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This is how I trace and cut pattern pieces without cutting into the pattern. It's good when you're not sure of a size, or you want to use the pattern for different people. OR when you have a vintage pattern you just don't want to cut. And it allows for curves, too.

As demonstrated on my spring uniform seen at
http://fitzfabulous.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/how-to-trace-a-pattern-without-cutting-it/
and http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/spring-uniform-cynthia-rowley-tunics

Technique Materials

Pattern
Fabric
Pattern weights -- cans work, so do washers to weigh the paper firmly down.
I use washable markers on washable fabrics or chalk on more sensitive fabrics.
Couple of pins for each pattern piece
Scissors

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Burdastyle

http://burdastyle.com//techniques/trace-a-pattern-easily-without-cutting-it