The Sewing Pattern Tutorials 15: How to cut out sewing patterns and fabric
All the steps you need to sew like a pro, from ironing your pattern pieces to pre-washing fabric, we show you how to get started in the right direction in the next installment of our popular Pattern Tutorial series.
How should I prepare my sewing pattern?
Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut out paper patterns, and make sure they’re sharp! Ironing your paper pattern first will help you get a much more accurate cut of your fabric. Trace out all of the pattern pieces first, rather than cutting into your paper copy. A tracing wheel is ideal for this because it allows you to accurately trace over the pattern lines for your size.
How should I prepare my fabric?
Fabric can shrink up to 5%, so it’s important to prewash it before sewing to ensure that the shrinking occurs in the fabric rather than the finished garment. Ironing can also help ensure that all creases are removed.
Top tips for pinning and cutting out you pattern pieces
Make sure you have enough room to pin and cut your pattern pieces. Lay out your fabric on a smooth table to get the best angle for pinning and cutting. Folding fabric can be tricky, so make sure you do it right sides together.
You can get special pins for delicate fabrics like silk, and pinning or using pattern weights can also help ensure an accurate cut. Each pattern piece should have a grainline, which indicates the pattern piece’s orientation against the selvedge (fabric edges).
How do you cut fabric with a repeat pattern?
To cut out, follow these steps:
- Place the fabric on a flat surface with the pattern on top.
- Pin the length measurement in the selvedge.
- Measure the specific number of repeats and mark them with a pin.
- Cut the fabric at correct angles from each mark to the selvedge.
How should you lay out pattern pieces to avoid wasting fabric?
Answer: Your grain line is always parallel to the selvage; the grainline (along with the layout guide) will tell you whether your pattern piece should be laid lengthwise, crosswise, or on the bias, assisting you in laying your pattern pieces on your fabric as straight as possible.
Can you sew without a pattern?
One of the best places to start is with your own wardrobe. Take a close look at your favorite outfits and, if possible, disassemble them to see exactly how they’re put together, and use the pieces as guides for cutting your own.
What is the easiest piece of clothing to sew?
A simple, elastic-waist skirt is one of the easiest sewing projects: Dana from Made Everyday has a great tutorial for how to sew a simple skirt (both video and photos of each step), as well as ideas for adding more personality to your skirt with layers and trim.
Do you have to use sewing patterns?
Sewing without a pattern is a lot easier if you already know how to sew (duh). Learn some basic stitches and seams and practice them on scrap fabric. Sew pieces of material together, and even try sewing two different materials together.
What does pattern repeat mean in fabric?
The repeat of a fabric or wallpaper refers to the number of inches it takes for the pattern to repeat itself; one repeat is the distance between the starting point of the pattern and the point where the pattern repeats itself.
How much extra fabric do I need to match a pattern?
Because plaids and stripes require precise pattern placement, you’ll almost always need a little extra fabric; the rule of thumb is to get at least an extra 1/2 yard for small plaids and up to an extra yard for large plaids.
What is a half drop pattern?
Half-drop patterns are created by dropping every second line of motifs down a half-length height of the motif; for example, these tiles from Istambul’s Topkapi Palace are arranged in a half-drop repeat, with alternate columns staggered vertically by half the motif’s height.
What is nap on a sewing pattern?
Use a with-nap layout sheet for pile fabrics like velvet and corduroy, as well as satin and fabrics with a definite one-way design, because all pattern pieces are placed on the fabric going in the same direction, top to bottom.
Do you cut patterns on the wrong side of fabric?
Fold the fabric as instructed, right sides together, with the right side (the pretty side) being a darker shade than the wrong side. (On rare occasions, you may be instructed to cut a fabric on the right side, or to “cut one,” which means to cut on single layer.)