Making A Toile with Swedish Paper

So, I am getting much more confident with my dressmaking, so much so that I am delving into the world of pattern hacking.  Well, when I say pattern hacking I mean adjusting the neckline on a pattern.  But it’s a start and it’s definitely getting my creative juices going.

Ruffle Sleeve Top

Let me explain in more detail. The Ruffle Sleeve Top, designed by In The Folds and available as a free download from peppermintmagazine.com is a favourite pattern of mine.  I originally made this blouse last year using my Nana’s old curtains.

This is me proudly wearing my newly made blouse, although I was almost 3 stone heavier then! Since this image was taken I have lost over 3 stone in weight.

Thankfully I can still wear my blouse, although a little looser now!


Always one for recycling vintage fabric when I can, my Nana’s curtains were at least 50 years old.  A beautiful floral barkcloth that I knew would be ideal for this pattern.  I added length to the bodice and some inseam pockets but apart from that I made it as per the design.

Personally, I do prefer to have a higher neck, roll neck or ruffle style collar as opposed to a V-neck.  I just don’t like that cold, bare feeling around my neck, unless I add layers underneath.  Which, if you know me I do love to layer my outfits. So, I decided to make this pretty blouse again but change the neckline.  So, this is where the amazing Swedish Pattern Paper from Pattern Trace comes in.


Pattern Hack

I have been using this paper for at least a year and I love it.  It’s not only a great tracing paper but its sturdy, robust, durable and eco-friendly and compostable too.  It comes on a 10 metre roll, is 1 metre wide and lasts ages too!

So, I wondered if I could use it as a toile, to help me in modifying the pattern.  If you are anything like me when it comes to using fabrics, I hate wasting it.  So, the thought of using anything from my fabric stash to experiment with made me shudder! 

Also, because I was only changing the neckline and not doing a complete pattern hack makeover, this paper would be a great substitute for fabric.


Well I was not disappointed.  I drafted my new neckline onto the paper and cut it all out as if it were a toile.  It stitched on the machine without any problems.  The paper did not tear, rip or become chewed on the machine.  Throughout the process, it was on and off Mabel, my mannequin, for numerous fitting stages and it remained intact throughout.  I even unpicked the neckline on the first sewing draft and it still held ok.  It really was like working with fabric. 

You Can Iron It Too!

The paper did crease somewhat with being on and off the sewing machine and being handled throughout.  But you can also iron the paper, on a cool setting if necessary.  I even stitched the darts onto the bodice, just as if it were a fabric toile.


After I was happy with draft two, I could then transfer the pattern pieces onto my fabric and continue with my dressmaking.  No fabric was wasted throughout!  I was a happy bunny and my fabric stash remained intact!  I could also reuse the paper piece toile for future pattern tracing etc. So, no waste all round!

Paper Tissue Fit

Obviously, if I was creating a full-on pattern draft I would use calico or muslin for my toile.  But even so, I would still do a first tissue fit using the Swedish Paper as it was a dream to work with.


My Finished Version

I am really pleased with how the neckline has turned out and I will definitely be making my version again.  It was a great sewing project and learning experience for me and made so easy using the Swedish Pattern Paper.


So, if you have never thought of using this paper as a toile then I would highly recommend you try it.  For a tracing paper, it really is superior quality.  I have never come across anything as sturdy as this amazing product.


10% Discount Code

I have been given a 10% discount code from the lovely people at Pattern Trace and you can use it for all of their products too! It doesn’t expire, so please feel free to use it as often as you like!

The code is: LOOPYMABEL10

Simply enter the code when you are finished shopping and the discount will be applied for you!

I have also uploaded a Vlog on my YouTube Channel, all about this amazing product if you fancy joining me for sewing chatter and more details on my Ruffle Sleeve Top!

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!


Loopy Mabel’s Closet