Thursday, April 5, 2012

How to Cut out a Pattern

I've been sewing since I was seven years old.  I always wanted my Mom to make my doll clothes for me, but she didn't have the patience to teach me at that age.  So one day, to get me off her back, she handed me the pattern, material and pointed to the sewing machine and told me to figure it out.  I'm sure that my sewing took a long time to even be sewing, but through the years, I learned the basics and have enjoyed sewing!  I've even given a pretty good stab at teaching my kids how to sew and they've won many ribbons and even have gone to State Fair.

I think it's great that so many people are learning to sew from the Internet.  God knows I've learned many things myself.  One of the things that I have noticed, though is that many blogs don't teach the correct way to sew.  I'm not trying to make anyone out to be a bad sewer, but it does bother me sometimes that people don't know the basics.  I thought I would share with you one of the most important things when trying to cut out a pattern.  What is a salvage?I don't know about the rest of you, but I always want to make my girls a new dress for Easter Sunday.  Unfortunately, I'm also a procrastinator, so today, I started making the first of three dress for Easter.  (We'll see if I get them done.)

I wanted to use my Scrap Stash, since trying to get rid of that.  This piece of material, I found at Walmart for $.50 a yard and bought the rest of the bolt!  I had no idea what, I'd do with it, but now seems like a good time to try my hand at a pillowcase dress!  The white was in my Scrap Stash, too.  I have no idea where it came from, but it has the stitched eyelets on it.

In order to lay out and cut a pattern, you have to know where the salvage is.  This is the salvage:

The salvage is that edge that is melted so it doesn't unravel on either side of the bolt.  You don't want to include that in your pieces, but it is helpful to figure out which end is up, or in this case the sides.

When a pattern calls for one side on a fold, you place the fold on the opposite side of the salvage.  I hope you can see that salvage going down the middle of the material here.  The rest of the dress pieces will all be cut up in the same direction, you want to be sure not to flip them upside down, or one side of your dress, skirt, or shirt will have the pattern going the wrong direction.

Again, you lay the other pieces out in the same way, using the salvage as your guide.  If your pattern piece has a long arrow going down it, the line of the arrow goes parallel with the salvage.

Here are a few rules when cutting out a pattern:
  • Save material by folding the salvage over for the width of the pattern piece (like in the white material above.)
  • Measure all arrows on patterns to the salvage on both ends of the pattern to be the same distance.  It does matter!
  • Always pin the pattern in all corners and anywhere else that may shift while cutting.
  • Lay out all pieces on the material before you cut!
  • Use the guide in the pattern directions for layouts - they company is usually right!
  • When cutting, keep the material flat on a hard surface, like a table or the floor, and sneak the scissors under it without shifting the material.  (Just like the ladies cut material at the fabric store!)
  • Use the same scissors for only material - mark it clearly!
  • Be sure to cut all notches out - so you can match up seams later.  I cut them away from the pattern, so I don't wreck the pattern and can use it again!
I hope this helps you when cutting out your material.  Stay tuned - I was able to get this pillowcase dress completed today!  Just two more to go!  Check out the blogs I love to link up to!