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  • Writer's pictureSewwithNellyBea

Cutting Out Tricks

Updated: Sep 23, 2019

It's been a really busy fortnight back at Sew with Nelly Bea after my summer break with workshops and 1-2-1s but, today I started on a very special project which needs to be PERFECT! My daughter gets married in five weeks time and I need a dress to wear. It's a real conundrum when you can make any style, in any fabric and in any colour....where to start! Well, if your me, after a LOT of searching and thinking, you take the top half of a Vogue pattern you've always loved and draft a pattern for a skirt you've seen in a high street store. You then spend a hour and and half searching your local Aladdin's cave of a fabric shop for just the right fabric before spending a happy Sunday afternoon cutting out.


Squaring up my fabric

So, here's where I what to share the cutting out tricks I've used today...

I chose to use a light weight satin as I wanted a fabric with good drape and one which highlighted the pleating detail on the bodice. IT'S FLUID!!! It moves around a lot!

So, the first thing I did was GET MY FABRIC SQUARE. Firstly, I tore my fabric across the piece to find the true WEFT grain of the fabric. I then lined the SELVAGE up with the edge of my cutting table and used pattern weights to hold it in place. I then manipulated the fabric so that my torn edge ran at right angles to the table edge and weighted this end as well. I used a set square for my right angle, but you could use anything with a right angle - even a piece of paper will do the trick.



I used weights and pins to hold my pattern in place

I wanted my pattern pieces to be held securely while I cut around them so, I used a mixture of pattern weights and fine pins placed about every 10cms to hold my pattern in place. (My tutorial for pattern weights and a template can be found by CLICKING HERE)



Really sharp scissors and fine pins made cutting a fine fabric that little bit easier.

I then used my new, beautifully sharp shears I recently treated myself to, to cut out. I took my time as I believe accurate cutting out is essential for a precision make and worked around each pattern piece WITHOUT moving it until it was fully cut out. It meant some contortions and even climbing on the table at one point but, I think when you have a fluid fabric its really important not to move it. I even did the tailors tacks before I moved the cut out sections.


So, next time you are working with a fabric that moves about a bit, give my cutting out tricks a try! I promise it will help.

Happy Stitching Everyone,

Sew with Nelly Bea

Sew, laugh, learn, create

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