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Forum > Beginner's Forum > How Do I Use a Sewing Pattern? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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How Do I Use a Sewing Pattern?
agympro
agympro
Member since 6/23/12
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Date: 8/10/12 3:38 PM

I feel a little silly asking this, but I want to make sure I do it correctly. I have never sewn anything before but I managed to teach myself how to use a serger and am decent at it now using different scraps and I am ready to start on my project.

I am going to attempt to make a leotard for my daughter who does gymnastics. I purchased the Jalie 3138 sewing pattern and cut the size I need by tracing over the original using freezer paper so I could preserve all of the original sizes. So I have the whole pattern cut out and labeled, etc. So now it looks like I just fold the material in half (since the pattern is for half of each side), pin the pattern to the material and either cut straight from there or trace around with a Sharpie or something? This is my assumption but being that I have never done this before I didn't think it was safe to assume!

A bonus if anyone could answer... the Jalie 3138 leotard pattern has a "crotch" piece but it doesn't appear to really be necessary since the front connect to the back. I'm wondering if its just a lining?

Thank you!

heathergwo
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Date: 8/10/12 4:05 PM

I don't know about the crotch thing as I've never made a leotard OR used that pattern #, BUT in answer to your previous queston, the answer is YES!

Just pin the pattern pieces to the fabric (folded in half) and cut out. In the pattern instructions there MAY be a diagram of how best to layout your pattern on the fabric to get the most out of the placement. I don't know if Jalie patterns do this or not.

Make sure you cut out the notches and things correctly. For example if you have a small triangle on the pattern, this is a notch. You should cut a small notch on the fabric jutting OUTWARD to match this triangle mark.

Once you have cut, but before you unpin, you should make all appropriate markings on your fabric that are on the pattern that you will need in order to sew it up. For example, right side, wrong side, center front, center back, etc.

HTH!

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JTink
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JTink
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In reply to agympro <<
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Date: 8/10/12 4:12 PM

Bravo on learning all this own your own Don't forget to fold the material "right sides together" before you place the pattern pieces on for cutting.

As far as the "crotch" piece, not seeing the pattern or instructions before me, I am going to make a guess that it's a lining.

BeckyNoSleep
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BeckyNoSleep
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Date: 8/10/12 4:34 PM

The beauty of Jalie patterns is that they do put the instructions online:
Jalie 3138 instructions
So, yes, that's a crotch lining piece, you can cut that from your main fabric or tricot. You will want to use that piece, because an uncovered seam in that location can be mighty uncomfortable!
A couple of thoughts - it can be tricky to lay out stretchy knit fabric, you will want to make sure you get the fold line perfectly along the "ribs" of the knit, and smooth out wrinkles without stretching the fabric. I prefer cutting knits with a rotary cutter rather than scissors, because just the act of putting the lower blade of the scissors under the fabric can distort the fabric.
Good luck!
-- Edited on 8/10/12 4:36 PM --
-- Edited on 8/10/12 4:36 PM --

agympro
agympro
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Date: 8/10/12 5:29 PM

Thank you everyone! And any tips/advice I can get are much appreciated. I do not know a single person that can sew so this site has been so helpful! I think I will get a rotary cutter.

Heather- I did trace and cut out the notches on the pattern I made from freezer paper, but what are those for?

Melissa

JTink
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JTink
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In reply to agympro <<


Date: 8/10/12 5:48 PM

The notches are going to line up corresponding pieces. For example, if there are notches along the front side seams, there should be corresponding notches on the back side seams. You match up the notches when pinning the front to the back(right sides together). You might have notches in the crotch area as well. Hope this makes sense
-- Edited on 8/10/12 5:48 PM --

JEF
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Date: 8/10/12 8:58 PM

Welcome to PR! I hope you become an avid sewist; it's a lot of fun.

I love making leos. I've made the pattern you're about to do and it's a great one. Jalie has very good instructions for sewing stretch fabrics with a serger and with a sewing machine.

I would say two things differently than posters above.

First, notches don't have to be cut out. It's OK to mark notches with a small clip into the seam allowance. Be warned that Jalie has small seam allowances so I really do mean a small clip. You'll be able to line things up just as well as with outward facing notches and it's much faster and easier to do.

Second, you can lay your fabric out right side out if you want. The 2 body pattern pieces are symmetrical and it really doesn't matter whether you fold/cut with right sides in or out. This may not be true for a non-symmetrical pattern.

Do watch out for nap. In other words, once you've folded your fabric, cut so the top of the front is at the same end as the top of the back. Don't put one on upside down. MOST (not all) leotard fabric will have a nap and if you cut one up and one down they can look like different pieces of fabric put together.

Finally, if the folding of fabric and the cutting/shifting of fabric isn't your cup of tea, just make those pattern pieces full size and then you only have to cut one layer. I have done that for this pattern because I find it easier.

Good luck - can't wait to see your review!

JEF
-- Edited on 8/10/12 9:00 PM --

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cinca
cinca
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Date: 8/10/12 9:07 PM

Want to agree with BeckyNoSleep about the crotch lining. It may also help to reinforce the crotch area as well as make the leo more comfortable to wear, so definitely put the crotch lining in.

P.S. Good on ya for jumping in a doing this thing. As a gym pro, you well know the best way to learn is just do it!
-- Edited on 8/10/12 9:09 PM --

Baychel3
Baychel3
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Date: 8/12/12 2:26 PM

I'm not sure what kind of sewing you've ever watched or witnessed, but could I suggest you go to your nearest fabric store and inquire about getting some basic lessons. This will prove to be a tremendous help to you. I too, and a self'taught sewer, but I watched my mother sew for years -- therefore, I did have a teeny weeny bit of knowledge -- without ever knowing it!

Good luck and I hope you discover how much fun sewing really is -- for me, it was a tension reliever when my kids were little!!

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 8/12/12 2:48 PM

Do add the crotch lining....think panties and how the lining absorbs moisture.

You would not want your daughter to be embarrassed by perspiration or a "potty drip"!

And, do use those notches. The seams are very narrow and a miscut clip could leave a hole. The serger will clean cut the seams and the notches/tabs will be removed.

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