Thursday, October 15, 2015

How To Cut Pattern And Fabric Pieces

In our previous post we discussed how to prepare your fabric for sewing. Once you have prepared your fabric, it is time to cut your pattern and fabric pieces. Preparing your pieces properly will make your sewing much easier. It is important to cut your pattern pieces accurately, so remember not to rush through this process.

What you will need:
  • Pattern
  • Paper scissors
  • Fabric scissors
  • Dressmaker's pins
  • Pattern weights (optional)
  • Fabric
  • Fabric marker or tailor's chalk
  • Highlighter (optional)
First you will want to identify which pattern pieces you will need. The pattern pieces will most likely be numbered and labeled, so refer to the pattern line drawing to identify the pieces for the project you are sewing. Cut each piece according to the size you are sewing. Carefully cut your pattern piece just outside of the drawn outline. Your seam allowance is generally included so you do not need to cut beyond the outline.

Some patterns will have the different sizes outlined in different colours, while others will have a variation of solid and dashed lines. In cases where the lines are sold with the same colour for all sizes, be extra careful to follow the line you need. It can be helpful to first trace your line with a highlighter before cutting. The skirt pattern we are using for our first project in our fall sew-along has lines that are the same colour, but they are varied between a solid and dashed lines.

Once you have cut out your pattern pieces, you are ready to lay your pattern pieces on your fabric. Fold the fabric with your salvaged edges together and smooth out any wrinkles in the fabric. Lay your pattern pieces as instructed on the pattern instruction sheet.

Pin pattern pieces in place, then cut fabric out by following the outline of the pattern pieces. You can use pattern weights as an alternative to pinning. Repeat with any needed lining or interfacing. When you have cut your pattern pieces, transfer any markings prior to removing your pins.

Tip! If your pattern pieces are wrinkled or creased, you can use a low setting on a dry iron and smooth the pieces out.

Pattern Tracing Method
You can choose to transfer your pattern instead of cutting the pieces out. This method will preserve your pattern in all of the sizes, allowing you to sew multiple sizes of your project. This is also a great idea if you want a more sturdy material for repeated use or if you are not sure what size you need and will like to do a muslin sample prior to sewing in your desired fabric.

You can transfer your pattern using fabric, tracing paper or kraft paper. You can purchase tracing paper in sheets or in a roll format. The kraft paper is generally in a roll. You can find both tracing and kraft paper at art and craft supply stores, as well as office supply stores.

Tracing paper is fairly transparent so this makes it easy to lay it over your pattern sheets and trace out your pattern using a pencil and then outline with a marker. On both tracing and kraft paper you can use a tracing wheel and follow the traced lines with a pencil or marker. In all cases including the use of fabric, you can use a tracing wheel in combination with dressmaker's carbon paper. Like with the previous method, you will want to transfer all your markings; however, you should also note the pattern number and other details.

Once you are finished with your original pattern pieces, carefully fold them and return them to the pattern envelope. You can check out our post on Organizing Sewing Patterns.

Now you are ready to start sewing!

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Fall Wardrobe Sew-Along
How To Prepare Fabric For Sewing
How To Cut Pattern And Fabric Pieces
Reviewing Pattern Instruction Sheet
Sew-Along - Butterick 6182 Skirt
Sew-Along - New Look 6005 Pants
Sew-Along - Burda 6820 T-Shirt

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