Although I am yet to sew a proper stitch on it, the skirt from my Clothes Making class is starting to take shape!
In my last blog about the skirt, I explained how to lay the pattern out on the fabric correctly. The next stage is the cutting out.
I can honestly say I never knew a sewing class could get so stressful… and that’s not just a typical Alison over-reaction (well, maybe a bit)!
You could feel the tension in the air as we took out our scissors and approached the fabric. Beads of sweat were forming on our brows (although that was also due to the unseasonal warmth and the fact the windows don’t really open). What if we went wrong we asked, what if we accidentally picked up the fabric from the table when we had specifically been told not to??!!
Taking a deep breath, I made my first incision. Relief poured through me as I realised it was going to be OK. I could do this! Keeping as close to the edge of the pattern as humanly possible, I cut my pattern out.
A slight problem arose when it came to cutting out the accent colour for the belt.
Pattern pieces should be placed with the grainline parallel to to selvedge edge. (There is a handy diagram in my last skirt post if you’re not sure what a grainline or a selvedge is). I couldn’t do this as the pattern piece was too long for the correctly folded fabric.
So, using a set square or Pattern Master you can create a new grainline at 90 degrees to the original one. This then allowed me to turn the pattern piece round so that it fitted. PHEW!
With all my pieces now cut out, and me feeling much calmer, all that was left to do was transfer the tailors marks from the pattern on to the fabric. These are called balance marks and enable you to match the individual pieces together when constructing the garment.
The first is a small circle. To mark these precisley we used a needle and thread.
First you stitch through to the back and then back to the front.
You then repeat this, but don’t pull the thread all the way through so that a loop remains.
Removing the pattern, you pull the two layers of fabric apart so that the loop you have created is taught between the two pieces. By cutting the thread you are then left with marks on both pieces of fabric.
The second balance marks to transfer are these triangles.
These are simply marked by snipping in to the fabric at the right point.
After removing all the pattern pieces, you need to mark each piece of fabric so that you know what number it is, and which is the right side. All this information is taken from the pattern piece itself.
The white cross made with tailors chalk tells you which is the right side.
So, with all my pieces cut out and carefully marked, I am now ready to make my skirt. Tune in next Monday to find out what happens next in this exciting tale!