Our A&A's designing works allows us to test all fabric tracing patterns methods.

But what are the tools used and what are they for? We will attempt to answer these questions in detail.

In sewing, drawing on fabric is a must for
1/ Report outline of your pattern and mark the seam lines
2/ Draw seam allowances which also correspond to the cut lines of your fabric
3/ Transpose the seam lines on the other fabric layers

Pencil, marker and chalk to draw on the fabric
What are the tools to draw on fabric?The fabric tracing is very important to mark the values seams and your pattern outline on your fabric and the sleeve marks, etc... There are many tools which can have a different use depending on the medium and the desired accuracy.

- The chalk: The most widespread drawing tool, the tailor chalk, available in several colors allows to produce moderately coarse lines on different colors fabrics at lower cost, available on a-et-a.com in 3 colors set: white, red and yellow. The chalk must be trimmed regularly to stay quite fine and accurate, it requires so a chalk sharpener (here blue).
- The chalk roulette: is generally used for wool but requests that the seam is carried out in the aftermath because the powder disappears quickly. Its layout is thinner than traditional chalk.
- The pencil: more accurate than chalk, pencil needs to be purchased in several colors to match different fabric colors. It too must be trimmed regularly with a pencil sharpener to gain accuracy.
- The mechanical pencil: may exist with more or less thick leads, the more accurate is the 0.9 mm mechanical pencil allowing, unlike chalk or pencil, a thin and precise line. It is ideal for drawing, there are some with thick chalk (here in red), white (here in purple, from Prym)or with pink, white and blue chalk refill (here in red and metal). The eraser can erase the lines directly, if not, as for chalk and pencil, the line goes in the wash.
- The fineliner: the fabric fineliner can have different thicknesses, those presented come from Clover, they have the advantage of a clear blue light marking but well visible which readily disappears with water.
- Lines marker : allows you to draw with a fabric that clearly marks the fold as wild silk. Is used for instance when you can not make pencil line because the fabric is clear or transparent (see our Clover model here).

roulettes pour tracage tissu

Once the drawing done, it is important to copy the seam lines on the other fabric layers. You then use the famous roulette, carbon paper and a cutting board to avoid damaging your table.

Transposing seam lines with roulette

To transpose your sewing lines, you only need a cutting board, some carbon paper contrasting over your fabric and place over your fabric cut pieces to be transposed. You then draw your pattern layout with the roulette which will transpose the corresponding dots on the other fabric sheet through carbon paper.

We have several tools choices for this:

- Classic roulette : Vintage wooden fabric roulette. Handy roulette with a nice beech handle.
- The ergonomic roulette: Very nice because this roulette fits snugly to the hand. This is the roulette that we normally use in our design department.
- The double roulette: it is used with another method which consists in tracing first time the pattern outline along the seam allowance and then trace by hand, on the other side, the pattern outline.
- The carbon paper: essential to copy your pattern outline, the carbon paper is available in several large sheets of different colors (here 3 sheets 54 x 42 cm in red, white and blue). This copying paper allow to copy many outlines and can be used very long.
- The cutting board: thick media to protect your table, the cutting board allows all types of work: copying lines with roulette, cutting with rotary cutter, etc... Available in 2 sizes in a-et-a.com here.

Japanese rule and sewing patchwork

- The 50 cm sewing Japanese rule: essential element for all designers who respect themselves;). This 50 cm Japanese rule can easily transpose seam allowances on your fabric thanks to its in cm horizontal and vertical scales. Our Clover rule has even a 1.5 cm green contrast part corresponding to the seam allowance commonly used. Japanese rule is also essential for all pattern designings.
- The rectangular rule: very convenient for drawing parallel lines on the fabric because it maintains the fabric due to its large area, it also prevents the fabric from moving when drawing. It can also be very useful for rectangles paths and throught the fabric bias, it is ideal for patchwork work.

And you, what tracing tools do you use in sewing?