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The Fold in the Fabric

You have already straightened and pre-shrunk your fabric. Press out any wrinkles. Press out the center fold to make sure it does not leave a mark. Carefully refold the fabric for cutting, following the grain.

Fabric is usually folded right sides together for cutting. The only time it is cut right side out is if it has a design that must be taken into account and that does not show through to the wrong side.

Fold the fabric as shown in the cutting layout on the pattern guide sheet.

Lay out using regular lengthwise fold

Match the selvages and pin them together in a few places.

Layout requiring crosswise fold

Press out the center fold. Fold fabric across the width, as shown; match selvages and pin together.

Layout requiring new lengthwise fold (C)

Press out center fold. On cutting layout, identify the pattern pieces, which determines the width of the fold.  Pick out the actual pattern piece and measure its width.


Layout requiring a combination of folds (D)

In such a case, you position only the pattern pieces requiring a certain fold.  Cut these out, then make the new fold.

Arranging Pattern Pieces

If you have purchased the correct yardage, as given on the pattern envelope, a trail layout will not be necessary. Just be guided exactly by the layout you have circled.

When, on a layout, a pattern piece is shown extending beyond on a fold line cut out the other pieces, then open out the remaining fabric to cut this one.

When a pattern piece is drawn with a broken line, it means that after other pieces are cut you either:

  • Fold remaining fabric (here, crosswise) and cut piece out through both thicknesses; or
  • cut piece through a single thickness, then reverse the pattern (printed side down) and cut the piece out a second time.

When half of a pattern piece is drawn with a broken line (piece 3 in layout B), it means that the piece is a half-pattern, to be cut on a fold. Cut out all other pieces as laid out, then refold fabric to cut each of these pattern pieces.

Place the first pattern piece on fabric. To position the grain line, measure the distance from one end of extended grain line to selvage; pin pattern through grain line. Place a pin through the other end of grain line on top of the pattern piece that is on the top of the fashion fabric, on the line at the same distance from selvage (6); then through center of line.

Smooth pattern out from grain line and pin at opposite corners, then at opposite sides (7). Keep the pins inside the cutting line of the pattern and don't use too many pins they can distort the cutting line.


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