Don't Settle for the Home-Made Look 
Part Four
Welcome to part four of this continuing series of tips and techniques on how to avoid the "Home-Made" look in your sewing projects. 

Cutting Tips: 
The success of a sewing projects hinges on proper cutting. If you have been sewing for many years it is likely you still cut out your projects with scissors and there is nothing wrong with that especially if you are accurate. I prefer to cut out all my garments and other sewing projects with  a rotary cutter because it's easier, faster and more accurate!

Why is it more accurate? When using scissors the fabric is lifted up off the table at an angle during the cutting process. Sometimes, even when you think you have done a good job you  will find some uneven spots in the cutting. These can sometimes be compensated for while sewing or you can try to whittle them away while still on the cutting table. I don't like either of those options because I know as a pattern drafter that the end result will only be as good as the cutting allows.

For those who are wondering how to cut out a full size garment on a little green mat, the answer is you don't. Cutting mats can be purchased that are the same size as any cutting table up to at least 45" by 98". If the exact size of your table is not available you can easily customize the large mats with a Stanley knife.

Why is it faster and easier? No pinning or unpinning is one reason. Instead of pins use weights made for cutting sewing projects. The rotary cutter glides along cutting through 2 or more layers easily and smoothly and never lifts or disturbs the fabric so accuracy is a breeze!

What about notches? Those funny little triangles that stick in or out from the seam allowance are inaccurate, troublesome and can be done away with. Yes, I said done away with! Simply cut the triangle off and in it's place make a short snip in the center of where the triangle was. You will find this type of notch easier to make and to use. All of my patterns have this type of notch. One thing to remember: the snip (notch) should be no longer than half the distance of the seam allowance. A 5/8" seam allowance would command a 1/4" snip.

Happy Sewing!!
Janet Pray

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