Sewing Lesson 1a - Cutting Your Fabric and Maintaining an Even Seam Allowance

Published on 30 January 2024 at 08:38

Hello Friend!  I'm so excited that you are here with me today!  This will be your first step in a delightful journey toward sewing for yourself and/or your family.  It is so good for us in this face paced instant gratification world, to slow down and thoughtfully and mindfully craft something beautiful.  I hope I can help you grow to love sewing as much as I do!  I will be bringing you a new sewing lesson on the last Tuesday of every month this year!  Each lesson will build on the skills of the last lesson.  Each lesson will also include promo codes for 20% off the patterns I use in the lesson!  The codes will be good for one month in order to give you plenty of time to work through the lesson.  When you make anything from this lesson, post it on The Sewing Hub, the Sunflower Seams Facebook group, and Instagram to win a free pattern of choice from Sunflower Seams.  Use the hashtags #learnwithSunflowerSeams and #learnwithTamarHopeDesigns.

Let's get this party started!!! The first step is to practice sewing a consistent seam allowance without thread in your machine.  Pop over to my guest post here for the seam allowance lesson.  After learning about maintaining even seam allowances, practice on a sheet of paper as directed in the seam allowance lesson. 

When you're ready to try out your skills on fabric, go ahead and grab a pattern.  I recommend starting with a small and simple project.   That way if you mess up,  you're not losing too much valuable time and fabric.  The Freesia Bow Pattern is a great place to start!  And if you use the code seamallowance20, you can get it for 20% off this month!

Once you purchase a PDF pattern, you will need to either print it off or project it onto your fabric.   (I can create a post about projecting PDF patterns on fabric if there's interest.  It saves time and paper, but it requires mounting a projector above your cutting surface.)  When you go to print off your pattern, make sure that it prints at 100%.  You do NOT want your printer dialogue box to say "fit to page."  After you print,  always double check that the 1" square is indeed 1" tall and 1" wide.   

Any deviation no matter how small can add up to big fit issues. For more printing tips including printing only the size you need, check out this post.

After printing,  tape your pages together matching corner and side markings.  I like to trim the edge that overlaps to make it easier to line up.

Next, cut out your paper pattern pieces.  Once they are cut out lay them out on your fabric.   If the pattern piece is supposed to go on the fold,  fold your fabric like this.  The uncut edge of your fabric is called the selvage.  The grainline goes parallel to the selvage. 

If you need to cut two of anything, you can fold your fabric in the same way and cut two at the same time.  This will result in two mirrored pieces which is perfect for things like sleeves and back bodice pieces.

There are two ways to cut your fabric.   You can pin your pattern pieces to your fabric and cut around the pieces with a sewing scissors.

Or you can hold your pattern piece down with pattern weights, and cut around your piece with a rotary cutter. (Small heavy items that can hold your paper piece in place can be used as pattern weights. I tend to use whatever is in my craft room at the time.   In this picture, I'm using a small jar of snap parts).  If you use a rotary cutter, make sure you cut on a cutting mat.  Self-healing mats are the best and hold up the longest.

Cutting out your fabric takes a lot of time, but it's important to cut carefully!  The cutting process always takes longer than you think it should, but well cut pieces will result in a lovely finished product! 

Come back tomorrow and I'll walk you through sewing these two lovely patterns.  The Freesia Bow and the Rosewood Skirt.  The Rosewood skirt happens to be the perfect hopscotch skirt!  And you can get 20% off both of these patterns with the code SeamAllowance20.

I realize that not all of you are here to sew for girls.  If that's the case here are a few pattern options that you can sew with all of the information that I will give you in lesson 1.

Adult Pajama Pants

Kid's Pajama Pants

Adult skirt

If you have any questions as you work through this lesson, feel free to ask in The Sewing Hub!  Tag me in your question, so I make sure to see it!

~This post may contain affiliate links.  If you buy from the links, I may receive a small commission, but these are all products that I use and love.  You can learn more by reading my Privacy + Disclosure statement. ~

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