Monday, November 12, 2012

{Pencil Skirt Sew-along} Cutting Out

It's time to start the actual making! Your pattern instruction sheet will have cutting layout recommendations, which for a single-seam skirt and 54" fabric will look something like this:

The Selvedge (Selvage in US English) is the term for the self-finished edges of fabric. The selvedges keep the fabric from unraveling or fraying, and are the result of how the fabric is woven. Selvedges are the edges that run parallel to the warp (the longitudinal threads that run the entire length of the fabric), and are created by the weft thread looping back at the end of each row.

If your skirt pattern has side seams, the cutting layout will look like this for 54" wide fabric:

Another option is to fold the fabric in from both sides and cut both pieces on the fold so that the kick pleat doesn't have a seam, if you like. I did my last pencil skirt like this because I wanted a double-fold kick pleat. (Note: I haven't drawn the waistband on this layout - you would unfold the fabric again to cut it).

If your fabric is too narrow to use widthways, the cutting layout will be more like this:

Note: As I'll be sewing a lapped zipper, I like to extend the seam allowances slightly for the length of the zipper opening so I have more fabric to work with.

Note: We'll be covering different styles of waistband later in the sew-along, so don't cut out the waistband piece from the pattern just yet, just set aside the offcuts of fabric in the meantime.

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