How to Preserve Paper Sewing Patterns

Safekeeping a Tissue Pattern for Years of Use

Preserve Sewing Pattern Pieces
Preserve Sewing Pattern Pieces. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com

Preserving your favorite sewing pattern or one you know you will want to use again should be a priority.  A favorite sewing pattern should be preserved so you can use it over and over again without it becoming distorted or ripped. Patterns can be expensive and many become unavailable so you should not think you can rely on replacing a pattern when you love how it comes out. Preserve your patterns so you will have them for years to come.


You will need the pattern and lightweight fusible interfacing to preserve your patterns. You will also need parchment paper (in the baking or wrap section of your grocery store) or the paper backing that comes with fusible web. I save the paper backing sheets and wrap fusible web that I am storing in the remaining paper so the web is preserved and the paper is always available when I need it for tasks like preserving a commercial paper sewing pattern.


Follow these steps to preserve a sewing pattern:

  • Press the pattern pieces so there are no wrinkles in the pattern. It needs to be smooth so that the final piece will be as accurate as the original pattern. Tucks and folds can alter how the pattern will fit or how the pieces will fit together.
  • Lay the fusible interfacing on your ironing board (or ironing surface) with the fusible side up, the paper side or parchment paper on the ironing board side so that the fusible web does not fuse to the ironing board cover.
  • Lay the pattern, right side up, on the interfacing, so that the interfacing will be fused to the wrong side of the paper pattern pieces. Place the pieces close together to prevent wasting the interfacing but do not overlap the pattern pieces. (Ignore laying the pattern out following the grain lines for preserving the pattern)
  • Lay parchment paper (or saved paper from fusible web) on top of the pattern pieces and press the pieces to the interfacing, keeping everything flat and smooth as you iron.
  • Cut out the pattern pieces.and repress them to make sure all of the fusing has taken and the pieces are firmly fused together.

I usually put all the pieces in a large brown mailing envelope with the pattern envelope taped securely to the front and back of the brown envelop. Clear packing tape over the pattern envelope preserves the original envelope on the brown envelope.

Stock up on lightweight fusible interfacing when you have a store coupon or the interfacings are on sale. That way the interfacing is available when you want to preserve a pattern and you won't break the bank to preserve the pattern or put off preserving the pattern because you don't have fusible interfacing on hand.

The pattern being preserved here is Simplicity Pattern 2729 that I had lost for years and dearly loved. When it was republished I made sure I will have the pattern for many years.

Now generations to come will all be able to have a favorite doll.

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