Trace Method Step 6 – Add Pattern Markings (Draw Lines)

This step is one of the most important reasons for going through all of these other steps to create a file with both cut lines and draw lines. If you simply want an outline, most software that comes with cutters can provide that quite easily. However, adding pattern markings (draw lines) is what gives you the ability to customize your patterns with the markings that you want. You can add notches, seam allowance lines, top stitching lines, circles, and any other marking you wish.

For this particular pattern, there are no notches to add, no special markings – just seam allowances and fold lines. These are easy to do, especially if you are familiar with drawing with Bezier curves. Basically, you will be drawing straight lines and curved lines. The straight lines just have a starting point and an ending point. In this pattern piece, only the shoulders and center back seams have straight lines, so let’s do those first.

  1. Begin by selecting the Draw Tool. Then click the first point. Move the cursor to the end of the draw line, and click the second point. Hit the <Return> key to complete the line. If the line isn’t exactly where it should be, move the line down by clicking the nudge points down until the line is positioned where you need it to be.  Watch the video here.
  2. Draw the straight line for both the shoulder seam and the center back seam. The pattern should look like this:
    80 Straight lines drawn
  3. Drawing curved lines can be a bit trickier. The real difference, when you start and stop drawing a curved line, is to drag the cursor and draw in the direction you want your curve to go. If you have a curved line that changes direction in the line, you’ll need more than starting and ending points; you’ll need one or more additional points in between. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right to begin with because you can adjust your curved lines later. To draw the curved lines at the hem, start each line by clicking and dragging in the direction you want the curve to go; then end each line also guiding the end curve in the direction you want it to go. Once the lines are drawn, you can adjust the curve by clicking on the Shape Tool, and adjust by dragging the line, the points, or each point’s “direction line” (a line extended from each point that allows you to change the curve direction of the line). See how it’s done here.
  4. The next curved line is for the armscye. Start at one end of the curved line, click and drag, then moved the cursor to the end of the line, click and drag. Select the Shape Tool, and modify the line so that it follows the curve of the line. See how it’s done here.
  5. Draw the curved line for the neck in the same way. See how it’s done here. 
  6. The side seam actually changes direction in the line, so it will need three points: one at each end, and one in the seam where it changes direction. See how it’s done here.
  7. Those are all the lines that need to be drawn for this pattern piece! The next thing that needs done is to group all these pieces together so that they act as one pattern piece whenever it is moved around. To do this, select all the pattern pieces by drawing a selection box around them, and select <Object…Group>. Once your pieces are grouped together, double-click on the group name in the Layers section, and name the group the same thing as the pattern piece. See how it’s done here. Your group should look like this when you’re finished:
    81 Pattern pieces grouped

You’re now ready for the next step, which is straightening the pattern piece.

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