Now you're home and you have your pattern, your fabric, your notions, and the overwhelming urge to go eat chocolate. (go ahead, I'll still be here.)
Cutting is probably my least favorite part. So let's buzz through it fast and get to the rest of the fun stuff!!! (Cutting quilts is fun for me, cutting patterns for clothes - not so much.)
Get out all your supplies - fabric, pins, pattern pieces, and a good pair of scissors. I've heard that some people use a rotary cutter. I'll explain later why I still use scissors.
How do you know which pattern pieces to use? Well - you open up the pattern of course. There should be a place that shows all the different pattern pieces included in the envelope. Remember how you picked a "view" that you're going to sew? ("dress A") Find that listing, and notice all the pieces that go with it.
Then sort through all the flimsy pattern papers and get the pieces you need. In this particular pattern, some of the pieces are for all sizes, some pieces are for specific sizes. So READ carefully! I then cut out the pieces I'll need and try to fold the rest of the pattern papers back up and shove them in the envelope. That way I don't get (as) confused about which pieces I'll need for my garment.
Once you have all your pieces, move on down to the fabric layout part of the pattern. It will tell you how to put the pieces for 45" or 60" fabric. Usually you will have the fabric folded in half lengthwise as you start laying out the pieces. However, sometimes you have to refold to accomodate pieces that are too big, or need to be on a fold. The pattern writers also usually put a different design on the drawing if you're supposed to put the pattern piece upside down. They get paid to do this. Pay attention to what they say - it will be worth it in the long run. Other pieces you might need to cut 2 or 4 of. Once again, read carefully. It should be listed in the fabric layout picture, and written on the actual pattern paper piece.
OK - so for example, this is piece #2 - the Back of Dress A. I am going to cut 1, and I am going to make sure it is on a fold line. See the arrow at the top? I've got to line it up with the fold. This particular piece is for all the sizes included in the pattern. So this is why I use scissors. If I was just making one size, or planned to never use this pattern again, it would be a LOT easier to use a rotary cutter. However I love this pattern and plan to use it often, so I know that I want to use scissors and not cut away some of the other size lines. I suppose if I was bored, I could trace each size onto another piece of pattern paper, and have my own sets - but I don't have time for that.
So - I just pin where they say to pin. See at the corner where I put the pin? Sometimes I get distracted while I'm cutting. I'm sure that never happens to you. haha. To help myself along, I try and pin close to the cutting line for the size I'm making.
As for the cutting - just follow the line! Lift up or fold back the paper where you can if you're trying to save the pattern to use again - or just cut it all off. Either way, cut as precisely as you can. Those little triangles are going to be helpful later on, so make sure when you see triangles pointing in, you make similar snips pointing out. See how I did the double triangle thing? You don't have to be exact about that, just be consistent. My mom sometimes doesn't do the triangles, she just snips a perpendicular line or two about 1/4" long. It's just a way to mark the fabric and to help you line up the pieces later - use whatever way works for you!
Once you think you're done cutting, just do a quick double check that you've cut all the pieces (including interfacing if needed!) and then you'll be good to go for our next step.
Ready to sew yet???!!!
(click here for the rest of the pattern tutorial)