Tag Archives: sewing tips

production cutting

Tips for Production Line Cutting

When you’re set to do a load of cutting, you’ll work more efficiently if you have a system in place. There are a few techniques for this and the aim is to find the best solution for you. Now I say this because not everyone is going to have the same steps or work flow. Factors such as work space, the type of items you’re cutting and the materials you use all contribute to how your system is going to pan out.

For example, someone cutting a bulk lot of kids shorts is going to need space to stack the shorts in bundles as they are cut. Their workflow flow for cutting may look something like this –

  1. unroll and check meterage. Check for flaws in the fabric and mark them with a safety pin at the selvedge
  2. place pattern pieces in the most economical way taking care to follow grain lines, pattern matching and avoiding any flaws
  3. mark shapes, sizes and notches onto fabric. I generally trace pattern pieces onto the fabric with a soft pencil or biro and mark sizes within a seam or hem
  4. cut shorts and stack each garment as a complete bundle (ie the front pair and back pairs stacked together)
  5. discard scraps as you go (a tall laundry hamper or plastic bin is good for this)
  6. keep a tally of what sizes and how many of each you’ve cut as you go
  7. slide the fabric up the table and arrange ready to trace and cut the next lot.

I use a table like the one pictured below where it has a space for you to add fabric swatches, the sizes you’re cutting, the number you need and a spot to keep a tally of what you’ve cut as you go. If you keep one of these sheets for each garment you cut, you’ll have a way to go back and check any discrepancies at a later date.

You can download the Exel file here.  Cutting Sheet example

production cutting materials

This process can be repeated till you’ve cut as many as you need. Once you’ve done with the fabric, move onto any other fabrics needed for the item. If any pieces require interfacing, keep these separate and cut all together.

Cut elastics all in one go. Make a mark on your cutting table or ruler to save yourself measuring every single piece.

Once all your pieces and trims are cut you may need to fuse interfacing. Always use a pressing cloth to save your iron or steam press from any excess glue. Remember this is the iron you’re going to be using to press the finished garments.

Count out your labels and keep them in a little shallow container to sit beside your sewing machine. This is a way to double check you’ve cut and sewn the correct number and sizes. If you get to the end of your sewing pile and have a set of labels left over then something’s gone wrong!

Now you’re ready to prepare the sewing machines which I’ll be covering in a future post. To be sure not to miss out why not subscribe and have it sent your inbox. Just enter your preferred email address in the subscribe box on the right and it will come automatically.

Shared on Weekend Crafts Creative Spark Linky Party.

how to line a skirt

How to Line a Skirt

There are a few reasons why you might like to line a skirt – for modesty if the main fabric is a bit see through, to help the fabric sit smoothly and not cling to your legs when wearing stockings/leggings, or perhaps to make the skirt feel thicker if the main fabric is too light. The type of lining you choose needs to complement the main fabric so it doesn’t interfere with the main fabric and because you are going to be washing them together.
The most common fabric labelled as lining is thin, plain coloured and has a slippery/slinky feel. It can be made from polyester, acetate or silk and would be suitable for lining most garments. If you wanted a cotton lining – say for breath-ability – you could use cotton voile or any other light weight plain weave cotton.
The two simplest ways to line a skirt is to either sew the lining with the main fabric as one, or to sew the lining separately and joined only at the waist. Here I’m going to show you how to use a separate lining attached at the waist and around the zip.
Firstly cut your skirt pieces from the main fabric. For the lining you’ll use the same pattern piece but shorten the length by 2.5cm.
1
Sew the main fabric side seams, centre back and zip as normal.
2
Sew the lining side seams and centre back the same way.
3
Press all seams flat – do not press the opening for the zip on the lining.

Arrange the main skirt (right side out) with the lining inside (inside out) matching up the zip and zip opening in the lining.
4
Pin the lining to the zip tape on both sides.
5

6

Sew the fabrics together as close to the zip as you can get. You may need to use your zip foot/half foot to get close enough on the flap side.

7

Leave some room for the fabric to move around the end of the zip. Having the lining caught too close might cause your zip to become distorted.
8

Another option is to hand sew the lining around the zip. A slip stitch with matching thread will work best here.
Press the lining away from the zip teeth.
Hem the lining and the main skirt using the same hem allowance – remember you’ve already trimmed the lining so it will sit 2.5cm shorter than the main skirt.
9
Attach the waistband with the main skirt and lining as one.
10
And you’re done. A lined skirt does feel luxurious and is well worth the effort.
13
The skirt pattern used is the women’s A-line skirt available at Very Debra on Etsy.

This article first appeared in One Thimble Issue 4 .

 

steps to perfect piping

5 Steps to Perfect Piping

Have you tried pipping an edge of your garment? Say a neckline or the hem of a short sleeve? Apart from looking super special it’s a great way to help ease in a gaping neckline or adding an extra pop of colour.

Step 1

I like to use knitting yarn inside my piping for clothing as it’s soft enough to sew over and is a lot cheaper than cord. Alternatively, cotton cord is sold by the meter and comes in a variety of thicknesses.  It’s what I prefer for soft furnishings.

Firstly we need to cut the strips. For clothing, piping should be cut on the bias because it will give us the stretch we need if we want to ease in an edge (on a neckline for example.) Soft furnishings and accessories piping can be cut on the straight grain and will use less fabric.

Cut bias strips 4cm wide and join if necessary.

Step 2

  1. Fold the bias strip over the end of your yarn and position under the half foot of your sewing machine
  2. begin sewing and use the yarn “bump” as a guide for the foot to run along
  3. sew all the way to the end
  4. trim so the seam allowance on the piping is between 6mm and 1cm (this is especially important when using darker piping in a pale coloured item as you won’t want the seam allowance to show through.)

piping collage 1

Step 3

Next we sew the piping onto our project.

  1. position the piping along the required edge leaving a tail hanging off the end. Sew on top of the first row of stitching
  2. with your lining facing the right side of your work, and the piped fabric on top, sew just to the left of your previous row (as indicated by the yellow line in the photo)
  3. and if all goes well you’ll have something like this.

piping collage 2Step 4

Now what if you have to insert a zip? You can make your piping sit back away from the edge which will give you space to add a zip.

  1. instead of leaving a tail hanging off the back, fold the piping at an angle
  2. sew on the lining or facing as instructed above
  3. see how the piping is now set neatly back from the edge
  4. leaving you seam allowance to insert a zip.

piping collage 3

Step 5

Or what about joining your piping when it meets?

  1. when you begin sewing, fold the piping at an angle
  2. then when you come around to where it meets, turn the piping at a slighter angle and run it off the edge. This is where you’ll be glad you used yarn instead of cording as you’ll be able to sew over the top with no problems.

piping collage 4

 

I’ll be doing a second post soon about further methods for joining the ends, how to sew a zip along a piped edge (like you would in a cushion cover) and how to sew piping on curves and corners.

In the meantime, practice and let me know how you go. I’d love to see your work on Instagram too so use the hash tag #stitchingrules.

 

help desk is here

Help Desk is Here!

Did you see it? Up in the top navigation bar next to Start Here, Blog and Resources.

Help desk is here!

Help desk

I thought we needed a special place on the site for you to ask questions about sewing, patterns or general business stuff. You can add as much detail as you like and even add a link if there’s something you want me to take a look at.

So ask away – if there’s something you’ve been needing/wanting to know, ask and I’ll do my best to send you in the right direction.