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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Clever idea: cut your fabric, not your paper pattern!

I just came across this very clever idea of how to cut out your garment fabric pieces without having to cut your paper pattern.

Here at Tilly and the Buttons: How to Cut Fabric Without Cutting Your Pattern (Much)

Such a good idea!

My approach was that I tried to retain the smaller size lines by going around the bits that stick out at curves etc only to have to fold those bits in - just so I can keep the paper pattern intact in case I ever want to make it again in a smaller size.  And that means that I had already given up on the bigger sizes!

This clever tip allows you to keep all the sizes intact so if you have the feeling that this might become a tried and tested pattern to make over and over again, here's the best tip I've ever come across on that: trace it off!

You can mark all your other parts (that you won't cut out) like darts, notches and other markings at the same time.  So efficient, what a great use of your time!  I am all for tricks that make things quicker.  And more accurate in this case too!  Brilliant.

What I also really, really liked about it:  Tilly gives the great tip to pin the pattern to the fabric first (or set weights down) but far enough inside each piece so you can slip your carbon copy paper underneath the edges only.  When I used carbon paper I used to put the paper under the entire piece even though I was never very happy with the result.

Now why didn't I ever think of this?  It just shows that it pays off to approach something from a different angle to see if you can do it a bit different.  Particularly when you've always done them one way - like me slotting the copy paper under the paper pattern as another layer.  It was never big enough and was such a pain to move.

I'll try this the very next time I cut out a new fabric!

PS: Does anyone know what Tilly means when she refers to two kinds of tracing wheels? One 'the blunt kind', and the other the 'sharp pattern drafting kind'?  I only know of one kind and you have to be careful with it about what surface you use because this wheel can do damage.  Is there a type of tracing wheel I haven't come across yet?

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Giselle,

    there are indeed two kinds of tracing wheels around. You can see the "blunt" one here (, the "sharp" one is here ( . The difference is the wheel itself, the sharp one has needle like blades, the other one is rather, well, blunt.


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