Welcome back to the How to Sew a Simple Dress series. So glad you’re still with me!
Last time, we had to be very brave and face our body measurements in Step 2 ~ Fitting Our Sewing Pattern. And we did so bravely because we’re serious about unleashing our dressmaking superpowers!
Now, we’re ready to commit…
NOTE: If you’re ready to begin this journey and would like to buy my recommended tools and supplies, please click HERE!
- Step 1 ~ Why Vogue Very Easy 9237 & Getting Started
- Step 2 ~ Fitting Our Sewing Pattern
- Step 3 ~ Over at the Cutting Table for Real
- Step 4 ~ Let’s Sew Our Dress
- Step 5~ Assess the Dress: Vogue 9237
Step 3: Over at the Cutting Table
Now, that we’re over at the cutting table for real, we’ll be doing the following:
- Choosing and laying out our pattern pieces onto our fashion fabric;
- Pinning our pattern pieces to our fashion fabric on grain;
- Cutting out our pattern pieces so that we end up with lovely, even cut edges; and
- Transferring our pattern markings, such as notches and circles, to our fashion fabric to make it easier to put our “puzzle” together.
If you need to brush up on any of the above skills, you’re just one click away!
Step 3a: Choose a pattern layout.
For example, the width of my fabric is 51 inches, which is more than enough for me to fold my fabric with right sides together (RST), selvage to selvage.
To keep things super simple, I’m going to choose the 45-inch standard layout suggested in the pattern guide sheet for View A.
Then, find a cutting surface that is at least one yard (36 inches) long — longer is even better.
Ideally, we want to lay out ALL of our pattern pieces BEFORE pinning. This way we can make sure that we have enough fabric to cut out all our pattern pieces on grain as instructed by the pattern guide sheet.
Make sure there are no permanent creases in your fabric that you need to workaround.
It is also super critical to make sure that NONE of our fabric is hanging over the edge of our cutting surface! Just fold the excess at the end of your cutting surface and unroll as needed.
For this pattern, the FRONT (4) pattern piece is “Cut 1 on the fold.” This means that after we cut and open the fabric it will yield one full front dress piece.
Step 3b: Pin our sewing pattern.
First, pin the four corners on the diagonal.
Next, pin at the notches in the SA.
Finally, pin between the notches, placing the pins no closer than a hand’s width apart — parallel to the cutting line in the SA. (Once you’ve become a pro, this step can be optional.)
Now, that everything is secured, it’s time to…
Step 3c: Cut out our pattern.
The #1 thing we need to remember is this: We must keep the bottom blade of our dressmaker’s shears on the cutting surface at all times!
And the #2 thing is to: Take our time!
If we have sharp dressmaker’s shears and we do #1 and #2, we’ll end up with lovely, even cut edges every time!
Now that we’ve cut out our pattern pieces neatly, it’s time to…
Step 3d: Transfer pattern markings to fabric.
You want to transfer all pattern markings: notches, circles, squares, triangles, etc.
A sewing pattern is like a “puzzle,” and all these markings will help us put the “puzzle” together with a minimum of stress.
And here’s how we’re going to transfer markings from our tissue pattern to our fashion fabric…
- Center front (CF) because there is no CF seam;
- Circle at CB (pierce it with a straight pin and mark the top and bottom layers).
Finally, if it is difficult to tell the RS from the WS of our fabric, we can place a strip of masking tape on the WS of the cutout fabric piece.
Today, we’re one step closer to sitting down at our sewing machines!
We’ve covered a lot of ground today, so STOP! For tomorrow or the day after tomorrow is another day.
Next up: Step 4 ~ Let’s Sew Our Dress is up next…
Are you excited?! I hope so!
Until then, remember…
Life is the ultimate red carpet event. Dress for it!
RELATED: Click HERE to learn how to how layout your pattern pieces!
RELATED: Click HERE to learn all about cutting out a sewing pattern and a super bonus cutting tip!