- Do your cutting on days when you’re feeling really switched on & store the cut out pieces in zip lock bags.
- Iron your fabric before cutting! Creases and folds can result in distorted fabric pieces once cut.
- Make sure the fabric is lying with the grain straight before cutting your pattern pieces. The straight grain runs parrallel to the selvedge. Match the selvedges rather than the cut ends, so the grainlines will be straight.
- Pay attention to the grain markings on the pattern pieces when laying them out. If the grain is off centre before you even begin you can get all sorts of problems with sewing and with the final fit/look of your dress.
- Think about fabric placement when cutting out your pieces.
- Cut on a flat surface at a good height for you. Hunching over or sitting on the floor while cutting is asking for trouble!
- The Elves and the Shoemaker method doesn’t work! If you leave your fabric, pattern and scissors out over night it will remain uncut!
Rotary Blade Tips
- Use different sized rotary blades for different tasks.
- 28mm rotary blade for curves and fiddly pattern pieces
- 45mm rotary blade for long straight cutting tasks
- 60mm rotary blade to cut multiple items at once
- Use a rotary cutter/ruler for straight cutting. The weight of the ruler will hold the fabric in place.
- Use “Clear Grip” by Sew Easy to prevent your ruler from slipping when cutting with a rotary blade.
- Cut away from yourself not towards yourself!
- Cut beyond the corners. If you just cut to the corner you can be left with corner that are still attached by uncut threads.
- Remember to replace your blades when they start to get blunt
- Have two rotary blades – one for cutting paper and one for fabric. Put the fresh blades in the fabric cutting one and the old blades in the paper cutting one.
- Use Dressmaking shears for cutting. They’re designed to cut fabric and they’re shaped so you can cut without lifting the fabric off your workbench.
- Take long cuts with your scissors before re positioning them.
- When your scissors start to get blunt take them to be sharpened.
Pattern weight alternatives
- sticky tape dispenser
- phone / ipad
- wine glass
- tins of tuna / tins of spaghetti
- old nail polish bottles – filled with glitter and with the lids glued on
If you’ve got some cutting tips to add to this list please let me know & I’ll add them on!
Till next time – Happy Sewing xJen