Welcome to the Ziggi!

01-ziggiToday’s the day – the start of the Ziggi Sew Along! Chances are, you opened up your pattern packet, looked at all the pieces and instructions, and said to yourself, “What have I gotten myself into?” Have no fear, that’s what this sew along is all about: a chance to work together while we sew up this pattern, chat with others about questionsproblemsconcerns over on our Flickr group (or here or Maris’ blog), and show off our progress! Today post is all about  cutting.

Since you purchase Style ARC patterns by individual sizes, you can go ahead and cut your pattern pieces without tracing. However, if you can’t bare the thought of cutting into it or you are anticipating making some alterations, go ahead and take the time to trace each piece. Keep in mind, if you are going to skip lining your finished jacket, you’ll only need to trace off 14 pieces instead of the full 23 (that will definitely save some time!).

muslinNow that the pattern is ready to go, it’s time to cut into that fabric! If you’re planning on making a muslin, you will only need to cut the ‘main’ portions of the jacket (front and back pieces, yoke, side back, and sleeves) – details such as pockets, collar, and lining can be skipped at this point. Even thought it’s called a muslin, be sure that you are using an inexpensive material that closely resembles your final fashion fabric in weight and drape that way you can accurately assess how the garment will fit, feel, and move with you (for example, my final garment fabric is a fused leather. I might select a mid-weight denim to test-fit my pattern).

02-pencilIf you’re ready to jump right into your fashion fabric, you’ll want to ‘play’ with your pattern layout as there is not one included in the instructions. There really isn’t a hard or fast rule how to do this except I do like to lay everything out on my material before I cut to make sure that everything will fit. How you lay out your pieces is really determined by the size you’re cutting and width of fabric. Take note that you’ll only be cutting pieces 1-14 out of your exterior fabric and that pieces 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, and 14 will be cut twice and piece 11 will be cut 4 times. For the lining you’ll want to use pieces 15-23 with numbers 15, 16,  17, 18, 19, 21, and 22 being cut twice and number 23 being cut 4 times.

If you’ve opted to use leather (faux or otherwise) you’ll want to take special measures when cutting into your material:

  • First off, if you’re using a genuine leather hide, be sure to inspect the exterior for flaws – you can expect that there will be some holes, mars, or scars somewhere. Take note where these flaws are so you arrange your pattern pieces around these areas.
  • It’s important to keep in mind that pins will leave permanent holes in your hidefabric – if possible, avoid using them unless you are vigilant about keeping them within the seam allowance (this will also be important when it comes to sewing as well – now’s a good time to invest in some of those awesome Wonder Clips). Instead use pattern weights and trace around your material.
  • Even though there are pieces that need to be cut twice, it’s a good idea to cut them individually (just don’t forget to ‘flip’ your pattern pieces!). Not only is it easier to cut, but since leather is difficult to pin, you don’t have to worry about multiple layers shifting out of place.
  • Speaking of cutting, most leathers (unless you’ve selected a particular hefty weight) can be cut with sharp scissors andor rotary cutter – no special tool are required here!
  • Don’t forget to transfer your pattern markings. This will need to be done on the backside of your hidematerial using tailor’s chalk or similar tool – avoid using a tracing wheel as it will leave permanent marks (like pins) on your leather).


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