Cutting Your Pattern Pieces


This pattern is simple, only 3 pieces, but I wanted to share a few tips for cutting out your pattern pieces. Using slippery fabrics like rayon crepe or silk habotai can make a project more frustrating than fun, but I’ve found there are a few things that help to make the process a little easier, especially when it comes to cutting out your pattern pieces. 

The first tip is to always iron your fabric. Sometimes I can be lazy and skip ironing, and then end up trying to work with a mess of material that isn’t straight, and trust me, it’s never worth it. Just iron your fabric from the beginning and everything will be easier. 

Second, make sure you are working on a flat surface that is large enough to hold the fabric you’re cutting. In my early sewing days, I used a cardboard fold-up cutting board but stopped using it when I started sewing with slippery fabrics. With the fold-up board I couldn’t ever get the material to lay right, one area was always being pulled or dragged, and this made it difficult to get nice straight edges. I’ve also had problems with plastic boards curving so I stay clear of them as well. Nowadays, I cut all my fabric on the wood floor and even use the slats in the wood boards to help guide me when cutting a straight line;  I often line up the edge of my fabric with a wood slat because I know it’s a perfectly straight line. Cutting on the floor is also nice because there is plenty of space for my fabric, none of it is hanging off a table or being pulled in any direction, it’s just resting in its entirety over one surface.


Third, sometimes I use weights to keep the edges of the fabric in place. Especially in this case where you're cutting a shape from measurements, pattern weights can come in handy. 

Fourth, when using a straight edge ruler to mark the fabric, make sure you are pressing down firmly on the ruler where you are running your pen. Too many times have I tried to mark my fabric without pressing down on the ruler and as I dragged the pen along to make my mark and it slid the fabric right out from under the ruler, leaving me with a crooked line.


For this pattern specifically, I have a few tricks for cutting the pieces quickly and easily. My cutting workflow goes as follows. I measure, mark, and cut out the back pattern piece first, then lay that piece on top of my remaining fabric and cut a second one exactly the same as the first. This is nice because I don’t have to measure twice, which can get annoying. If you are using a fabric with a visible pattern, this may not work for you, and it would be best to mark, measure, and cut just as you did with the first piece. After I have the two identical pieces, I put one aside and take the other to the ironing board, fold it in half and iron the fold. I then cut off the folded edge to the measurement specified in the pattern. And there you have it, the pattern is all cut and ready to go! Told you it was easy :)