Freezer paper changed my life as a designer. Seriously! I know that’s a sort of dramatic statement, but I’m standing by it.
I first heard about freezer paper from Mimi Kirchner. In 2006 she published this post showing how she sews really detailed doll hands and fingers by machine and from that point on I’ve drafted every one of my patterns on freezer paper. I buy freezer paper at the grocery store near the aluminum foil. (I’ve heard it’s not available in Australian grocery stores. Freezer paper and wax paper are not the same.) You can also get it on Amazon and I’ve had my eye on this huge roll with the cutter!
To begin, tear off a sheet and draw on the matte side. Cut it out and iron it glossy side down onto your fabric. And then stitch around it! Having the paper still adhered to the fabric allows you to sew curvy shapes really accurately, even through this fabrics like wool and fleece.
I made a 2-minute video to show you how I use freezer paper to sew detailed softie parts. Here I’m stitching a doll’s hand and little tiny thumb. The fabric is fleece, which is rather thick, but with this method it’s a breeze to sew.
Okay, here we go!
The doll in the video is Emma (grab the pattern here).
You’ll notice that I just cut the fabric roughly around the shape of the template. Once I’m finished stitching and I pull the template off, I trim the excess fabric close to the seam line (usually 1/8″ away from the seam to reduce bulk) and clip the curves before turning the piece right side out.
You can save freezer paper templates and use them over and over again. I’ve used some of mine at least 20 times before they quit adhering to the fabric when ironed. Once that happens, just trace them onto a new sheet of freezer paper! Freezer paper doesn’t leave any residue behind on the fabric.
I hope you’ll give freezer paper a try the next time you sew a softie!