Can I just say I love that I learned about this automatic post feature? I never get to post on Sundays because I’m usually near the computer that day. So I’m programming it to publish when I’m not here. That’s just so cool!
OK, I know this may sound like a dorky tutorial. But listen, if I would have known there was an alternative to cutting out patterns like the way I was taught in jr. high sewing class where you take your paper scissors and cut out the thin tissue paper, tearing it accidentally as you go, and then pinning the thin tissue paper onto the fabric, and then taking the sewing shears and making little jagged cuts around the tissue paper, I would have caught an even bigger sewing bug long ago.
When I started sewing diapers, my online diaper sewing friends strongly encouraged me to get a self-healing mat and a rotary cutter. Little did I know that investment would spur on other sewing adventures. I have a large mat that covers the top of my chest freezer. I use OLFA rotary in a 45mm size. I find that to be the most multi-purpose.
We’re not cutting diapers today, though. We’re cutting p.j.s for part of David’s Christmas present. (Shhhh! Don’t tell him!) He was so sweet the last time I made him pajama bottoms. At the time I had been working on one-sized diapers for Elias, and pj’s for Silje. When he saw the boy flannel, he assumed it was yet something else for Elias. When I told him I was making something for him, he got so excited he jumped all around my laundry...ahem…I mean sewing room. The little sweetie loves homemade stuff.
I’m showing you this method on a Kwik Sew pattern. I’m going to try not to infringe on any copyrights or anything, and only show you partial pieces of the patterns. Kwik Sew patterns are a bit more money, but in my opinion, are worth every single little penny. I try to catch them at a half off sale usually. They come on actual paper, not tissue. I think their patterns are a bit more stylish, and less boxy as some other brands are. But that’s just my opinion, and I don’t get patterns exclusively from them.
The lady at the fabric store taught me this method, and I’m so thankful. She has saved me so much money and headache in the process. First, you’ll want to unfold the pattern you’re working on. It’s recommended that you iron the paper so that it’s more accurate. I’ll admit, sometimes I don’t.
Then you take some non-fusible interfacing. I buy the cheapest, thinnest stuff I can find for usually .99 cents a yard. This one happened to have a light graph on it, but it doesn’t have to. In fact, my favorite stuff doesn’t have it. You’ll want to trace with a Sharpie just the size you want. For David, I’m going with an XS. (This is pattern 3604 by the way.) The beauty of this method is you don’t cut the actual pattern. If I want to make him pj’s again next year, I just trace the next size up on some new “pattern fabric.” The hard copy of the pattern is actually never cut.
I transfer as much of the information from the pattern to the pattern fabric as I can. I usually write the pattern #, the piece #, the size I’m cutting it in, the grain, how many pieces to cut, and any notches.
Then you simply take your rotary, and cut out your pattern. For my own clothes, I can easily drape and pin this pattern onto my dress form, and adjust the pattern right there before it even touches the actual clothing fabric. It’s pretty handy.
I’m making these winter pj’s out of flannel. Just a friendly reminder, when you are making clothing, preshrink your fabric. Do a zig-zag stitch on all the cut edges, and throw it in the washer and the drier, at the hottest setting they go.
What I love about this method is you just lay the soft pattern on the fabric, and it just kinda “sticks.” I’ve never had a problem with shifting (except with silky fabrics, but I rarely sew with those). Again, you probably should iron your fabric. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. I’m pretty lazy. When it comes to diapers and pj’s I figure it’s going to get wrinkled anyway. When it comes to quilting or making a bag, I will pull out the iron. This is where I am so not like Martha Stewart.
I leave the pattern on the fabric until I’m ready to sew. With as many interruptions as I get in a day, I try to get a pattern cut one day, and try sewing on a different day. In fact, while I was cutting this pattern, I was interrupted 2 times because it was nap time, and David kept crawling into Elias’ crib and tickling him without mercy. You should have heard it on the monitor. I wasn’t sure if I should be angry or crack up laughing.
And here’s my stack of pieces, waiting to be sewn up. I like to leave my sewing room with a nice stack like this, so that it’s immediately inspiring upon return. Sometimes I leave the room in frustration, but I try not to. If I leave with a tedious job to return to, I may avoid this room completely for weeks.
With my interruptions, cutting this out took less than 30 minutes. (OK, I didn’t time it. But it went really fast!) The quickest way to fall in love with sewing is a bit of instant gratification. Break it up into steps, and pretty soon, you’ll be done. If I waited to sew until I could finish it from start to finish, it would never even start.