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Fern sewalong: let's cut out!

Laying out and cutting out your pattern

Welcome to the next installment of the Fern shorts sewalong. Last time, we recapped our sewing bits and bobs, and cut out our paper pattern pieces. Now to put scissors to fabric! Let's dig in.

Cut Fern shorts pieces

Demystifying the selvedge

The pattern instructions call for you to match the selvedge edges of your fabric and fold in half, with the right sides facing in. The selvedge edges of your fabric look like tightly woven bands running down the sides. Sometimes, the name of the fabric or designer is printed in the selvedge. Either way, they're pretty easy to spot because they are finished and they don't fray.

Selvedge edge

Match the selvedges and fold your piece of fabric in half. The right side (the "correct" side) of the fabric should face inwards. It's usually quite obvious and easy to identify the right side, especially on printed fabrics. But of course there are tricky exceptions. This silk is one of them! In this case, I like to look at the selvedge for clues: the tiny holes in the selvedge are usually raised on the right side of the fabric, and flat on the wrong side. If it still seems vague, don't worry about it – just choose a side and stick with it!

Match the selvedge edges

Laying out your pieces

Place your paper pattern pieces onto your fabric, following the diagram in your booklet according to the width of your fabric (150 cm/60" or 115 cm/45" wide). Note especially that the waistband piece is cut on a fold.

Cut the waistband

As you place and pin your pieces, pay attention to the grainline marking on each piece. On woven fabrics, the grainline is the thread that runs parallel to the selvedge edge. The fabric is the strongest along this line and offers the least amount of stretch. It is important to make sure that the grainline on your pattern pieces run parallel to the grainline to your fabric. Ever had a t-shirt that just twisted weirdly around your body no matter what you did? Yup. Funky grainline matching.

Line up the grainline

Cutting out

Seam allowance of 15 mm (0.6") is accounted for on the Fern shorts pattern. So you can cut along the edge of the paper pattern.

Cut out

Once you've cut your waistband piece, remember to cut another one out of your fusible interfacing.

Cut the waistband from fusible interfacing

Transferring pattern markings

Using tailor's chalk or a dressmaker's pen, transfer your pattern markings. This includes all dart markings, placement lines and notches. I'm old fashioned and like to do this with chalk.

Transfer the pattern markings

Short & sweet

That's all for now, next time we will start stitching our Ferns.

Want to show us how you're getting along? Share with us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtags #fernsewalong #fernshorts #sewingfern and #afternoonpatterns

New here? Have a look at the first Fern sewalong session: Welcome and introduction to the basics