Sunday, 22 November 2015

Swedish Tracing Paper - review and discount

Let's talk about Swedish Tracing Paper! I've heard lots about it but never actually worked with it, so when I was asked if I'd like to review it recently, I was keen as mustard! I know lots of sewists trace patterns as standard to preserve the original, but I'm not one of them. If I'm really not sure of the fit then yes, I'll trace it, but if I can avoid doing so, I will. Which is why I've only just got round to trying it out (it was sent to me in September…)

The company who produce it in the UK - The Swedish Tracing Paper Shop - describe it as 'a soft and translucent paper, resistant to tear but easy to see through, making it ideal for copying the detail from existing patterns.' It's also described as being suitable for making toiles as it's relatively strong and can be sewn. I needed to blend a pattern between sizes and make a toile, so thought I'd put it to the test for both uses.

The appearance of Swedish Tracing Paper is a bit like interfacing, but because it's a paper rather than a fabric its texture is stiffer. It's very easy to draw on and mark with pencil and I could see through it perfectly to trace my pattern.

Even though it comes on a roll, it still lies nice and flat. The pattern I was tracing was a relatively simple design, so I didn't even bother with pattern weights. You might need to weigh it down though if you were tracing a pattern with lots of markings or darts on it.

Later that day I traced a second version of the bodice piece and made a couple of adjustments at the neck and bust. There was a fair bit of sellotape involved and the Swedish Tracing Paper didn't tear once. Impressive!

When I came to sew the pattern pieces together to make my toile, I found its paperiness was a disadvantage. It doesn't have the drape of a fabric (or even an interfacing) so crumpled like mad during its stint at the sewing machine. Here's what it looked like after I'd sewn the front and back together.

It presses well though, I used a low setting on my iron and the creases came out immediately.

The material is strong enough to take stitches, but because it's paper there's absolutely no give. I noticed this particularly when I tried the toile on. The pattern I used wasn't an especially fitted design, but I found it impossible to get it over my head without ripping it. The lack of drape wasn't helpful in determining the fit either. I don't think it's similar enough to fabric to give a true idea of how a finished garment would look.

My toile -  after it was tried on
My conclusion is that for tracing pattern pieces Swedish Tracing Paper is excellent. It has good transparency, lies flat, is easy to draw on and easy to apply tape to - I'm a convert! As a material for making a toile with, not so impressive  - I probably won't use it for that purpose again.  I'm glad I put it to the test though!

If you fancy trying Swedish Tracing Paper out for yourself, you can claim 10% off by using the code JANE here. Happy Sunday! x

A roll of Swedish Tracing Paper was given to me free of charge for review. All views my own. 


  1. I have made 5 Tilly Agnes. As I am happy with the fit I have traced it on swedish paper. Much easier to pin out and cut now. That's the advantage for me. Also for tracing patterns that are on two sides of magazine or a book K xXx

  2. Very helpful to have this review, Jane. I, like you, avoid the tedium of copying patterns but I can see that a much used, and altered (all that sticky-tape—ugh!), pattern could be made more user-friendly by tracing it onto this paper.

  3. great review! I've heard of it, although never found it anywhere. I usually use Burda tracing paper, this sounds like a great alternative.

  4. Interesting, I didn't realise that swedish tracing paper was more fabric-y than paper-y! I trace almost everything, since i almost always need adjustments and I like to be able to refer back to the original if I muck it up. I use cheap, thin sew in interfacing to trace and I really like it - it's hardy enough that I can use the pattern over and over, and I like that it's heavy and sticky enough that I often don't need weights or even pins, when cutting my fabric! (Depending on the fabric and how much wriggle room I have with the pattern needing to be precise) It's probably not as nice as the real thing, but it's certainly cheaper.

  5. Excellent review. I use Swedish tracing paper because it's nice and I always have to blend sizes plus I always plan to lose weight, etc. I haven't tried it, but I wonder if it is better for tissue fitting than as a toile, for those who do tissue fitting.

  6. It is a great way to convert those tedious pdf print out patterns into something more useable - you can tack the paper layout together with just a little bit of selotape, then trace it off.
    Having said that, gardening landscape cloth is a much better buy - it's usually 160cm wide and much cheaper!

  7. As a Swede I always find it amusing that it is called Swedish tracing paper. It isn't more common here than anywhere else, so I wonder why it has that name. i use it all the time, though. :)

  8. Can't say I've ever tried to make a whole garment toile with this stuff, but I've definitely found it it much more sturdy than tissue to pin or baste bits together and do basic fitting adjustments on my dressmaker dummy, like checking bust dart position etc. it's nice stuff!

  9. Agreed with others, it's not really intended for making a toile, but for tissue fitting, which is different.

  10. The swedish tracing paper I use is not really this wrinkly. It's very soft and pliable and you can draw on it beautifully. The reason I bought it was to "rub off" eg copy patterns from existing garments and it does work better for that than paper would as it's soft and will curve to fit a curved surface. I wonder if this is totally different stuff after all it says made in the UK. Mine is the stuff from It's certainly quite a bit cheaper too.

  11. I use freezer paper, as more ubiquitous and thus more readily available, for tracing. Have used cheap interfacing, which was a disaster, because the pencil didn't show up and/or tore it, and markers went straight through both the interfacing and the tissue paper underneath. Fortunately I was using an ancient old horrid broken chest freezer in the basement as my cutting-and-tracing table at the time. I appreciate your review of Swedish tracing paper!

  12. Keen as mustard ha. I am going to have to borrow that....

  13. I use patterns of many ages so this will be great when working with some of the more fragile tissues. Oh LinB freezer paper is a nice option too - but I like that you can sew the Swedish Tracing Paper



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