Paper... paper... which paper? What if you can't see through the paper?

You can see through cheap typing paper, tracing and parchment papers and know exactly where your lines are on the other side. But how do you navigate when you have a paper like computer or copy paper and you can't see where you are on the other side? Kind of like sailing in a pea soup fog, egh?

I've run across several tips over the years. Some I figured out myself and others are from friends. Here they are...

Copy Paper or other non see-through paper..


You are sewing on the printed side but when you go to place your next fabric on the blank side you have no clue where to fold back the paper do trim your seam allowance. That is, unless you do one of the following things.
1: Before you begin to sew, fold the pattern on all the lines and crease well with your fingernail.. Then, as you sew, you will have the lines to follow on the blank side. This also extends your sewing lines into the seam allowance for easier starting and stopping at the outside edge of the seam allowance and weakens that paper just a bit more for easier removal.
2: Before you begin to sew down fabric to the pattern, unthread your sewing machine and lengthen the stitch, then pre-sew over all the lines with the unthreaded needle. You will have nice little holes to follow on what "would have been" a blank side. Don't make your stitches too short or you will shred your paper before you start to piece.
3: Buy or make a little light box, then place your pattern on it, blank side up, and trace the exact pattern on the blank side. Yes, it takes a while on complex patterns, but I have a friend that swears by it.
4: If you haven't made any guide of any type on the blank side of the pattern, try this. When you go to trim the fabric for the seam allowance, place a thin piece of cardboard, like a postcard, on the line you need to fold back on, hold it in place on the line, and fold the pattern to the postcard. Then trim 1/4" beyond that. But you still don't have a guide as to where to put your next piece of fabric, which is why I like any of the above methods the most.
5: I say, just use a see through type of paper and you don't have to do any of these things, you can see the lines right through the paper and in the case of cheap typing paper or one like exam table paper, you may need a light source behind the pattern to see better. But, usually just holding it up so the ceiling light filters through is enough. 

Please... if you have any additions, disagreements, or corrections please e-mail me and let me know...

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