I’m sure some of you are making weekend plans. Maybe one of your chosen tasks is to cut out your pattern pieces for the Apronalong. Well, fear not! I’m here to guide you through this terrifying (easy) task – and save you some fabric along the way.
If you’ve cut out your paper pattern pieces, you’ll need to iron them. Otherwise, you’ll be working with crumpled abominations like this:
I keep my iron on the wool setting when pressing paper. You definitely don’t want your iron at full heat, or you’ll scorch the paper! Question to the scientists out there: why do paper pattern pieces become full of static when you iron them?
You’ll also need to press your pre-washed fabric. Fold it right sides together, with selvedges meeting:
Now, aren’t you feeling organised and in control already? It’s a great feeling! Take everything over to your cutting mat or cutting out area – which I know for some of you will be the floor. It was for me, until my aged knees kept protesting. I invested in a table top cutting mat and rotary cutter from Ebay and have never looked back.
Now, the apron pattern pieces really aren’t that big. The largest piece (piece 12) is cut on the fold, which in theory means placing it against the fold I’ve just pressed. But that leaves acres of wastage, that could be saved:
My answer is this. Open up your fabric again and fold one selvedge in by 17.5 inches. Be careful to ensure that your newly folded fabric is still on grain ie that the selvedge is folded in by precisely 17.5 inches the complete length of the fabric. Don’t rely on your raw, cut edges for accurate placement because they won’t be accurate. Look!
But look at this newly placed pattern piece. See how much fabric you’ll have left over for making your own apron bias binding, or for other projects!
On this folded section, you’ll also be able to cut out two of the tie ends and two of the front waistband (pieces 14 & 15).
Top Tip For Tie Ends! Because this piece is one long rectangle, I fold it in half and place it against the fold for ease of cutting out. Remember, again, you need to cut out two of these.
My pocket pieces (10 & 11) are cut out of a tiny scrap of fabric. So tiny that I cut some pieces out on the cross grain, as below. You might need to do the same if you’re using up scraps. As long as your fabric is fairly stable, cutting out on the cross grain is no biggie.
One challenge with these smaller pattern pieces, is that the pins really do ‘pinch’ and distort the paper – you can see this above. Would pattern weights be better suited, does anyone think? And what would you use as a pattern weight on something so small?
All I had left to do was cut out piece 13, the lower section, from my third fabric. We’re all done! At a later stage, we’ll get our cutting mat back out to make our fashion fabric bias binding. But for now, you can put your cutting implements away. I like to store my cut out fabric with something weighing them down (see the first photograph) until I’m ready to re-engage.
Next up – tailor’s tacks!