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adjusting pattern for single layer of fabric
When do you do it?
Elaine Dougan
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Elaine Dougan  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/17/14 1:17 PM

I am finding that when I cut out knits on the fold the two sides often do not match very well. The knit fabric that is underneath seems to shift a lot.
How do you treat this situation? Does it happen more with certain kinds of knits? Any hints are welcome.

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Elaine

HanPanda
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Date: 1/17/14 8:07 PM

I pin the edges of the knit very well before tracing to make sure they line up. Then I remove the pattern piece and re-pin. I cut out with the pins in, so the fabric doesn't have much of an opportunity to slide around on me a bunch. I hope it works for you!

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2014 resolution: keep track of sewn yardage!! I'm subtracting fabric given away from my yardage in. Yeah!
In: 93 yards
Sewn: 69 yards

I'll try anything once :)

Please excuse my typos...sometimes it is harder to go back and edit on mobile than it is worth!

beauturbo
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In reply to Elaine Dougan <<
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Date: 1/17/14 9:32 PM

It happens to me more, when maybe the knit got stretched out when folded onto the cardboard bolt and then got cut a bit off. Or maybe when it got a bit stretched out in being made. In that case, washing it and putting it in the clothes dryer sometimes helps it kind of go back to normal.

But I never trust the cut edge of it to really be right, when it got cut on the cutting table either. So in that case, I don't care if that lines up or not and when cutting on a center fold, I just shift the top layer of the fabric there, up or down until the fold is more on a straight knit or purl on the fold line, and all those wrinkles vanish, even if that wastes some fabric on the cut edge of it. Or even if that makes the salvage edges not exactly even with each other. So you can try that. Last ditch for me, is I actually do trace a lengthwise knit or purl and maybe really cut it out open and flat and single layer instead, and just flip the pattern piece ever there to get both sides of something that used to be on a fold, but hopefully you won't have to do that. Sometimes you just can't get perfection there though, just cause of kind of what happened to the fabric or how made, even before you bought it though.
-- Edited on 1/17/14 9:35 PM --

rosehatten
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In reply to Elaine Dougan <<
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Date: 1/18/14 4:47 AM

Hi Elaine,
I was going through the same routine as beauturbo, but felt that it was a lot of trouble with unsure results for me. So, since I am a pattern tracer anyway, I now just trace a second pattern piece and pin them together so I can cut out using one layer. I'm finding that to be easier and more reassuring that the piece will be straight.
Rose

Pj3g
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Date: 1/18/14 12:31 PM

About the time I started sewing with knits I saw on a sewing show that knits should never be cut out in two layers. The pattern pieces should always be made and cut as a whole. So that's what I do.

I have always traced my patterns. I used to buy this tracing paper from Nancy's Notions. But then through the PR message boards I found out and ordered a case of this medical paper with free shipping and it's the EXACT same thing as the pricier paper from Nancy's Notions So I have plenty of tracing paper to make my patterns as wholes and still last several years.

If a pattern piece that should be placed on a fold is a small pattern piece, I trace it towards one side of the tracing paper or so the fold line on the pattern piece is in the center area of the tracing paper. Then I fold the tracing paper along the edge where the pattern piece says fold line. Cut out following the lines I traced. Open it up and you have a one piece pattern. Now if the pattern piece is larger, well then I lay the pattern piece with the fold line on the edge of the paper. I trace it. Then I lay another piece of paper next to the edge of the piece I just traced. I tape together the straight edges of the tracing paper with Nexcare paper tape It works great as it is repositionable even on tissue paper. After taping the edges together I fold those straight edges that I just taped together and cut out my pattern piece. Open it up and I now have a whole pattern piece to lay on a single layer of fabric.

Also, when you lay your knit fabric out to cut, let it rest for a little bit so that anything that stretched a bit has time to spring back before cutting. And never, never let any of the fabric hang off the edge of your cutting table.

Hope what I wrote made sense.

------
Thank you Lord for my Mother who taught me the joy of sewing, for my Father who encouraged my sewing, for the talent You gave me to sew, and for all the special people in my life to sew for.

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 1/18/14 3:24 PM

Wash & dry as you will do when the garment is complete.

If the fabric is wide enough, I bring the selvages to the center so I have a "virgin" fold line and not one that may be permanently set into the fabric during the manufacturing process.

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

SandiMacD
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Date: 1/18/14 9:51 PM

The other thing you can try is a roll of exam paper. Place a layer between the slippery or knit fabrics after smoothing the bottom layer. Then pin the pattern generously through all the layers.

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sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

a7yrstitch
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In reply to Elaine Dougan <<
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Date: 1/18/14 11:17 PM

This generation of knits has changed everything about my set up. More room to layout and handle the fabric, more room to cut, more space to work with the fabric around the serger. More freehand cutting with a smaller rotary cutter - I still keep my other hand up and elevated away from the table on a sanding block which now doubles as a fabric weight.

I do cut pattern pieces as one whole single layer flat piece. The exception might be a back with a seam on a non critical garment. Even then there is so much patting in place going on with the fabric that it doesn't save any time.

I've started treating knits differently after prewashing them. Start by aiming for a real center fold in the center of the length of the fabric. Any length beyond the edges of the dining room table is supported by chairs. Ease and pat the fabric in what seems like its best relaxed position. Accordion fold in each direction from the middle. About six to eight inch folds. Continue to ease and pat fabric as it 'arrives' on the table and accordion fold in.

The goal is to get it all folded without stressing, stretching or distortion. Once the accordion is folded, third it on itself and loosely secure with two or three ties and then lay bundle flat for storage. I've been able to cut off off of these bundles without having to fuss over the whole length wverytime I bring them out. Works great if you buy the long lengths for multiple or repeat pieces.

Considering pouncing the pattern lines onto the fabric and then cutting since some of the knits get squiggly just from pinning.
-- Edited on 1/18/14 11:19 PM --

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

Elaine Dougan
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Date: 1/19/14 5:21 PM

Thank you so much for all the helpful tips. I am finding that it is so much easier to cut the fabric with a single layer. I have done one more thing that you might find useful. When I have found the straight of grain, I draw it several times across the width of the fabric. I just start cutting out the pattern pieces at one side of the fabric and then move across to fresh fabric. I use the extra straight of grain lines to line up the next pattern piece. I use a rotary cutter and weights. One of the weights has a handle on it and I can lift it and place it where ever I am cutting to hold the pattern flat. I was too lazy to make new pattern pieces so I lined up the fold on the drawn straight of grain and then cut a little bit past the fold so when I flip the pattern piece to cut the other side I know where to place the top edge. I use soap on the wrong side of the fabric to draw the straight of grain lines.
Hope this helps someone.

------
Elaine

PattyE
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In reply to Elaine Dougan <<


Date: 1/19/14 6:06 PM

I just cut out a pattern using a striped linen knit. I had to trace a 2nd half for the front and back pattern pieces, tape them together and lay everything out on a single layer. I'm hoping I was careful enough with the layout that my stripes will line up on the sides of the top...fingers crossed. I don't seem to have good luck with stripes but I keep buying striped fabric!

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