Fabric Cutting Tips: Marking & Cutting
In our last tutorial, we covered how to properly align your fabric for laying out your pattern pieces on the grain.
Let's return to our three magical steps to better pattern cutting!
Now that our fabric is aligned, we can mark and cut our pieces.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to cutting fabric from a pattern.
Pin pattern to fabric, cut around pattern pieces, mark pieces.
Place weights on or pin pattern, trace around pattern pieces and mark, remove pattern and cut tracing.
I tend to be a fan of the 2nd method because all the marking happens at once and you don't accidentally cut your pattern pieces. So this is the method I'll cover here.
First, let's talk about marking tools. Here's a brief rundown on your options
Marking your fabric:
1. Lay out your pieces along the grain (see our alignment tutorial for help with this)
2. Secure your pattern, either with weights, random objects around your studio, or pins. I prefer weights as they do not ripple the pattern paper like pins do.
3. Using your fabric fabric marking tool (see below), trace around your pieces.
4. Mark all notches, either with a simple line in the notch, tracing the inward triangle of the notch itself, or drawing an outward facing triangle that mirrors the notch (best for seam finishes where you need your seam allowance un-cut, like the flat felled seams used in Cabin)
5. Mark darts and other details on the inside of the garment by placing pins through the pattern at key points, then pulling away pattern paper to mark next to the pin. Remember to mark where the pin goes through on the opposite side of the fabric.
Now you are ready to cut your fabric!
You can use either scissors or a rotary cutter to cut out your pieces. Both have their pros and cons.
You can use both of these tools in combination, using each one for a specific part of your cutting.
For mirror image pieces, like the right & left side of a shirt, I like to draw a faint letter L and R on each piece in chalk on the fabric's wrong side. This can help avoid unintentional sewing mishaps.
By taking care to align and cut your pieces accurately, you'll avoid headaches and mistakes later on in your sewing. Have questions about cutting & marking? Leave them in the comments below!