Four great fabric-cutting tips

Published On July 19, 2018 | By Clare Louise | Clothing

The art of sewing, by hand or machine, is seeing a renaissance, and the skills our mothers and grandmothers took for granted are being picked up again. Sewing and dressmaking is a skill, it does take practice.

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Cutting fabric is the first step, though it isn’t necessarily as easy as it looks. There are tips to help ensure practice makes perfect.

Two sides to every fabric

It might sound obvious, but there are two sides to any fabric and when it comes to dressmaking, there is a right side and a wrong one. With some fabrics, it’s easy enough to tell the difference, though today’s materials are often so fine that it might be only the manufacturer’s branding that allows you to see ‘right’ from ‘wrong.’

Quality Dressmaking Fabrics are available from specialist retailers like Quality Fabrics where the biggest challenge might be choosing just one at a time! Make sure you get the correct side of the fabric from the outset and all is well. If it’s too difficult to tell, get a second opinion! It would be really awful to notice when you put on your garment.

Carefully mark the wrong side so you can be sure as you go. This needn’t be with a pen – tape will do, especially if you have a delicate fabric.

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Choose sharp dressmaking scissors as a given, though it goes beyond that; you must be sure to use the correct technique. Long strokes get the best finish.

Steady hand

Keeping control over your hand while you’re cutting makes a difference, though you can also help by sticking fabric to the table. Sometimes delicate or shiny fabrics can be harder to affix, so it might be advisable to line it with a thin foam-like fabric first, and cut the two together. It might seem wasteful, but making a mistake with your ‘real’ fabric can be far worse.

Protect your surroundings

Dressmaking scissors are sharp. Sharp scissors and polished surfaces don’t get on. So, you must be extra careful when making your long strokes with the blades that you are not damaging surfaces beneath. Use a piece of vinyl to protect surfaces.

If you’d like more tips, and guidance on what not to do, see So Sew Easy

And remember, if at first you don’t succeed . . .!

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