I prepared the fabric as I outlined in my previous post, Fabric Preparation and the Importance of the Grain Line. The fabric was pressed well and folded in half. Next, the pattern pieces were laid out according to the diagram included in the pattern instructions.
Tip: Iron your pattern pieces before you lay them out and cut any fabric. This will make the pieces easier to work with and more accurate without any folds or bumps. To do this, turn the steam off on your iron and turn the heat up to about medium. Pass the iron over the pattern piece and work out any folds or bumps. Don’t be afraid of burning the tissue paper. Just don’t leave the iron on one spot for an extended period of time.
Caution: It is important that the pattern pieces are laid out according to the diagram. Some fabrics have a different sheen when viewed from different directions. If you flip the direction of your pattern pieces, parts of your body could be slightly shinny while others could be slightly dull. This is also obvious when using one-way fabric patterns.
How I learned to pin a pattern to the fabric:
- Lay out the pattern with the grain line arrow parallel to the fold in the fabric (or selvage if your fabric is not folded)
- Measure from one tip of the arrow to the fold edge (or selvage) and pin tip of arrow in place
- Measure from opposite tip of the arrow to the fold edge making sure that it matches your previous measurement
- Begin pinning the outside edges. Pin to that you go from the inside to the outside. This helps keep the tissue paper flat and not compressed and wrinkled.
- Try to pin going to opposite corners. Don’t just pin one after the other right next to each other. This also helps keep the tissue paper flat.
- Once ALL the patterns pieces are placed, cut along the correct line for your size.
After the fabric is cut, I like to mark the fabric with chalk as to which side is the wrong or right side. With a print fabric, this is obvious. For a solid, it doesn’t really matter which side one calls the right or wrong side. However, it’s best to be consistent so your finished garment is uniform.
Tip: Leave the tissue on the cut fabric pieces. Don’t take it all off once you are done cutting. This will help you know exactly which piece is which. Then, once you are ready to use that piece, double check that all of the markings are transferred to the fabric. There’s nothing worse than realizing your disappearing ink has faded while you were working on something else.
Tip: Once all my pieces are cut out, I like to hang them on a hanger. This will minimize the need to iron the fabric pieces during construction.