Happy things (+ a freezer paper pattern tutorial)

DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPYAfter a somewhat prolonged sewing slump, things are really cooking around here. We are moving and shaking at the Strzeszewski sewing studio (and by “we” I mean “I” while my obstructionist dogs lie across my machine pedal or wherever else they can most easily trip me).

What kind of moving and shaking has been going on, you ask? A garment was sewn and a Sew Together Bag  constructed. A quilt was planned and fabrics for it chosen.

Gold star earned.

Too much passive voice used.

Today, my happy thing is the garment sewn: a Fancy Tiger Sailor Top.  (The fabric you’re looking at is Canyon Wall in Canyon from Arizona by April Rhodes.)

Fancy Tiger Sailor Top

Fancy Tiger Sailor Top

Here’s to Fancy Tiger for this super fun, simple, and sweet blouse pattern.  I’m 5’7″ and made the medium size without altering anything–it fits great and is loose and comfy, but next time I think I’ll lengthen it an inch or so.  I was able to complete the whole thing in an afternoon/evening, including tracing my pattern onto freezer paper and cutting my pattern pieces.

Freezer Paper Tutorial | from Marta with Love

You guys know this trick, right?  Trace your pattern onto plain old freezer paper so you don’t EVER have to use the single-cell-wall-thick fairy wings they call pattern paper that shifts when you so much as think in its direction.  I also use it for PDF patterns that you have to print and tape together (meaning I print and assemble the pattern as normal, then trace it onto the freezer paper) because the freezer paper is just so much easier to work with and you can reuse it indefinitely.

freezer paper pattern tracing

All you do is lay your pattern underneath a piece of freezer paper and trace it (with all the markings!) onto the rough/papery side.  *You’ll notice in my picture above that I actually put the pattern itself on top of the freezer paper and traced it through the top (my marker bled right through) because the original pattern’s lines were too faint to see underneath the freezer paper.*

freezer paper pattern tracing

Tip: use a different color Sharpie for each pattern so it’s easy to identify which pieces go with which pattern.

Then cut out all your pattern pieces, but don’t worry about precision at this point because you’ll cut on the lines the first time you actually cut your fabric for your project.  The only lines you have to cut accurately at this point are any sides that you’ll place on the fabric fold.

Now just press your pattern pieces–shiny side down and with steam turned off–onto your fabric according the pattern’s cutting diagrams.  Your pieces are now adhered to your fabric!

freezer paper pattern ironing

freezer paper pattern ironing

Lastly, cut out your pattern pieces with sublime ease, peel off the freezer paper (it comes off completely cleanly), and get sewing!  I’ve sewn a couple patterns where I’ve used the same freezer paper several times and it has yet to lose its stickiness.  It’s magical.

freezer paper pattern cutting

freezer paper pattern

And there you go. Feel free to email me or leave a comment with any questions.  Thanks for stopping by and have a super sweet day!


  1. says

    Lovely top and THANK YOU for the tip with the freezer paper! I’m new to garments and this is awesome. I made my own Sailor Top and added 2” length to it.

  2. says

    Clever you! I’ve done something similar but I can’t remember what project I did it on. I’ve got an entire box of freezer paper left over and a PDF pattern ready…you were JUST IN TIME with this hint! Thank you!

  3. says

    Thanks so much for the clear directions. I was tearing my hair out trying to trace with the pattern beneath the freezer paper. This is *so* much simpler than trying to find a big enough window for tracing large pattern pieces!

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