sewing 101: cutting the fabric

Posted by & filed under Sewing 101.

Good afternoon, lovelies!

First and foremost, before I say another thing, I have a confession: I messed up. On Monday I went on and on about finding the grain line of your fabric and how it will be parallel to your bias. And as I was saying it, it felt wrong. And as I edited the video it still felt wrong, but I was tired and forgot to go back and correct myself. Shame on me.

Shame on me because the bias of your fabric actually runs at a 45-degree angle across it (which is why you make bias tape by cutting through your fabric at that nasty fabric-wasting angle. It’s the very stretchiest, giviest angle of all.

Shame on me because the edges of your fabric (like the side where all the designer and fabric name information is printed) is called the selvage. Selvage, y’all. Your grain line runs parallel to your selvage. Raise your hand if you knew I was wrong and were biting your tongue? Teachers should not teach their impressionable students the wrong information! Angst.

Again, I am so sorry. And I stand corrected. And, since I shot all of my video for the week on Saturday (this explains why I’m wearing my #1 grey gingham shirt in all of this week’s videos…), you’re going to hear me be wrong again today. Laugh if you must. It’s my cross to bear at this point.

And now that I’ve aired my dirty laundry, we can move on to happier things!

Today we get to cut out all of our pattern pieces! I am intentionally breaking up the week this way – though I expect y’all might be chomping at the bit to get stitching! – because I think sometimes we rush right into the part of the project that is the most quickly gratifying and overlook taking care on those first few steps.

That is why I took a day to talk about patterns and reading them. And, that is why we are taking another full day today to talk about cutting. There are a lot of important things to learn in these first two lessons of the week. Friday will come and it will be glorious.

Today we’ll cut out our fabric. We’ll talk about pre-washing v. not pre-washing. We’ll talk about a few tricks to make the cutting process go more quickly. We’ll mark our fabric appropriately. And, I occasionally speed up the video whilst playing happy French music, just to make you happy!

You’re so excited, aren’t you? I can tell.

Shall we?

Did you cringe on my behalf when I said “bias” again? Did you enjoy the occasional music? I literally eeked that video under the 15-minute time limit by one second. Yay, me!

I’ll see y’all Friday for the big dance. Mwuah!

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12 Responses

  1. Kelly 25 April 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Great video!! Thanks so much!! Can you share a little more info about the canvas. Not 100% sure of what to get. Also… where did you get the pattern weights? I LOVE them!!

    • Raechel Myers 26 April 2012 at 9:43 am

      Hey Kelly,
      Good question. The canvas I bought was at JoAnn’s for $12.99/yd ($6.50 with the 50% off coupon – if you have a smart phone, you can get the JoAnn’s app and it’s always on your phone!) I bought a full yard (it’s 60″ wide) and it was more than enough. Mine is natural colored.

      If you wanted to save some cash, you could totally buy light colored, non-patterned home decor fabric and use it instead. (You just don’t want any color/pattern showing through if you’re using lighter fabric for the body of your bag).

      Don’t feel like you have to over think the canvas. Just something light colored and heavier weight to give the bag some structure. It won’t show, so definitely cut costs here if you can.


  2. Sarah M. 26 April 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Stupid question…the interfacing I bought…yeah, I think it is wrong. :( It is fairly thick, stiff interfacing. Is this the totally wrong thing? If so, should I go to Joann’s and just ask them for their suggestion on heavy canvas interfacing? I’m thinking there is a difference between interfacing (what I bought) and canvas interfacing? :(

    • Raechel Myers 26 April 2012 at 9:23 pm

      I really feel like the pattern wasn’t super clear. You just need plain canvas to use as interfacing. It doesn’t need to be able to adhere in any way – you just need some heavyweight fabric to add structure to your bag. See my comment above to Kelly.


      • Sarah M. 27 April 2012 at 7:51 am

        Okay! So do you think the Pellon interfacing (medium weight…not too stiff, but somewhat) would work okay for the bag? Sorry to keep beating a dead horse, but want to make sure it isn’t going to be too thick and screw up the project…

        • Raechel Myers 27 April 2012 at 7:54 am

          I’d hate to make a call without feeling it in person. As long as it’s not stiffer or thicker than canvas (I’d be surprised – the canvas I used was pretty serious stuff!), you should be fine.

  3. Ashley 26 April 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Ok, I am shamefully not following along in they way I had wanted to, but I’m still feeling the need to watch these videos for a few reasons. You are totally inspiring me to get going with sewing again (if I could only get my machine back from the shop) – I’ve been in such a blah, uninspired rut in my current “state.” :) Also- it’s nice to see your face and hear your voice. Miss you, friend!

  4. Marcella Vander Eems 3 May 2012 at 3:19 pm

    i got all the supplies b/f the start of the lessons but never got to do it!
    hoping that this summer I can sit down & learn how to sew a bit.
    i’m really sad i didn’t get to follow along…but everything is in the house for when summer starts.
    i really hope it will work!
    want to learn!!!


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