Today is the day you get to cut into your fabric! If you haven’t done so yet, please wash and dry to preshrink! Knits are notorious for shrinking, and you wouldn’t want your Seena to end up too short after all your hard work.
If you need to catch up, here is what we’ve covered so far:
Day 1: choosing your fabric
Day 2: other supplies
Make sure your fabric is free of creases. I find if I pull it out of the dryer warm, I don’t have to iron. Lay it out on a flat surface. It is important that none of it hangs over the edge, since this will cause it to stretch out.
You will have 4 pattern pieces: front, back, arm, and hem band. The front, back, and hem band are all cut on the fold.
I recommend using a rotary cutter and mat, with pattern weights to hold down your pattern. If you don’t have these tools, be sure to use a lot of pins and not lift your fabric as you cut.
If you are ever in doubt about grainline, remember you want the greatest stretch to go around your body, and the direction of greatest stretch is OPPOSITE the grainline. Remember how we talked about directional vs nondirectional prints? If not, you can read about it here; you’ll need to know before you cut!
Suggested cutting layout:
HINT: You’ll actually get way more use of your fabric if you fold once, cut your front on the fold, then fold up again the same edge. If you don’t have a directional print, you can ‘nest’ the front/back with this method and save quite a bit of fabric.
Sometimes jersey can be a real pain while cutting: the edges roll up like crazy! If your fabric does this, try using pattern weights (or soup cans) to hold down the edges.
The only thing you have left to cut is the strip of ribbing for your neck binding. Just wait a bit with that; we’ll discuss the binding in more detail on Thursday!
The last thing we need to do today is to stabilize the shoulder seams. While this is not 100% necessary, I find it keeps knits, especially unstable ones, from stretching out and getting sloppy over time. You’ll want to stabilize both shoulders, on the wrong side of either for the front or back piece. I have two methods:
1. fuse a small strip of light weight or knit interfacing to the seam allowance
2. attach a small strip of clear elastic (lastin). We will be stitching it in place when we sew the shoulder seam, but for now it is helpful to use a little glue stick to hold it in place
Tomorrow we will talk about what stitch to use with knits and sew our first seam!