Pattern making supplies, like pencils, paper, and tape are essential. They may seem obvious, but there's nothing worse than starting a draft and finding you don't have an eraser or tape!
And there are certain kinds of paper, pencils and tape that work better than others for making clothing patterns.
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Paper for making patterns can be as simple as brown craft paper or freezer paper.
Craft paper can be purchased almost anywhere (usually with school or shipping supplies).
It's cheap and readily available, but it can be difficult to see your pencil lines on the brown paper.
Freezer paper is much more expensive, but it's easier to see the lines you're drawing. It also has a coating that will lightly adhere to your fabric when ironed on, yet leaves no residue when you take the pattern off.
This can make cutting your fabric much easier, as you won't need pins or weights to hold the pattern in place. It's worth trying a trying a roll of freezer paper - you can often find it at the grocery store or at discount stores like Walmart.
I do NOT recommend using newspaper because you won’t be able to see the lines you’ve drawn, and the newsprint can stain your fabric when you cut.
Pencils – yes, this is as obvious as the paper. But you’ll need a LOT of pencils (and erasers!) for making patterns. A good #2HB works best. I’m not sure what the HB stands for, but these seem just a bit softer than the standard #2.
The downside is that they dull quickly, but the lines are dark enough to see clearly yet they also erase cleanly (and you’ll be doing a LOT of erasing!)
Tape – LOTS of tape! Ordinary, clear tape is fine. You’ll use it for making pattern corrections and to tape darts closed as you are checking for accuracy of the pieces.
I prefer the matte finish rather than shiny (light reflects off the shiny tape and can make it difficult to see marks or lines beneath the tape).
Don't buy the cheap stuff. I hate having the tape tear apart when I try to pull off a section. Use the better quality tape; it saves time and frustration!
If you’re really serious about making your own patterns, your final fitting pattern (called a block) should be on a heavy card-stock type of paper (like that sold for posters).
It will last a fairly long time and hold up to repeated tracing (which you’ll do!).
The "nice to have" tools: