How to Use Dressmaker's Tracing Paper & Wheel

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Things You'll Need

  • Sewing pattern

  • Fabric

If you are going to make something with a pattern, you will want to use dressmaker's tracing paper and a tracing wheel. This makes your sewing job easier when you need to get the seams and darts in the proper places. Learn how to use dressmaker's tracing paper and wheel so you can transfer the marks from the pattern pieces to your fabric. The tracing paper comes in different colors so that it will show up on all materials you will be using.


How to Use Dressmaker's Tracing Paper & Wheel

Step 1

Lay out the fabric on a flat surface. Pin the pattern pieces to the fabric according to the layout instructions and cut out.

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Step 2

Lay each pattern piece out on a flat surface. If you need to make seam lines, place the dressmaker's tracing paper between the pattern piece and the fabric, with the colored side facing the fabric. If you need to mark seams on the other piece of fabric (underneath the one on top), place another piece of tracing paper in between the two pieces of fabric. Make sure that the second piece of tracing paper is facing the right way.

Step 3

Use the tracing wheel to trace the seam lines. Roll the tracing wheel over the seam line on the pattern, exerting some pressure. As you come to the end of the tracing paper, move it ahead so that you can continue tracing the line and marking the material.

Step 4

Mark darts by placing the tracing paper between the materials where the dart marks are located on the pattern. Then use the tracing wheel to trace your dart marks.


You can use dressmaker's tracing paper on other things besides just fabric for sewing. You can use it to trace pictures onto paper as well, following the same method outlined in these steps. If you are using a pattern that you made yourself, you can buy dressmaker's tracing paper with an inch grid on the backside to make seams and other marks.


It is best to use a solid tracing wheel instead of a sprocket-type wheel. The sprocket wheels tend to make the pattern weaker for the next time you use it.

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