These are the tools I like to use. You will need your pattern of choice, some pencils, a straight edge / ruler and freezer paper. You can buy specific pattern tracing paper sold at places like Joann Fabric but a roll of freezer paper works just as well and is a lot cheaper.
Lay out your pattern on any large, flat surface. This is where the dining room table comes in handy.
Determine which pattern pieces you will be needing. I was making the skirt (top left) so I needed to trace pattern pieces 11, 12, 13 and 14.
Next you trace the pattern pieces in the size that you need. Do your best to be as accurate as possible. Copy all marks, notches, etc. When in doubt, trace it, that way you aren't going back trying to add something that you forgot later. Also, be sure to label each piece with the pattern name, number, how many pieces to cut and size as well as any other notes on the original pattern. A light table would be really handy for this step but since I don't have one I just took it nice and slow. This step will also remind you that you should not in fact cancel the eye doctor appointment scheduled for the end of the month.
Trace each and label each piece and Ta-Da, you are now ready to cut apart your pattern pieces. The key to preparing any pattern, no matter what method you choose, is to go slow and trace EVERY detail.
I already have the fabric cut for one of the skirts. Maybe the kiddos will go to bed early tonight so I can get some work done. Wishful thinking, I am sure. :)