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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > How make repetive pattern cutting easier? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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How make repetive pattern cutting easier?
ahrizel
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ahrizel
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Date: 11/27/12 3:08 PM

I'm cutting out a bib pattern, which is 4 layers of fabric, nice fabric back and front, flannel and pul inside. Since I'm making around 20 bibs, this is a lot of cutting. It's not hard, but good grief is it a pain in the butt. Any suggestions for making this easier? I have a cardboard pattern, which I trace with a sharpie onto the fabric. The nice fabric I cut folded right sides together, which helps a little. The pul is a slippery sucker which doesn't lend itself to cutting double layer. The flannel I cut in double layered also. I have a nice fresh blade in my rotary cutter too, which is always a good thing. It doesn't help that I hate cutting in general. Also doesn't help that sewing these together is also a slow, repetitive process, which I know is coming tomorrow
These look nice when they're done, and I know they are much appreciate, they are for a young disabled man. But does anything make the process go easier? Short of just putting on some good tunes while I cut? Very little work I've done is this much of a pain to cut and assemble, so any advice is appreciated.
Mary

Mikgirl
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Mikgirl
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Date: 11/27/12 6:08 PM

I'm also making few car seat organizers, and they have layers of fabric, interfacings and padding... There are lots of pockets so repetitve rectangle cutting... :(
Can you trace the pattern onto a tissue paper instead of a cardboard, and pin it to all layers and cut them all together?
That's what I do. I don't know if all the layers is too thick to be cut together, but at least it'll save you time on tracing the pattern onto the fabric.

tourist
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In reply to ahrizel <<


Date: 11/27/12 8:23 PM

Mary - someone here posted a tutorial for bib making that changed my world significantly. I work in infant daycare and make bibs for work. This tutorial had you trace onto the fabric, pin, sew and THEN cut! You probably trim the seams anyway, right? All that cutting was driving me crazy. This way I just cut (or more usually rip) the approximate size, sandwich the pieces (almost always in the right order... ) sew, trim, turn and top stitch.

I reduce the tedium by changing the top stitch design from time to time and by listening to podcasts. I like Radiolab, Stuff you Should Know, Stuff Mom Never Told You and things from CBC (Canadian Public radio) like DNTO (Definitely Not the Opera), Q with Jian Gomeshi, the Vinyl Cafe. Oh - and Alec Baldwin's Here's the Thing. NAYY on any of those. Just stuff I find entertaining.

Happy bibbing!

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http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

ahrizel
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ahrizel
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Date: 11/27/12 8:40 PM

Hmmnn, trace first pin together then cut? You may have a really good idea there. I'm mostly cut this time already-except the dreaded pul. I may just rough cut around the pul tracings and then just pin and sew. I always trim anyway, before the press and turn and topstitch. I think I will do your technique for the last bit of it and see how well it works, I'm sure to be doing more bibs anyway.
Mary

PattyE
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 11/27/12 11:16 PM

Could you serge the layers letting your serger do the cutting, then turn?

tourist
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Date: 11/28/12 1:10 AM

Mary - I haven't been able to find the exact tutorial, but yes, it has revolutionized my bib sewing.

Patty - the inside curves with the serger are a bit difficult. I am sure I could get better at it with practice, but the stitch, trim, turn, topstitch seems to produce the best results with the least foul language. The top stitching also grabs any little areas that might not be as well sewn together as they should be and makes a nice, tidy edge. I use big zig zags, small zig zags, twin needle, occasionally pull out the Kenmore with cams and make pretty edges with that. I have even used the cover stitch to do the edges and it looks pretty cool. Great way to use up odd colours of thread, too.

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LauraTS
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Date: 11/28/12 2:38 AM

You could get some of the quilt template plastic and cut your pattern out of that - that way you could skip the tracing step and go straight to cutting.

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ahrizel
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In reply to LauraTS <<
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Date: 11/28/12 11:18 AM

Would the rotary cutter cut the template plastic too? I can't say I'm the neatest cutter in the world-I'm working on it-and I wouldn't want to cut the template. Which is why I use a cardboard template and trace it first. If the plastic isn't easily cut then it would be a good choice. Not too expensive either, especially when you are cutting 30 bibs! I kinda underestimated how many bibs I was going to get out of the outer fabric. I heavily layered the flannel for cutting that, was much easier for that. Pul I really hate, despite it's usefulness and necessity for these bibs. Only 26 pul layers left to cut today But I'm just going to outline them and sew to the other layers, then trim. Should be an interesting experiment.
Mary

SheBear0320
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In reply to ahrizel <<


Date: 11/28/12 1:27 PM

Like you I am not a big fan of cutting -- I still cut my custom designs but I actually hired a contract cutter to cut the multiples for my product line and team orders .... best thing I ever did.

And yes, good tunes do help -- my preference is Celtic music.

Sorry I don't have any advice on the PUL -- I've never used it. I find that when sewing vinyl and pleather, my teflon foot is my best friend.

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Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
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ahrizel
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ahrizel
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In reply to SheBear0320 <<


Date: 11/28/12 4:15 PM

Since this is the first time anyone requested I make something, I'm definitely going to cutting myself for a very long time:) I used a walking foot for the initial sewing, since I'm sewing a stack-pul on the bottom, flannel then 2 layers of woven fabric. After I turn them, I have regular fabric top and bottom so just the standard foot for topstitching. But even with the walking foot I get some creep. Fortunately for me pressing and steaming the heck out of it works wonders for neatening the fabric. I'm actually working on something else tonight-slippers-as a break from the bibs. Though I'm not sure how much of a break it is, this is round 3 at trying to make this fool pattern. Which is also frustrating because everyone's reviews of Simplicity 2278 are recommended and considered easy. So far, not really in my case. But I'm making them to match a a nightie as a Christmas present, so another attempt is in order. But I must do the bibs tomorrow, so back to the cutting and pinning I must go.
Mary

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