How to Cut Out Sewing Pattern Pieces

I know especially for all the first time sewists, cutting a pattern out to sew seems overwhelming. It really is so easy and with all of the excellent indie brands out there, like Peek a Boo Patterns, the instructions, pattern pieces and photographs really help. Let me give you a few basics.

Getting Started

First to prep before you cut out your pattern pieces, you will need the following:

*Pattern pieces printed in the correct size needed (refer to patterns size chart)

*Pattern

*Cutting mat or other cutting surface

*Pattern weights ( I admittedly use whatever is around me) or pins

*Scissors and/or ofla blade

*measuring tape (if there is a grain line)

You will want to read through all instructions of the pattern before you get started so you have a better understanding of each piece you will need. Once you have done that you will lay out your pattern following specifics. I will go over a few pattern symbols that are common so hopefully this will help.

Cut on fold:

When you cut on fold, you will take your fabric and fold it. I like to fold over just the right about of fabric so I dont waste any amount of the length or width of the additional fabric. Make sure to cut the pattern in the right direction if the fabric is directional. It would be ashamed to have an upside down print.

Stretch:

When a fabric wants you to cut with stretch you will use the arrow to cut the direction of the stretch. If the arrow is pointing widthwise or horizontally, as it often will, so will your stretch.

Grain line:

Now this specific pattern doesn’t have a grainline arrow and I didn’t expect it to for this specific pattern type, ( You see it more with woven fabric) I have drawn in a grainline arrow to show you what to do. You will want the pattern piece to measure the same the whole length of the arrow to the selvage of the fabric. Do not cut it until your pattern and fabric is adjusted to it.

What is a grain line?

I have included a picture so you can see but it is When you place a pattern on the fabric, you align the pattern’s grainline with the fabric’s lengthwise grain. Unless otherwise noted, grain or grainline generally refers to the lengthwise grain.

It is easier to get a well cut pattern piece when you use weights or pin pattern to fabric. I prefer pattern weights ( whatever I have laying around) to pins but if your prefereing is the later, go for it!

I hope learning these terms and having a few tips under your belt will help you feel more confident in your sewing!

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