I do, and figured most other people do, but I’ve seen some anti-tracing chatter lately on discussion boards and wondered… I trace primarily to preserve vintage patterns and also to preserve a “master” pattern. That said, I use original paper patterns for one-size patterns, craft stuff, and occasionally because I’m too damn lazy to trace it off.
I’ve spent the past several months awash in a sea of polytrace pattern drafting medium. Sometimes scraps of polytrace collect in drifts on the floor while I’m working. I use it as frugally as possible, but I still work through a large amount of it.
I feel guilty. Green-guilty. To me, it’s a glaring example of a simple way to reduce waste in my life. I can’t compost or recycle polytrace- it’s like a very very thin polyester felt. So I throw it away. Piles of it. That gets it off my floor, but it’s still my waste and still “out there.” I tend not to waste time feeling guilty about these things. Instead, I look for ways to change my habits. I’ve spent the past several weeks looking for a more compostable alternative, but so far I’m coming up with very little indeed.
The best alternative I’ve been able to find is something called WhiteTrace, which is a translucent, durable type of tissue paper used by architects, artists, and other drafters. The widest roll is 36″ wide, and I’m accustomed to 56″ wide. I suppose it isn’t a huge problem, but it does give me pause. I also pause because I can only buy it in 50 yd rolls. It works out cheaper than the polytrace in the long run, but it’s more than I *want* to pay all at once.
Of course, the most “sustainable” option would be to learn to draft electronically, but I don’t have a clue where to start with that. Besides, I enjoy using paper, pens, ruler and templates.
So I’d like to know- what do you use to make patterns or trace vintage patterns or designs from Burda? Is it translucent? Is it wide? Is it cheap? Where can I get some?
(By the way, until I posted yesterday I had no idea the Lorax movie was coming out so soon. I had heard about the change.org petition to include the words “I speak for the trees!” Hooray for being clueless! Also, it occurs to me now that I should have painted him orange. Of course. Right now the fifth layer of lime paint is curing well. )
(Also- I know I promised the Bow Tie Tee Hack today, but class ran a little longer than I expected, I’m exhausted and behind schedule. I’ll have the hack up tomorrow for sure, and I’ll be looking for a few pattern testers, too. And I should have time for the lilac-and-pale-blue-dress version tomorrow. Whee!)