Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Learn to sew 3- Laying the pattern on fabric.

Once you have chosen your fabric, the pattern envelope tells you how much fabric to buy. There are usually several choices of fabric width and you need to check in the shop which width the fabric is before choosing how much to buy. usually the shop assistants are helpful with checking you are ordering the right amount.
Fabric comes in several widths, usually the most popular fabric widths are 45" which is 115cm wide or 60" which is 150cm wide.
The other thing you must know is if the fabric has "nap." Nap means that the fabric has a one way design i.e. flowers that only grow upwards or it is a "pile " fabric like velvet that stokes only one way. Avoid both of these types if you are a novice as they require skill in handling that is best left until you have more confidence.As we have prepared all the pattern pieces, we just need to know how to fit them on the fabric. Your instruction sheet has diagrams of "layouts" for either fabric width that you may have chosen. My fabric was 45" wide, so it showed me to fold mine in half with the selvedges together, so I had a fold along one edge.

Take time with the folding and smoothing and make sure the selvedges meet exactly. Accuracy at this time saves problems later. I lay it out on the lounge carpet and I usually fold it with the right sides together (hidden inside) so that they don't get any marks on. It's at this point that Barney usually decides to walk over the whole thing and lie on it!! What a dog!!

Follow the picture on the instruction sheet, laying each piece where they suggest and making sure any that should be on the folded edge are on the folded edge!!! That seems obvious, but accidents happen!!! Hold the pattern pieces in place as described before, using a pin cushion or heavy weight, whilst you measure the grainline to the selvedge as described in the last tutorial.

Once the grainline is accurate pin it at either end to hold it still. Then pin around the edge of each pattern piece, between the thick black cutting line and the dotted sewing line.

Keep going until all the pattern pieces are anchored in this way. I put one pin about every 3 inches around the edge. Not too many!!

At this point it is a good idea to check the layout picture once again and check you have done it exactly. Occasionally pieces have to be placed face down and they will be shown as a shaded piece. Just make sure you cut enough of each piece. If you cut out a collar, you do need two to make the shirt up!!
The next lesson is cutting out!!! TFLx


jackie(worcs) said...

This is great CC. I had forgotten all about the grainline to selvedge measurement.
I am reading this avidly and look forward to the next instalment.
Jackie :-)

Crafty Dawn said...

Your doing a great job Caroline, I do hope you have time to collect your award I have given you!

Love Dawn xx