On the pattern instructions it will show you recommended layouts for both the 45” and 60” wide fabric. As I am making a toile version of the dress I have chosen to follow the 60” wide Cutting Layout diagram as my fabric is very wide.
Fold the fabric as required by the instructions on the sheet. I folded my fabric in half lengthways with the selvages near the top and the fold near the bottom (the ‘right’ side of the pattern facing inwards).
Understanding the Markings
Read the General Directions section on the instructions. Section A explains what the markings mean on the pattern and Section B explains how to prepare the fabric prior to laying out the pattern pieces. I will be looking out for the Grain Lines, Center Folds and Notches in my pattern pieces. A definition of pattern symbols can be found on Sewing.about.com.
Grain Line Symbol
The pattern pieces I am using for this pattern are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Numbers 2, 3, 5 and 7 all contain the grain line symbol, which is represented by a straight arrow (circled in red in No. 5 above).
This means I have to lay all of these pieces parallel to the selvages of the fabric - accuracy is very important in pattern layout. Measure with a ruler and once happy that the distance is the same for each position of the arrow pin the pattern piece in place.
Center Fold Symbol
Pattern piece number 1 is for the bodice and this has to be placed on the centre fold of the fabric. This symbol will look like an arrow with two ends bent.
Notches are used to help with lining up the pieces when sewing. When cutting out the notches on the fabric remember to cut outwards, they will look like little triangles sticking out of the pattern piece.
Laying Out the Pieces
It is time consuming laying out the pattern pieces but it’s important not to rush this stage. When pinning the pieces to the fabric remove any creases which may have formed.
Read FurtherIf you want to know more about laying out patterns or any other sewing techniques. Please visit www.sewing.org where they have a great selection of PDFs to download to help your skills grow.
My next blog entry will explain cutting techniques.