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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Cutting explained

O. K. 

I totally get the why-would-I-play Twister references to my thoughts on cutting. So here is a little explanation that may be helpful, or not. 

Bear in mind that this is my perspective and there is never one way, or right way, to sew. If it feels weird in your own hands of course pay no attention. Just like I am no good at stretching clear elastic into a seam while I serge. Other people can do it well, I can't

If you cut right handed with the pattern piece to the right, or left handed to the left, the blade cut is going to be closer to the cutting line and less likely to lift. If you have ever taken your pattern off your fabric and been frustrated by the less than precise cutting you might want to try this.

If your fabric is slippery and have likewise nearly lost your mind as it slid around under the pattern piece then the keep-your-hand on the pattern piece and cut one hand length at a time advice is really helpful.

In order of priority I would always cut with the pattern to the right, however if it is a nice cooperative fabric like a denim that doesn't slide around much I would be less rigorous with cutting with my left hand on the pattern (however rough cutting the pattern pieces into chunks you can rotate around to get the best cut is IMO always worth it and something tailors often do).

If the fabric tends to slip, or move, a knit for instance, I would do both. I figure since we are down to the 1/8" differences when we sew some form of cutting accuracy is important.

For your edification, and amusement, here is a video of me simulating my advanced cutting technique on a picnic table with a napkin standing in for both fabric and pattern. 

Let me tell you if you can makes sense of this you can most certainly cut with your hands crossed over:

I will probably start talking about marking tonight after supper.

In the meantime I also want to share a picture.

My daughter's Golden Retriever has lymphoma and 1-3 months at best. Like all Goldens she is the ultimate family dog. Those three kids could stick their arms down her throat and she would just wag her tail. Such a sweet, sweet girl.

She really is my son-in-law's best friend. Now I have to tell you I adore my SIL, he is truly one of my best friends and I feel sad for them today.

Here is a picture taken of the two of them yesterday. Says it all at this stage of both their lives:


BeccaA said...

Thank you for the short video. I usually stand with my right side to the pattern piece, so I see that facing it makes it a less twisted position. I will have to try this technique next project. I look forward to having more precise cutting lines.

patsijean said...

I agree with your cutting information, I also do that when using a rotary cutter.

That photo of your son-in-law breaks my heart.

Mary said...

Knowing the story behind it, the photo of your SIL and his dog is both the sweetest and saddest of photos. Brought tears to my eyes. I feel for the whole family--we lost our almost 15 year Dobie, Abby, in Nov and our other best bud, Jake, the year before on the same day our grandson was born via an emergency C-section--we now call Jake his guardian angel. Thoughts are with the whole family. Losing a family pet/member leaves big empty spaces in our hearts.

Cactusneedle said...

Unfortunately the video is not working for me.

Chris said...

I really enjoy your blog and love your handy sewing hints. The photo of your SIL and their Golden is beautiful. I am sorry the family has to go through this. The photo and story breaks my heart, I know what it is like to lose your best friend.

PJSewlady said...

Love your blog. For some reason I can't see the video on IPad. I'll check my laptop. Sympathies for you and your family. Fur kids are family members. We have been dealing with two cancers in our Lab for about a year. Chemo has now caused Cystitis, but at least he is still with us..

Sharon said...

Cutting out is a challenge with some fabrics and this is why I love my rotary cutter, much more accurate and no jagged edges.

I'm with Mary It is the sweetest and saddest of photos, my heart goes out to the family, it will not be an easy time.

Anonymous said...

Such a bittersweet photo of what is surely a loving friendship. There is really nothing like a good dog--a friend through everything and for all time. I ache at what your family will go through. The hole left in a family from the loss of a beloved pet is never really filled in.

donnyb said...

I agree with other comments -- your picture of your SIL and his best friend broke my heart -- and I've been there with some other 'best friends' in our family. Always difficult times but then we've always found room for another loving soul.

I'm also really appreciating your sewing hints -- I used to sew a lot more when my children were young but got out of it when I went back to work full time. I've just retired, so sewing is one of the activities I want to pick up again. Lyn

Donna W said...

The loss of a pet is so sad. I know how the family feels. Life can be cruel sometime.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you blog, sharing your sewing thoughts, family thoughts, dog thoughts, travel thoughts, life thoughts, any thoughts, pictures, questions. Thank you.

jirons42 said...

Thanks for the little video. It helped me to understand what you were talking about.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for your instructions and video on cutting out (a pattern). I understand and certainly will follow this way in the future. With appreciation, Lynda in Toronto (persevering on SPR)

Anonymous said...

Can you please explain exactly where one should cut -
1) in the middle of the pattern's cutting line?
2) just inside the cutting line?
3) just outside the cutting line?
Please excuse me for asking this question if you have explained in the past.
Thanking you,
Lynda in Toronto

Melani said...

I don't know if this will help or not but you might want to try giving good quality virgin coconut oil for the dog, it works wonders. About 1tbsp a day everyday but start gradually as the dog may need to adjust to it first. It's good for any dog any size any age ...
Also if the dog have been taking antibiotic or medication, plain yogurt (no sugar, no flavouring) 1tbsp a day to replenish the good bacteria that is killed (antibiotic kills the good bacteria along with the bad).
It might sounds too simple, but good quality virgin coconut oil helps with many things, if not, it will at the very least give more strength ...
Hope this helps ...