Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sewing Tips: Cutting Fabric

Cutting fabric can be such a pain!  Recently I have been working on a project that involved a lot of cutting. .  I actually had been avoiding the project for several months because the amount of fabric I had to cut felt daunting.  By the end I had improved my technique and realized it had been excellent practice.  The process also took way less time than I had imagined.

Everyone has their own way, but I am always a fan of using my rotary cutter when I can.  Here are some cutting tips to hopefully inspire you to start on that new project you've been avoiding. 

Step 1:  Turn on some jams!
Nothing inspires me to get working more than some fun music.  What does your mood tell you?  Calming Bach, jazzy Ella?  Thanks to my childhood, one of my favorite "pump-up"  musicians has to be blues rocker Stevie Ray Vaughan.  

Step 2:  Press the fabric
When I cut fabric, especially large pieces, it is a good idea to press your fabric before cutting.  This is especially true when working with cotton.  Too many wrinkles can really hinder an accurate cut, and just making the job plain annoying.  So do yourself a favor - break out your iron - you'll be happy you did.

Step 3:  Assemble your tools
A cutting mat, a ruler, a rotary cutter, fabric weights, and fabric scissors are all great items to have available.

Step 4:  Line up your fabric
Use the grid-lines on your cutting mat and your fabric weights to keep your fabric in place!

Step 5:  Measure twice - Cut once!
I don't know where I heard this old saying, but it is so true!  Better to take a little extra time lining up your ruler and double checking the measurement, than to waste money and time by making mistakes.

Step 6:  Enjoy a job well-done :)
What is more satisfying than freshly cut stacks of fabric bursting with potential!  Time to create!

 Improvise your own fabric weights using large metal washers wrapped with fabric or glass jars filled with something fun!


Share your cutting tips with us!  


  1. So do we have to wait for the project to be done to find out what you're making with that lovely fabric?? Great tips! It never occured to me to use weights. Duh!

    1. My project will be done shortly and I am so excited to share it! I have been making placemats for my sister-in-law :) Thanks for the feedback!