paper pattern piece in place with my fingers while I’m drawing around the outline of it.

  • I cut out my felt pattern piece along the drawn solid line with my fabric-cutting scissors!

Voilá, I’m finished!

NOTE: If the pattern instruction says cut 2 of a certain piece (e.g. left and right or front and back), I position and trace it to my felt sheet facing up AND down as well.

 

WHAT COLOUR IS AN ERASABLE MARKING PEN?

I have erasable marking pens in two colours: a purple one for light coloured felt and a white one for dark felt. 

Naturally, these pens can also be used on most types of fabric.

 

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR THE INK TO DISAPPEAR?

The ink of the air-soluble pen is supposed to disappear within a few seconds/minutes/hours/days – depending on the colour and type of the material you’re working with. However, I’ll show you a little trick on how to speed up the vanishing process of the ink in my next blog post. 😉

You can easily remove the markings of the water-soluble pen with water, damp cloth or sponge.

The ink of the heat-soluble pen disappears when heat is applied to it, but therefore I DON’T recommend it for wool felt as heat shrinks it!

 

Give a try to the tracing technique I use and see how you like it. You can find sewing patterns to use HERE and HERE.

The pattern piece used in this photo tutorial is part of my Speedy the Strolling Snail finger puppet PDF sewing pattern, which you can get as a free thank-you gift for your newsletter subscription! Find all details HERE.

 

Happy sewing!

Best,

Andrea

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