Today we’re going to be cutting our fabric. I know this post is a little late in the day but there was a bit of a laptop charger malfunction that needed to be remedied. Anyway we’re back and it’s time to cut!
First off you’re going to want to press your fabric so that it’s nice and smooth. You can more accurately lay out, trace, and cut your fabric when it’s freshly pressed with no wrinkles.
From there locate the cutting layout chart for your size and fabric width. I highlighted mine as well as the interfacing layout so I didn’t start looking at other layouts. You can follow this layout or not, but if you bought the recommended length of fabric you’re best following as to avoid any yardage shortages.
Next I gather everything I need to cut my fabric. Cutting layout, pattern, weights, fabric, scissors, pencil (or your preferred tracing tool) and scissors. It’s good to have all this out and in once place to make the everything run smoothly.
With your fabric folded selvage to selvage, lay out your pieces according to the cutting layout. You can pin the pattern to the fabric if that’s what you are used to but personally I like to trace the pattern piece off onto the fabric, then remove the piece.
When placing pieces on the fabric that don’t fall on the fold make sure that you are aligning the grain line of the pattern piece with the selvage. Get out your ruler and double check, any off grain pieces will result in the drape of the garment being affected.
If you’e tracing, trace around the outside of each piece. I use a number 2 pencil about 90% of the time, but you should use whatever type of tool you’re used to.
Mark any placement points such as the dart apex, pocket placement, and pivot point on View B. You can mark the button and buttonhole placements* now if you like but I prefer to leave that to the end. Since you will need to go through every step of the pattern before you get to that part the likelihood of the markings coming out before then is high.
Cut your pieces. When cutting you’re going to want to either pin or weight your fabric to keep the two layers from sliding. Also cut just to the inside of the line you drew so that you’re cutting that part off. When you cut a pattern or fabric you always want to cut off the outside line to avoid pattern growth, no matter how little growth it is, it’s just a good practice.
Don’t forget to snip your notches! I just clip into the seam allowance about 1/4″ to mark mine.
The last thing you’ll need to do to cut your fabric is trim the CF edge of the right front piece. Right front is the piece that is on the right side of your body while you are wearing it. Women’s shirts / blazers / coats / cardigans always close right over left. Anyway, cut or fold along the dotted line on the pattern.
Align this pattern piece with the right front piece you cut and mark the new CF edge.
Cut the edge off and discard the extra piece you removed. You don’t want to get that piece confused with the actual right front button band since the piece you cut off is 1/2″ smaller in width than the actual button band.
If you’re making your Alder out of silk or another type of slippery fabric I have a tutorial on cutting silk fabric between paper here that you may want to reference, it’s how I cut all my silk. By using this method you eliminate the tendency of the silk to slip this way and that and can cut on grain much easier. This will also make it easier to sew later on because a lot of the difficulty people have with sewing silk can be attributed to the fabric not being cut on the proper grain, or the two pieces you are sewing together being cut off grain in relation to each other.
To cut your interfacing follow the same steps as above and lay out your pieces according to the cutting layout in the instructions.
See you back here Monday where we’ll start sewing! Sewing the button bands, darts, and attaching the pockets are up first. Have a great weekend!
*It was just brought to my attention that if you have the paper pattern the button markings are 1/2″ to the left of their proper placement. They should fall on top of the dotted line. The PDF is not affected.