Intro: Cutting Fabric for to Make Clothing
I went down to see my brother for his birthday over the weekend, and we had a blast!
Even better, I learned how to do something new!
My brother is in fashion design at a college in Toronto, and he asked me for some help to cut some fabric for him. I still don't know why he would trust me with his homework. I'm the worst thing to happen to one's homework right after a dog's chewing habits.
Anyways... Here it goes:
Pins - lots of 'em
Scissors - big ones for fabric
Fabric cutter - like a pizza cutter, but for fabric
Textile weights - didn't even know they were a thing
Patterns - to guide the cuts
Patience & Courage (All I could think was "Don't mess up your brother's homework! DON'T MESS UP YOUR BROTHER'S HOMEWORK!)
Step 1: Pinning It Down
My brother at a safe distance, a box of pins in hand, I started the process of pinning the patterns to the 2 layers of fabric.
Use the pins closer to the corner, and for curves put the pins at the top and bottom of the curves.
Pin the extremities first and then the insides.
Tips from my brother:
Push the pins towards you.
Use the pins to catch the fabric; pinching the fabric will change its shape and relation to the other pins on the fabric.
Step 2: Cutting in Line
Fabric and textiles have their own pizza cutters!
These textile cutting tools, you guessed it, work like pizza cutters. They work best in a straight line, but can do curves as well.
Use a straight edge ruler to maintain the line, and press down hard on the cutter.
These cutting tools are sharp. However, they aren't sharp all the way around! The tool has 2 1/32" flat edge on either side of its diameter. The reason for this being, leaving little bits of uncut textile holds the patterns together better and prevents the textile from returning to its original shape and shrinking. (the last picture with scissors)
As I was cutting I thought I wasn't doing a good job because I wasn't cutting all the way through the whole length. Turns out, that because of that "flat edge" feature the tools was doing its job better than me.
Step 3: Cutting Curves
After all the straight lines are cut, you get a starting point to get the scissors under the 2 layers of fabric.
I discovered a cool pair of tools, fabric weights. To use them, you place them in the centre of you pattern a push them out to the sides to level the fabric and maintain the shapes.
Then all you have to do is cut around the pattern with scissors.
To not ruin my brother's project, when I wasn't sure where the scissors were going I would cut a little larger than the pattern so I wouldn't ruin his pattern and he could fix it appropriately.
I ended up sitting on the table to get a good viewing and cutting angle at some points. This clothing making is hard work! (No sweatshop jokes please!)
Step 4: Cut Up and Ready for the Next Step!
Here is the last of the pictures.
It's just a pile of the cut fabric I had been working on for the past 2 hours, and now my brother can make a suit out of it!