Sewing Lesson 2 - Cutting And Sewing Begins
Continued from Let The Sewing Lessons Begin Sewing Lesson 2
Ready, Set, Cut, Sew!
You have done all the preparations as listed in Get prepared and created your pattern. Now it is time to get down to creating!
Press your fabric to be smooth and winkle free. For this pillow cover you will be using one layer of fabric. Lay the pattern out on the fabric. Be sure that the edge of the pattern is an even distance from the salvage of the fabric. This is how you will be keeping the pillow cover "on grain". Carefully pin the pattern to the fabric, avoiding having lumps and bunches of fabric where you pin. This may take a few attempts, the first time you are pinning a pattern but it is important so that your cut fabric is accurate to match your pattern.
Before you cut: Double check that your pattern is an even distance from the salvage edge of the fabric and that the pattern and fabric are totally smooth! Remember that you can re-pin but you can not add fabric to what has been cut so it is worth while to double check everything before you cut anything.
Leave the fabric and pattern flat on the table. Bring your scissors up to the pattern and carefully cut the fabric to match your pattern. Always keep your scissors perpendicular to the table surface. If you angle the scissors, then your cutting will not be as accurate as humanly possible. That may not create problems with this project but when you are making tailored garments, a slight measurement change will magnify itself so it is best to start off being in the habit of making totally accurate cuts.
More information on accuracy
For this pillow you will need to make a mark, 10" up from the short edge of the pattern, on the long edge of your fabric, as shown in this diagram. You can do this by making a small nip in the seam allowance or using a fabric marking pencil.
Get Ready to Sew...
First step is to thread your sewing machine and have a new, sharp needle in place. Needles do get dull and are the most common cause of machine malfunction and poorly formed stitches. If you do not have the manual to your sewing machine please refer to Locating A Sewing Machine Manual or ask for help on the forum. There are many teachers, with all kinds of machines, out there waiting to give you a hand.
Most sewing machines have many different sewing machine feet. If you have not used a foot before it is always a good idea to practice on scrapes of fabric before starting on your actual project. To sew the hems of the pillow cover you will want to make your stitches and even distance from the end edge and as close to the unattached fold as possible. Making the stitches close to the edge will help the hem from turning. You may want to refer to your sewing machine manual to learn more about the various feet and needle position capabilities of your sewing machine. (Note: Not all machines have needle position change capabilities.)
If you are not familiar with operating and controlling a sewing machine, please take the time to practice using the ideas described in Mastering A Sewing Machine.
Set up your ironing board and iron.
On each 16 inch edge of your cut fabric, you will need to press under 1/4" (toward the wrong side of the fabric, making wrong side to wrong side touch each other).
Press that 1/4" under again so that all raw edges of the fabric are enclosed. Press with steam to set these hems.