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Topic: pattern cutting  (Read 2134 times)
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mel_stormer
« on: June 24, 2006 07:34:23 AM »

I am new to sewing and wondering how do i correctly cut fabric using a pattern, i was once told that you have to cut the fabric in the right direction or it will pull and fit incorrectly....if someone could help me out that would be great!!
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Chilan
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2006 05:42:35 PM »

Are you using a store bought pattern, like Simplicity, McCalls, Buttericks, Vogue, etc?

If you are, there are directions that come with the pattern.  In the directions, there will be a picture that shows you how you are supposed to lay out the patterns on the fabric

Also, I'm not sure if they tell you this or if they assume you know, but each pattern piece probably has a line with arrows on both ends.  That line is supposed to be parallel to the edge of the fabric.
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Melesse
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2006 05:43:36 PM »

Who loves pictures? I do!

What youre thinking of is called grain. Fabrics are woven using threads going crosswise and length wise. Depending on how you want your piece of sewing to move and drape, you work with the grain line of the piece. But since youre just starting out, lets talk about grain on purchased patterns!

First, before youre going to pin your pattern pieces for cutting out, you should cut out the paper pieces and dry iron them to remove creases. (Which I didnt do in the following pictures, bad me!)

Now, if its important for a piece to be placed properly on the grainline, it will have an arrow (or line) on it marked grain or grainline.



Now for the new sewer, the temptation to line up the cutting edges at the edge of the fabric is strong. Resist! You must obey the grain line! Note the white edge of the fabric, this is the selvage.



How do you obey the grain line, you ask? By measuring! Whip out your trusty ruler (preferably a fabric one, mines gone missing I suspect a cat ate it.) and some pins. Now, measure from the end of the grain line to the edge of the selvage. Personally, I move stuff around so I get a nice easy to remember number like here 6.5 cm. Pin that sucker in place at the end of the line!



Now go to the other end of the line and measure it from the edge of the selvage! Most likely, because nobody is blessed with such luck, youll need to gently tug the pattern until it lines up with that magical number from the other side. In this case, 6.5 cm! Pin that end of the line down!



Voila! A pattern piece on the grain as needed!



For bigger pieces youll need to measure and pin at various points along the line to ensure that youre on grain. There are also other methods of finding grain, but measuring from selvage is the least scary to me. Wink

Hope that helps!

This mini-tutorial brought to you by the letters B and C! Boredom and Coffee!
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klement
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2006 06:13:49 PM »

wow, that was indepth!!!

I've just made an opera jacket but i realized I cut it wrong.. and now it just sits funny Sad thanks for the tips - will try it when i make my tulip skirt Cheesy
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wwrich
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2006 08:48:05 PM »

One little thing to add.  Some fabric has "nap". This means that if you "pet it", it feels different when you pet in different directions.

When a fabric has a noticeable nap, you want to make sure that all of your pieces "pet" the same way (or at least a logical way).  I usually feel the fabric, and figure out which way feels better to me (usually one is smoother -- sort of like when you pet a dog, its easier to pet from the head to the tail, rather than from the tail to the head).

Sometimes, you can't see or feel a nap, but it is still noticeable in subtile ways.  For example, sometimes the light will reflect differently, or the fabric will hang differently.  Since most people don't want the right and left halves of their shirt to hang differently, your generally better off cutting all pieces with the nap running in the same direction.

On the last couple of commercial patterns that I cut out, I noticed that those lines that show the grain, also show which way they recommend the nap to lie.  The piece that Melesse showed in her tutorial has only one arrowhead on that line.  If you make all of those arrowheads point the same direction, you are probably better off.  I usually make the arrows point "down" the nap (from head to tail).  Usually, this corresponds to "down" on you too, when you are wearing the finished garment.
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mel_stormer
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2006 09:23:36 PM »

thanks so much for all of the helpful advice, being the visual learner i am i LOVE the pictures Melesse!!! And i think i will always remember to "pet" my fabric if it has "nap"!!! thanks
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DTchick
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2006 09:30:43 PM »

Wow...I'm planning on starting my first sewn piece from a pattern soon- I will definately remember (and come back to) these directions!
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2006 11:10:50 AM »

I am telling you..this is why I love'yall here at craftster!
Wonderful directions! I am printing and bookmarking!
Perach
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Melesse
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2006 05:03:00 AM »

You're welcome! I figure pictures make understanding easier, so why not whip out the camera?

I wasn't sure how to describe nap clearly, but wwrich did awesome! It's a good idea to make sure the arrows are all pointing the same direction anyways when you're using a patterned fabric. Otherwise you can get the front and back (for example of one combo) of your piece going in different directions with the pattern. Not that I've ever done that, oh no. *whistles* Repeatedly. *coughs*

Also, one more suggestion. In the instructions for your pattern there are suggested layouts. Use them! Someone got paid to figure out how to lay it out properly, milk it for all it's worth. Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2006 05:46:41 AM »

the nap layout is also used when the fabric design has a definite up or down orientation--if you don't follow the layout, you can end up with trees growing upside down on your bottom.  Smiley

bear in mind there is a difference between cutting things "off grain", "well off grain", and "on the bias".  the first one is disaster, the other two are useful and you should learn how to employ them.
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