Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cut it out - "fold of fabric" nonsense

First of all, thank you so much for the comments on my previous post! It's wonderful to have company here in blogworld!

And then to the title topic. Pattern layout suggestions usually show folded fabric and that's just silly in my opinion. I get that many or most people have limited space at home for laying out their fabric for cutting and that folding the fabric in one way or another helps but I find cutting a double layer is often wasteful and inaccurate.

Ages ago I started cutting one pattern piece at time in order to use less fabric than the pattern suggested. I would still cut things on the fold but individually folded for each pattern piece. I usually saved quite a bit of fabric with that method and with small child size items I could sometimes squeeze out two garments instead of the one.

The fold was always problematic. If the fabric had any thickness to it at all it was difficult to place the pattern edge on the fold. One can easily make a + or - 1/4 inch error with a fold and that can make a big difference at times. Pattern pieces that are relatively small and have a short folded edge, a facing piece for example, are difficult to place correctly.

Yesterday as I cut out yet another KwikSew 3338 tee I thought about how pattern companies supply us with half patterns. What's this half pattern business anyway? Is it that hard to print the full piece? Cost saving for them, I know, and more work for us. KwikSew had printed half a front, half a back, and half a neck binding for this tee. The neck binding pattern is really silly, it's a strip of fabric 24" long and 1.5" wide and KwikSew's pattern piece is 12" by 1.5" cut on the fold. I have traced the pattern and made full front and back pattern pieces on Easy Pattern material. The full pattern pieces make it much easier to place on the fabric on grain and to see how to lay out the pieces to make the best use of fabric.

BTW, JoAnn sells that Easy Pattern material. They hide it in the interfacing section and coupons can be used.

Happy sewing!