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Guide to Pattern Transfer

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Here are a few ways to transfer a design onto fabric.

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Tracing paper.


NOTE: This method will transfer your design backwards on the fabric so if you want the design to be the way I have printed it you will either have to flip the drawing on your computer before you print it out or trace the design three times on the tracing paper.


Print out your design and place a piece of tracing paper over the it. Carefully trace the lines using a pencil then turn the tracing paper over and center it on top of the fabric, securing it with some tape if necessary. Retrace all of the lines heavily enough for your first pencil marks to transfer onto the fabric but not so heavy that they will smudge and be muddy. This will transfer the pattern backward.


If you want to transfer the design as I have printed it but have not flipped the drawing on your computer, trace the design on one side of the tracing paper then turn the paper over onto a scrap piece of paper and carefully go back over the lines with a pencil. Now turn the tracing paper over again and center it on the fabric, securing it with tape if necessary, and trace the lines a third time.

The easiest way to trace, or draw directly, onto fabric is to make the fabric as taut as you can by taping it onto a hard surface. As you do so be sure to keep the weave of the fabric straight otherwise your design will be distorted.


Carbon/Graphite Paper Transfer.


You can find this on Amazon and at art supply stores.


Be careful when you use this not to smudge the graphite onto the fabric.


Place your ironed fabric onto a hard surface, place the transfer paper graphite side down on top of the fabric, and then center your design on top of that. You can test which side the graphite is on, and how hard to push down on your pen or pencil as you transfer your drawing, by sandwiching the graphite between two sheets of scrap paper first. Now trace over the design checking periodically if the graphite has transferred clearly. Do this by gently lifting up a corner of the design and graphite paper but trying not to move everything out of position.

Light Box Tracing.

If you have a light box you can place the design on top of the box and then place the ironed fabric on top of that. With the light on you will be able to see the design and you can lightly trace directly on to the fabric using a very fine waterproof Micron pen. You can find light boxes and Micron pen on Amazon or at art supply stores. Micron Pen 01



Quilter’s Freezer Paper. 81/2” x 11” for Ink Jet printers.


You can find this paper on Amazon or in most quilting or sewing shops.


Iron your fabric first and then iron the shiny side of the paper onto the fabric. The fabric should be             slightly larger than the paper.


Carefully cut the extra fabric away from the paper with either a quilter’s rotary tool or a sharp pair of 

scissors making sure not to leave behind any frayed areas. Iron again if necessary to ensure that the paper is firmly stuck to the fabric. If any threads are showing from around the paper the sheet will likely get jammed in your printer. This will not necessarily damage your printer but you will waste the fabric and the paper so it pays to be extra careful when preparing the sheet. Test your printer to make sure which side the paper will be printed on and also how dark the print will be. The lighter the print is the better but you want to be able to see the pattern to sew. Now load the sheet into the printer so that the design will print on the fabric.

NOTE: The design in your PDF is for a 7" hoop as this is the size that will fit on printer size paper and still leave room for the fabric to fit in an embroidery hoop. You may want to check first that this size is correct when you print it out. You can make this design smaller but not larger as you won't be able to print it on a regular printer and still have it fit in an the hoop.

For the other transfer methods, above, you can enlarge the design but you will need more fabric and thread.





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