When you have project instructions but no pattern

lizstanton08July 13, 2008

I am new at sewing and am currently reading the book "100 Ways to Use Your First Sewing Machine." My friend and I attempted to make the tote bag in the book - however, there was no pattern for the bag, only instructions (i.e. cut four panels of 15 x 17 fabric). The tote is not yet finished, but it's not exactly coming along as planned - I think that the cut is off.

How do you make a project for which you don't have a pattern?

I measured the 15 x 17 on the fabric, cut it to create the first panel, and then pinned it to the fabric as a template to create the other three panels. However, I don't think that this was the best method, since the pieces are not all the same size and the cut was shaky.

Any suggestions?

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Are your scissors sharp enough for fabric.
Have you prewashed the fabric?
Try spray starching if you have will make it more stable to cut.
Are you using tissue paper for pattern does it need pressed on wool setting, make sure it is straight.

Can you some how straighten the fabric and make it slightly smaller to save the fabric?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 7:34PM
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You can make your pattern out of tissue paper. If the instructions say cut a panel 15 by 17 Mark a rectangle with those marks and connect with a straight line. Use a ruler of some kind to ensure that the line will be straight. Make a mark on the interior of the rectangle and put arrowheads on both ends. This will be your straight of grain mark. When you cut out the tissue pattern, leave a margin ofpaper outside of your straight line marks. Your inked lines are your cutting lines. Place the paper on your fabric, pin one of the arrowhead marks through the paper to your fabric below. Then take a measuring tape and measure from the pin to the edge of the pattern where the cut edge of paper is. Remember the measurement and go down to the end and measure out to that measurement keeping the end of the tape on the paper. Move the paper until the end of the straight of grain mark lines up with the tape measure,and pin through the paper to the fabric below. Now you have the paper secured so it doesn't move while you pin the outer edge to the fabric.
Layer your fabric right sides together, lay pattern paper on top and pin out as I described above and cut out your bag body.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 12:40PM
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I save old gift wrap for just this purpose.

Flip it over to the unprinted side and use it as a pattern drafting surface. It's sturdy and makes me feel like I am "reusing" a little.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 10:01AM
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