Fabric Lay-out and cutting

2011/03/26 Posted in garment sewing

before you start laying-out fabric make sure you have the pattern ready, as well as cutting tools which is (scissors, pins, marker, ……), fabric and patterns must be 100% flat on a flat table, and make sure you have plenty of space to work. A large table is best, because it is at a height that is ergonomic.

there are some important concepts to keep in mind.

1. Stretching Fabric Back Into Shape
Fold the fabric as shown in your pattern instructions and lay out flat on a cutting surface. If the fabric does not lay in line nicely, it may be a bit stretched out of shape. If this is the case, you will need to stretch the fabric on the diagonal. Get someone to help you, and stretch the fabric from one corner to the opposite corner, in the direction that needs the adjustment. This should take care of the problem (pre-washing the fabric tends to take care of this problem also).

2. Grain vs. Stretch of Fabric The grain generally runs the length of the fabric (parallel to the selvages), with the greater stretch running in the opposite direction (perpendicular to the selvages). The selvages are the side edges of the fabric. The distance between the selvages is the width of the fabric, such as 45″, 54″ or 60″.
It is very important to follow layout according to the correct direction. There are directions where you want stretch (such as across the back width of a skirt) and areas where you want less or no stretch (such as the length of the skirt). The pattern pieces will be clearly marked as to what direction they should be laid.

Fabric Cutting
1. Positioning and Cutting Pieces
2. Fold your fabric according to lay-out instructions.
3. Lay your pattern pieces in the correct direction.
4. Place pattern pieces on folds where required.

Positioning Pattern Pieces.
Always position all pieces before cutting any out. This way, you can be sure you understand lay-out and have allowed space for all pieces. Check over the lay-out instruction in the pattern and carefully follow these directions. When you are more experienced, you may have your own ways to lay out pieces; for now I suggest you use the lay-out recommended by the pattern instructions.

Securing Pattern Pieces
You need to secure your pattern in place before cutting. You can do this with pins or weights. Pins are more precise, and you do not run the risk of knocking a piece out of place. Therefore, I recommend pins for beginners. Always place pins in the seam allowance.

Cutting Out Fabric Pieces
For cutting out the pieces, you can use a rotary cutter or scissors. As with pins, scissors are more precise. A rotary cutter is difficult to use around corners, it’s easy to overshoot your mark, and they are very sharp (not at all appropriate for children). I definitely recommend scissors until you are experienced.

1. Cutting Around Notches
To save space when printing patterns, companies often print the notch (triangles) TOWARD the main part of the pattern piece. DO NOT CUT toward the pattern piece. Instead, cut away from the pattern piece. Notches are used to line up pieces when sewing them together. sewing pattern notches and marks

Marking Pieces
There are many different places where you will need to mark your fabric pieces. In marking fabric, you are transferring important information from the pattern piece to the cut fabric, such as where to sew in darts, where to place buttonholes, where to place a zipper, etc.

There are various ways to mark fabric. You need to consider your own preferences, as well as the type of fabric, when you choose your method.
1. Pins
Pins can be used to mark places such as start and stop places for sewing and measurements. You must be careful with pins, however, because they can leave tiny holes in our garment. Consider the placement of the pins as well as the type of fabric before choosing this method. Pins are best used only where you will sew a seam line.

2. Tailor Tacks
Tailor tacking uses thread to mark the fabric pieces. The following is an example. The thread can be sewn through the fabric only, or the pattern piece and the fabric. Then cut the thread and pull away the pattern piece. You now have your mark in exactly the right place.

3. Washable or “Disappearing Ink” Markers
Washable markers and markers with disappearing ink come in many colors, and are very easy to use. NOTE: ALWAYS before using a marker or pencil, try it on a piece of scrap fabric to be sure it performs well. It should stay on long enough to be useful (not smear or rub off), but should be easily erased with a fabric eraser.

4. Tracing Paper and Tracing Wheel
The tracing paper is placed under the fabric while the pattern on top with the transfer color toward the fabric. Use the wheel to press down on the pattern marking to be transferred. The color on the paper will rub off onto your fabric.

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