Accuracy when cutting your sewing pattern and then transferring the construction symbols -- or marks -- on to the fabric is crucial. These are the final steps taken before you begin to sew your garment.
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Things you need
- Dressmaker's carbon
- Pattern weights
- Sewing patterns
- Fabric chalks
- Fabric pencils
- Fabric-marking pens
- Straight pins
- Tracing wheels
Pin sewing pattern pieces to the fabric.
Use dressmaker's shears to cut fabric along the designated cutting line.
Cut all notches -- diamond-shaped symbols that appear along the cutting line -- outwards from the cutting line. These notches will be used to match pattern pieces later on. Treat double and triple notches as one and cut them together with a continuous edge.
Leave the pins intact until all markings have been transferred from the sewing pattern pieces to the fabric.
Transfer all the marks to your fabric. These marks include pockets, pleats, circles, darts and tucks. Mark a single dot with a small cross. Mark lining fabric only if you have chosen to pin and cut both lining and fashion fabrics as one.
Pinning and cutting
Transfer marks using pins and a chalk fabric pencil or marking pen.
Support the fabric with one hand, and insert pins through all layers of fabric along the outline of the pattern mark.
Carefully turn the pattern piece over and use a ruler and marking pencil or pen to trace along the outline made by the pins.
Turn the pattern piece over so that the tissue side is facing up.
Unpin the pattern and carefully pull the pattern piece over the heads of the marking pins.
Once again, follow the outline made by the marking pins to trace the pattern mark on to your fabric.
Transfer pattern marks
Use dressmaker's carbon, or tracing paper, and a tracing wheel as an alternative method of transferring pattern marks to fabric.
Mark two layers of fabric by cutting a strip of carbon paper about 10 by 25 cm (4 by 10 inches) and folding it in half.
Place the coated sides together.
Slide the bottom half of the paper under the fabric and the top half between the fabric and the pattern.
Trace along the marking lines with a tracing wheel.
Carbon paper method
Tips and warnings
- Any sharpened pair of scissors will do, although the bent handles of dressmaker shears allow fabric to lie flat while you are cutting.
- Cut fabric with long, even strokes for a smoother cutting line.
- If your pattern calls for interfacing or lining, save time by pinning and cutting these items at the same time as your fabric.
- If you use a marking pen, test on a piece of scrap fabric to ensure that any marks made with it can be washed out.
- Use carbon paper only if fabric is opaque, as the marks will not wash out. Always mark on the wrong side of the fabric.