In sewing, a template is a shape usually supplied in a pattern from which the parts of a project are traced, or pinned onto fabric before being cut out and assembled. Templates are made of paper, and are sometimes made of sturdier materials like paperboard, cardboard, or plastic if they need to be more robust to withstand repeated use.
An extra sturdy template can be traced around more easily without wearing away the edges. To make reusable templates, use easy-to-cut template plastic which is available at craft supply stores. Its transparency lets you trace the pattern directly onto its surface.
Freezer paper can also be used for template making. Templates can be traced easily onto the dull side of the paper, then cut out on the drawn line. The template is then ironed onto the right side of your fabric or felt and the shape is then cut out. Freezer paper can also be re-used. Simply peel off the template and iron again into position on your fabric or felt.
To make a template of a specific pattern, lay paper, freezer paper or template plastic over the pattern and use a ruler and marker to trace the solid outside edges, dashed seam lines, and grain-line arrow onto the plastic. An arrow on a pattern indicates which way the direction of fabric grain should run. Mark the template with its name, seam allowance, letter or number, and any marked points to matching.
Cut out the template and check it against the original pattern for accuracy. If it isn’t accurate, the error, even it is only small, will multiply as you assemble a project.
Store templates in a labelled zip lock plastic bag for future use.