Understanding and Cutting Pattern Pieces
So you have this fabulous design and no idea how to make it? Don't worry - that's totally normal. Part B of the Wearable Arts Project is dedicated to learning how to attack making a garment from scratch. Cherie covers all you need to know assuming little or no sewing experience.
Reading a pattern
This can be challenging at times. Sometimes the instructions seem illogical (why would you do that?!) or don’t seem to make sense (slipstitch the what to the what now using a huh?). The diagrams are helpful here as is reading ahead. Often the diagrams ahead show the section you are working on in their complete state so it can be easier to figure it out in reverse.
Ironing and cutting out the pattern
Preparing the fabric and patterns for constructing a garment often feels like a slow start, especially when I want to sink my teeth right into a project but I never regret taking these first steps. I tore one of my pattern pieces a bit which was a reminder for me to slow down. The paper is quite delicate and tears easily so maximum care is recommended.
Often when I pin the pattern to the fabric, I think I might overdo it with the pins so I tend to pin conservatively but then when I get to the point where I have to cut out the piece I realise I need more! The key for me to remember in pinning is: 'more is more'. Also, pinning about 5mm from the edge of the pattern piece is good too for making it easier to cut close to the edge.
Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. I used my left handed scissors, my right handed scissors and my rotary blade for the cutting. Using the rotary blade means I can cut flat onto the cutting board so less handling which is just easier. It isn't the best for corners or curves though so that is where the other scissors come in. If I don't cut close enough the first time I tend to go back in to do a trim.
Once the pieces were cut out I went around each piece and clipped out the notches. I actually find my thread snips (yes that's right, another pair of scissors) are quite handy for this job because they are good for making small cuts.