Category Archives: Get Your Fabric Right!

What You Need To Know Before You Start Cutting The Fabric

Ready to start your first attempt at tailoring? There are few instructions which can be very useful to you before you actually start cutting the fabric. You need to prepare beforehand so that the final dress will be perfect and just as you wanted it to be. Let’s take a look through some points which don’t seem very important to a beginner.

Give the fabric a wash
Do not consider this as an extra task for you. This is a necessary step for any dressmaker. Each fabric has different properties. Some tend to shrink after it is washed. This will affect the size and accurate fitting of the final dress. So make it a regular practice of washing the fabric straight after you buy it.

Iron the wrinkles
Once washed, the fabric is likely to get crumpled or develop wrinkles, which again is something that will affect the correct measurements. So gently iron the fabric according to the cloth type. Straighten out all the curves and crumples. Leave it smooth and straight so that you can cut it exactly as per the directions.

Make sure which pattern you want
Once you start cutting, you will find it hard to change the pattern, unless of course you are an expert at re designing the model. However for beginners, it is best to think ahead and decide which pattern will suit you and the fabric. Study the pattern and get familiar with the instructions as to how to cut the fabric.

Get the fabric ready
Lay out the washed and pressed fabric on a long table. There should be no curves or folds.

Lay your pattern on the fabric
Carefully lay the pattern on your fabric and cut according to the instructions. Do it piece by piece and take your time .There is no need to hurry with the cutting. Make sure you leave some cloth around each border line of the pattern. This is just a precaution in case something goes wrong. Just leave enough to make alterations if needed.

Follow the above tips always before you start cutting your fabric, even when you become a pro!

Read Also : The Perfect Rotary Cutter- Do You need One or Not?

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Learn To Mark And Cut Your Fabric With A Little Help

Once you are all set to start stitching your own dress, you will come across a few hurdles. There are these tiny issues which you would not have thought about earlier. One of them is how to transfer the pattern in your mind onto the fabric. This is a real important part which needs to be planned properly. As the copying of the pattern onto the fabric is what actually determines the design of the dress, you need to be real careful here. Read on to find more details on the marking tools, cutting tools and cutting methods which will help to make the process easier.

The commonly used or favorite Marking tools include

Tracing wheel
Simple and the favorite of most tailors. All you have to do is lay a carbon and trace away the pattern onto the fabric.

Washable pens
These are available in most department stores. They can be used for copying the pattern and the marks can be easily washed off after the requirement.

Chalk pencil
The common shades are white, pink and blue. You can easily rub them off after your work is done.

Hera marker
Mainly used for quilting, you can produce tiny grooves in the fabric which can be cleared upon washing.

Tailor’s chalk
These area triangle pieces which have slim edges.

Cutting tools include

Rotary cutter
This cutter is effective for fabric that slides around easily. You can make quick cuts and carve out the pattern. And yes, the cuts get better only with experience. Beginners –Do take care of your fingers.

Thread snipper
Very handy to cut off all the hanging threads.

Dressmaking scissors
Every dressmaker needs this. You have to have one of these sharp scissors to cut away the fabric. Do not use them on paper to preserve the sharpness.

Paper scissors
Use these for the paper patterns and not on the fabric.

Pinking shears
They help to get perfect zigzag edges.

Cutting mat
The best option to protect your table tops scratches and cuts.

Now that you have an idea of the tools, secure your fabric using pins or paper weights and copy the beautiful patterns onto your fabric.

Read Also : How To Choose A Suitable Sewing Machine?

For more information about sewing and singer sewing machines click here

Advantages Of Using The Tracing Wheel, Carbon Paper And Scissors To Copy The Pattern

Many of you may be wondering which the best method to transfer your carefully selected pattern onto the fabric is. One of the favorite methods of tailors is to use the carbon paper and tracing wheel. This method is largely preferred over the others as it has some special advantages like :-

· You can use the same pattern over and over
· You need not cut into the paper pattern
· The scissors can be used to cut only the fabric which retains the sharpness.
· As you are using a carbon copy mark as the outline, there is more accuracy and precision while cutting the pattern.

You need the following items to use this method:-
· Paper scissors
· Fabric scissors/ rotary cutter
· carbon paper used by dressmakers
· Tracing wheel
· Pins or pattern weights
· Cutting mat

Steps to follow

As always wash your fabric and iron it before you draw the pattern. This ensures the accuracy of measurements on the final product. Once the fabric is ready, pin it onto the cutting mat .A cutting mat will safeguard your table tops from scratches
and nicks.

The next step is to prepare the pattern. Always cut the pattern at least two inches away from the actual markings. Leave some space around the boundaries. Do not cut out the exact drawings. This can be helpful if you need a slightly larger version of the same pattern too.

Now place a carbon paper (dressmaker’s carbon) beneath the paper pattern .Pin the pattern and carbon also onto the fabric .Using the tracing wheel, slowly trace out the lines and remove after completing all the required lines.

This is simply the easiest and surprisingly most accurate way of copying your pattern on the fabric.
The best part is that you can use and reuse the same paper pattern for many sizes .Just make sure you leave enough space to include all the sizes you need and you will have saved yourself the trouble of tracing out the pattern onto paper every time you need the same design!

Read Also : Reuse Your Fabric Scraps To Create Beautiful Headbands