Thursday, March 16, 2017

B6453 Sew Along: Cutting!

Woo hoo, time to get cutting! I know a lot of sewers hate the cutting process, but it just means you're one step closer to sewing. So hurrah!

Okay, actually. A few small things before you cut.

First, if you made any adjustments to your neckline, bust, or armhole, you need to make the same adjustments to your facing patterns. I raised my armhole 3/4", so I did the same on facings. I took the same amount off the bottom of the facing so it remains the same width.

I moved the notches up since they would have been cut off. Repeat on the back.

I also had to do a slight slash and spread (not shown) on the front facing like I did on the bodice front for my FBA. So if you did an FBA or SBA, keep that in mind!

Also, if you are making View B and you made any bodice adjustments (like taking in or letting out seams), you will need to do the same adjustments to your skirt. If you've lost track of those changes (so easy to do!), you can also just pin closed your darts, draw in your seam allowances, and then "walk" the pattern pieces together to make sure they still match.

Draw in seamlines, close darts

Compare the pattern pieces by walking them together as they would be sewn
Next, one little pattern change that I highly recommend: tape your strap pieces together. Just butt the edges together and tape on the front and back.

This will make sewing the straps much easier as you can sew them and then trim off the smaller piece. Not necessary but a big help, in my opinion.

Okay, let's cut! I'm going to focus on the cutting for View A as it needs more explaining. 

I recommend cutting in stages, starting with your skirt pieces. They are BIG and need to be cut on the crosswise grain. Do we all understand what this means? Normally we cut on the lengthwise grain by making a fold that runs horizontally down the length of your yardage, and the selvages go on top of each other like so:

Instead, we're going to make a fold that runs vertically from selvage to selvage. So you have a big width of fabric with selvages on top of each other at the top and bottom, like so:

Make sense?

With your fabric folding on the crosswise grain, lay out your skirt pattern pieces along one selvage. The front is cut on the fold and the back is not. After you cut out your skirt pieces, you will have a long skinny bit left on one selvage that looks like this:

Cut the bodice center front by making a narrowly folded piece from the leftover yardage.

Then double up the rest of the skinny piece and cut the rest of the pattern pieces: pockets (cut twice to get a total of four pockets), bodice back, bodice side front, straps, and back facing. The fold the remaining and cut the front facing on a fold.

Next, cut your interfacing for the front and back facings. I'm using this Palmer/Pletsch sheer interfacing that Pati Palmer herself gave me when I visited her in Portland! She told me it's a great match for cottons.

Go over all your pieces are transfer any notches by snipping into the point of the notch.

Also transfer your circles and the back dart. I do this using wax tracing paper and a spiky tracing wheel. Make a sandwich by putting one layer of tracing paper face up under your bottom layer of fabric, like so:

Then put the other side of the tracing paper wax-side down on top of the other layer of fabric.

 Lastly put the pattern on top of all the layers.
I mark an X through my circles.

Now that you've cut out your pattern and marked it, it's time to sew! I'll be back tomorrow with our first sewing post.


  1. Oh wow I have never used the wax tracing paper method. I normally do tailors tacks through all these markings but I will definately have to give this method a go. This would definately be easier to transfer markings for things like gusset stitch lines etc.

  2. What brand of tracing paper is that? My cutting/tracing takes hours because I have to squint to see the Singer brand stuff I have. Or tailors chalk might work too.


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