10 Tips for Dressmakers Who Don’t Like the Cutting Out Bit: May 2023

  1. Start with the right equipment.

2. Assemble all the stuff you need BEFORE STARTING so that you’re not searching for equipment halfway through.

3. Make sure your fabric cutting table is high enough. Gone are the days when I used to cut out fabric on the floor – I really find that difficult now. Most of us end up using the dining table and these are usually too low. Especially if you are cutting out a big project. Dining tables are about 30 inches high, and most sources say that a cutting table should be at the height of your elbows (which of course varies from person to person). You’ll need your table to be approx. 38 inches high. I recently discovered table height adjusters – such as these HERE (I’m not an affiliate) They work really well and having them has made a massive difference to my enjoyment of working on patterns and cutting out fabric.

table leg extender

4.Use pattern weights instead of pins: Pinning fabric can be time-consuming and tedious. Instead, try using pattern weights to hold your pattern in place while you cut. You can make pretty pattern weights such as THESE (free pattern) – but you could also use washers or tins of baked beans!

cutting out fabric

5. Make sure your scissors are sharp or try using a fabric rotary cutter: A rotary cutter is a quick and efficient way to cut fabric. It’s especially useful if you’re cutting multiple layers of fabric at once. You will also need to invest in a cutting mat (See a Selection HERE) for sewing to provide a flat surface for cutting and protect your table from damage. I like Fiskars scissors which you can BUY HERE or you can see a selection of rotary cutters HERE.

6. Use a marking tool: Marking your fabric before cutting will help you ensure that you cut accurately. Use a washable fabric marker, tailor’s chalk or tailor’s chalk pencil to mark your fabric. This will help you cut more accurately and with more confidence.

7. Use a template: If you need to cut out a specific shape or size repeatedly, consider making a template out of cardboard or another sturdy material. This will help you cut more accurately and quickly.

8. Cut in batches. Cut the fabric for several items at the same time. This will make it more manageable and less time-consuming.

9. Iron your fabric: Ironing your fabric before cutting will make it easier to handle and cut accurately. It will also remove any wrinkles or creases that could affect the fit of your garment.

10. Cut out a day or so before sewing. The temptation to rush your project will make you more prone to mistakes.

There are some affiliate links in this article – which means that I will get a small amount of money if you buy something through the link.  However it does not alter the cost to you.

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