Learn How to Sew: How to Cut Out a Pattern

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Learning how to sew is an important part of being a frugal homemaker.  You can make your own clothes, linens and decorating materials for a fraction of the store bought price.  Today, we’ll be learning how to cut out a pattern with easy step by step instructions.

Tips for Cutting Out Patterns

When creating sewing projects, learning how to cut out a pattern is a crucial first step. By starting out with a properly cut pattern and fabric you will help to ensure that the sewing process runs smoothly.

When cutting, be sure to use paper scissors for the pattern and cloth scissors for the fabric. This will prevent dulling of the blades.

If you do not have a large, flat work surface such a dining room table, it is a good idea to invest in a folding cardboard mat that can be placed on the floor. Some people elect to use these mats in combination with a large table because of the grid measurements that are printed on them.

When purchasing your fabric, be sure to follow the chart on the pattern envelope and buy enough fabric for all of the included pattern pieces. It is generally a good idea to wash and iron the fabric prior to beginning. 

How to Cut Out a Pattern- Step by Step

1.  Begin by unfolding the pattern sheets and placing them on the work surface. With your hands, flatten out the pattern and smooth out any wrinkles in the sheets.

2.  It is best to gently iron the pattern pieces on a very low, cool setting to further diminish wrinkles.

3.  There is usually more than one cutting line to allow for various sizing. Choose the line that accommodates your desired size and be sure to follow that line throughout the cutting.

4.  Place the pre-washed fabric on your work surface.

5.  Following the pattern directions, fold the fabric in half with the right sides together.

6.  Lay the pattern pieces onto the fabric according to the directions in the layout guide and pin in place with straight pins. If pattern pieces are required to be placed on the fold, ensure that the grain line of each piece is evenly lined up with the grain line of the fabric. Lay out and pin the larger pattern pieces to the fabric first, then follow with the smaller pieces.

(Pattern complexity varies, and multifaceted patterns may require you to cut several pieces and refold the fabric, or to cut some pieces of the pattern multiple times. When cutting the pieces, remember to get as close to the edge of the pattern as possible.)

7.  Depending on your individual preference, you may choose to remove the pins or leave them in place until you are ready to use them. Using dressmakers chalk, duplicate any markings found on the pattern pieces onto the fabric, including dots that serve to mark the placement of any zippers or pockets.

Your patterns are now cut out and in place and you are ready to begin sewing!  If you missed the first article in the series Homemakers: Learn How to Sew, you can read it now:  How to Patch Jeans.

This article is linked to Homemaker MondaysVintage pattern photos by Laineys Repertoire.

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