The Wonderful Freezer Paper

His appearances in tutorials and videos from distant lands always leave us wanting to know more about this intriguing material: the freezer paper (or what is the same, freezer paper ). Widely used in the world of patchwork but also very useful in sewing garments.

As we know, there are many unexpected tools in sewing, so welcome freezer paper to the family!

This exotic is for domestic use although in the packaging they refer to its virtues in the craft field. Usually sold in rolls, but can also be found in A4-size packages.


The freezer paper has two very different faces: a glossy one with a thin layer of plastic (which becomes sticky with heat) and a matte one where it can be drawn with a pencil or marker.

It is not a material that we can easily find in haberdashery, and it is possible that the clerk in question looks at you in amazement when asking about its existence.


And what can we use it for sewing?

  • Orientation guide for the correct sewing of parts with compromised shapes.
  • The pattern for applications (pieces in the shape of a fabric sewn on a different fabric).
  • Cut patterns on unstable fabrics (such as gauze or satin).

Below we will see the steps used in its two most popular applications.

Orientation in the seam

On many occasions, we have pieces with complex shapes such as curves and corners (peaks of a neck or the outline of a pocket), the result of which is the protagonist in the look and feel of the garment.

Sewing these shapes with the guide offered by the seam allowances is not the best thing for a precise seam. And if we add that the two layers of fabric are not cut perfectly equal, it is evident that we need a solution!

We will use as an example the sewing of a Peter Pan style neck, for which the sewing of its ends is of vital importance.

STEP 1 Prepare the pattern

In this case, we will start from a pattern with the seam allowances included, although we could also work starting from a pattern without margins. The methodology and the sewing order are entirely up to you.

  • Cut the pieces into the fabric.
Pattern and fabric cut with seam allowances
  • Place the freezer paper on top of the neck pattern with the matte (not shiny) side facing up.
  • Trace the pattern without seam allowances.
  • Cut out the pattern with the paper scissors.
Traced pattern without seam margins on freezer paper

STEP 2 adhere to the pattern

  • Place the pattern face down on the neckpieces.

It is important to take the time necessary to center the pattern in its correct position, respecting the seam allowances.

Place the piece of freezer paper on the fabric
  • With light ironing touches, temporarily adhere the freezer paper to the fabric.
Iron to adhere the freezer paper to the fabric

Once subjected to the heat of the iron, the sheet of paper remains spongy against the fabric. Ideal!

The piece of freezer paper remains attached to the fabric

STEP 3 Machine sew

  • Sew the two pieces of the neck following the pattern line of the paper, without sewing it.

We will use the normal stitching values ​​for the fabric.

Sew into the fabric with the freezer paper part as an orientation The freezer paper part remains attached to the fabric

It is important not to sew the paper, only use it as a guide. This will force us to reduce our sewing speed to maintain control of the stitches.

 freezer paper part remains attached to the fabric

This is the result of controlled sewing, exact to the original pattern.
In the necks, this technique is of maximum efficiency, because both sides must be (practically) identical to achieve a pleasant effect on the eye.

Pieces sewn with the piece of freezer paper as orientation

STEP 4 Remove the pattern

  • Gently stretch the paper.
Peeling the freezer paper part from the fabric Sewn parts with the freezer paper part as orientation

And as if the use of the pattern in freezer paper was not an advantage, I have to add that we can use it repeatedly, until its glue lasts. Totally in love with this material.

Piece of sewn fabric and your freezer paper template ready for reuse Peel

Pattern for applications

Known in the most melancholic sector of sewing (in which I include myself) as an applique, it is a technique of joining different fabrics with shapes here and there with which at some point you come into contact. In future posts, we will see in-depth all its virtues, but today we can not fail to take a look at its relationship with the freezer paper.

STEP 1 Prepare the pattern

  • Draw or trace on the matte part of the paper the desired shape without seam allowances.
  • Cut out the pattern.
Drawing a shape

STEP 2 adhere to the pattern

  • Place the pattern with the shiny face touching the wrong side of the fabric.
  • With light ironing touches, temporarily adhere the freezer paper to the fabric.
Iron the freezer paper pattern on the back of the fabric

STEP 3 Prepare the pattern

  • Cut and skew seam allowances.

In this case, we cut the piece once we have the pattern pasted. This method can also be used on pieces such as collars or pockets, leaving the cut for the end as it suits us.

Trim seam allowances to fold in. Iron freezer paper pattern on back of fabric
  • With the help of the template, iron the edges of the fabric towards the inside.

In this way, we ensure a figure contour identical to the pattern. For curved areas (as an advance) we will say that the most appropriate thing is to gather and adapt the fabric.

Iron excess fabric to the inside of the piece
  • Gently remove the paper.
Peel off the freezer paper piece Iron
  • Place on the fabric and secure with pins.
Place printed application on the final fabric

STEP 4 Machine sew

  • Choose the invisible stitch in the sewing machine (it is a zigzag stitch in which one of the mountains is higher than the rest).
  • Use a suitable stitch length and width.

You have more information about this stitch in the post “Special hems with lace”. We can also sew it by hand with a vertical purl stitch.

Sew with a zigzag stitch the piece of fabric Peel off the freezer paper piece Iron

If you thought that aluminum foil was the best (astronaut costumes included), the freezer paper is not far behind, it makes sewing easier and raises our technical level by leaps and bounds.

I hope it helps you and that you share your opinions.



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