Monday, 11 February 2019

Raccoon's red hot tips: Seven steps to precision sewing.


Here are some of the most useful tips I have.  I always use these methods, as it makes for very precise cutting.  Invaluable when sewing on a very small scale, like doll's clothing.  All the equipment I've mentioned below, I buy on Ebay, just so you know.

You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.


1)  Glue your paper pattern pieces to card stock.



This way, you can draw around the pattern pieces directly onto the fabric.  I then cut just inside the lines, and hold up my fabric piece against the pattern piece, to check it's exact.  Recycled greetings cards are good, or you can buy larger pieces cheaply on Ebay.


2) Draw around your card pieces directly onto the back of the fabric.



This beats using paper pieces pinned to fabric.  It's a nightmare cutting out tiny shapes this way.  I use standard black gel pens, because they don't smudge when  I apply the fray check.


3) Apply fray check before cutting out.




It makes life a lot easier!  I use Fray Stopper because it's cheaper then Fray Check, and dries much faster, but the nozzles are a bit rubbish.  So,  I transfer my stuff to a fine-nozzle bottle, so it doesn't blob, and I keep a rag in my hand for wiping the tip.  Fray-checking on old bits of card mean you won't wreck your sewing table or desk.


4) Cut away the pen lines.


I cut just inside my pen lines, to remove the ink - it shows through on sheer fabrics, and can run when damp-styling.  Then I hold  the fabric piece against the card template to make sure it's exact.


5) Cutting on the fold.  Don't just fold the fabric in half to cut out your piece.


I find this is very hit and miss when pieces need to be precise.  For example, hats, where the crown needs to fit exactly on the brim.  Or for bodice pieces that need to be exactly the same size as their linings.

I draw around my half-piece, making registration marks (red pointers)  Then I flip my piece over, matching it up carefully, and draw around it again. 


6) Mark out seam lines.


I mark every piece of fabric before I start to sew.  Standard purple vanishing ink pens are great, they can be damped away, or disappear after a few days.  But I also use Pilot Frixion pens, which can be removed by a burst of steam, or a quick press.


7) Make it a habit.



Some of this prep may seem a bit tedious, but I use these methods whenever I sew anything.  It makes for great confidence when making something worthwhile for a very expensive doll.  :)

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2 comments :

  1. Great tips - all of which I already do - you've taught me well through your tutorials!

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    Replies
    1. You're my top student, lol! I thought I'd share it with all and sundry, so I can link to this in my sewing patterns instead of having pages devoted to it.

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