7 Tips On Cutting Fabric Perfectly For Your Dressmaking Project
If you have ever sewn a dress, you know how frustrating it can be to find perfect patterns.
There’s nothing worse than trying to cut fabric perfectly and see the corner of an uneven or rough edge peeking through. The best way to avoid this is by using a pattern with accurate measurements and spending time making sure your measurements are as close as possible. It is also helpful if you take your time cutting the fabric so it doesn’t fray or pull in any direction.
Here are 7 tips on cutting fabric for your next sewing project that will help make cutting easier on yourself.
Setting up your cutting surface
First, you need to take the time to set up your cutting surface. This varies depending on what type of fabric you are working with. For example, if you are working with wool, you will want to use a mat or an embroidery hoop. If you are working with cotton or cloth, it is easiest if you use a rotary cutter and mat. If you are working with fleece or knit, you can use anything that is hard enough to get the job done, because you will use it to keep your fabric taut as you cut. If you are using a rotary cutter, the pins on your rotating mat can snap off under pressure and possibly injure you.
Don’t ever use a tradition sewing table by ripping a rotary cutter across your fabric without cutting it into strips first! This is why the mat is important, or you can make a cutting grid out of something to do this, as well.
Cutting with an iron
To make sure your fabric doesn’t fray, you need to iron it before cutting. The iron will help remove any wrinkles and creases in the fabric, which also prevents pulls and tears when you cut. To iron your fabric, place it on a flat surface with the right side facing up. Place the iron over one area of the fabric at a time to create even heat. Remember that pressing too hard can cause small holes in your fabric, so don’t press too hard or you might end up with a hole! After ironing all of the fabric, turn it over, iron the other side and make sure it is thoroughly pressed. Be sure to iron any patterns or designs on the fabric.
Cutting with a rotary cutter
A rotary cutter is a simple tool that can cut through a variety of fabrics easily. They are easy to use and produce a clean, even cut every time. Just make sure that you have the fabric in the correct direction before using your rotary cutter. The blade on these tools is very thin, so be careful not to accidentally cut yourself with it when it’s spinning.
Many fabrics will ravel when cut in a single direction. To counteract this and produce straight edges, always change the direction that you will be cutting in each time you start a new cut. If you know the first end of your fabric needs to be shorter than the other end, use one hand to hold onto the crucial parts of the fabric while making your cuts (cutting from both ends at once makes it difficult to keep track of where you are in relation to where your fabric is.)
Cutting straight lines
One of the most important things you can do when cutting fabric is to use a ruler and pencil. This helps you avoid pulling on the fabric and gives you perfect straight lines. Also, it’s helpful to press the ruler against the material
before and after every cut so that it doesn’t get dirty with the fabric fibers, and so it’s extra-straight.
Keep the ruler flat when cutting, and make sure to cut ¼" (6 mm) away from the stitching lines. This will protect you from cutting into a seam or a hem when trying to cut through bars, e.g., horizontal bars for sleeve cap or cuff, vertical bars for armhole or bust. It’s easier to get perfect straight lines by first cutting diagonally from the corner of the item to the point where you do you want your line to stop. Next, if necessary, draw a second straight line parallel to the diagonal dimension for a perfect edge or seam allowance.
One of the most difficult areas to cut accurately is a curve. Curves are always tricky, especially when you are cutting into something. For curved cuts, it helps to use a firm ruler and place it on the fabric before cutting.
Another tip is to make sure your fingers are dry and clean before cutting around curves. When your fingers are wet or moist with sweat you will produce extra friction which will cause the fabric to fray or pull in the direction of your fingers. Make sure that you wash and dry your hands before working on a project so they are nice and smooth for cutting.
How to cut out multiple pieces at once
The best way to cut out multiple pieces at the same time is by using a fabric shears or a rotary cutter. The fabric shears allow you to cut through multiple layers of fabric easily and quickly, which can make this process go much faster. A rotary cutter also allows you to cut through multiple layers of fabric in a pinch, as it has circular blades that can move around with ease.
Stitching the seams
At the beginning and end of all of your pattern pieces, stitch a hidden seam. You will use this to align all the other pieces on your pattern. This ensures that your pattern is straight and that you don’t have any extra fabric in any area of your garment.
To do this, pin each piece to be sewn together so its edge is lined up with the seam line on the garment. Stitch along the seam line using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. After stitching, trim off the excess around both edges of the seam allowances so they are even with one another.
This technique can also help make sure that there are no frayed edges or torn fabric anywhere in your garment.