8 Basic Mistakes When Cutting Fabric – how to avoid them?

Basic Mistakes When Cutting Fabric

The activity of sewing commences with the cutting of the fabric. You cannot sew unless you do not cut fabrics or any form of clothing, which indicates that your sewing machine is of no use to you. The fundamentally essential thing is to cut fabrics properly so that you do not find yourself ending up with garments that you do not want.

According to my studies, the majority of new sewers, along with some experienced sewers, are guilty of the 8 BASIC MISTAKES WHEN CUTTING FABRIC. So, I have determined to discuss them in order, so that you will not have to re-address them in the future. 

So without further delay, let us begin the discussion right away!

It’s Important to avoid these 8 Basic Mistakes When Cutting Fabric

1. Not measuring clothes precisely

Not measuring clothes precisely

In my opinion, the biggest and most common mistake that almost all sewers make is that they do not know how to measure Fabrics properly in a linear method. Therefore, in order to accomplish precise cutting, you must take measurements twice using a perfect Swing Tape Measure, then cut once. The quality of your sewing project can be negatively affected by a single centimeter, so be sure to carry a pen with you and use the correct scissors.  

2. Not washing prior to cutting

Not washing prior to cutting

Well, it varies depending on the type of fabric. For example, cotton needs to be washed and re-washed before cutting due to its tendency to shrink. If you wash the fabrics after cutting, they will shrink and the end product will not meet your expectations. Accordingly, I recommend that you wash the fabrics before cutting them to shrink them. 

There are various types of clothing that require washing, such as wool, cotton, linen, silk, and some other natural fabrics. However, polyester fabrics, such as polar fleece and minky, and vinyl fabrics, such as faux fur or leather, do not require prewashing. 

3. Using the wrong scissors

Using the wrong scissors

As there are different types of scissors designed for a variety of cutting activities, some are intended for creating buttonholes, others for trimming extra clothing or fibers, and some for cutting leathers, as well as for general cutting works. So you should know what type of scissors are appropriate for your cutting fabrics’ work. 

The most common type of scissor for cutting is a general scissor which can cut fabrics easily; however, if your fabrics are tough like faux fur, leather, or canvas then you should better consider a heavy-duty scissor. As a result of selecting inappropriate scissors, your fabrics will not be cut, resulting in stress for you. 

4. Cutting without the requisite knowledge

Cutting without the requisite knowledge

To cut fabrics, you need to be somewhat skilled so that you know how to cut the edges, how to use scissors properly in line, and how to develop new concepts before cutting fabrics. A pattern arrangement must also take into account fabric measurements, pattern equality, and irregularities, as well as the finished garment.  

Note: So a cutter needs to have these all to cut fabrics professionally, however, if you are not a full-time sewer, you may not require all of these skills. 

5. No balancing and alignment

No balancing and alignment

It is recommended that you cut the weft of the fabric, pull the thread, and then cut in the space left by the thread. Whenever you want to cut a piece of fabric, you simply remove its outer edge, its rough edge that extends along the length of it, sometimes referred to as the fabric’s warp. You will be able to cut the edge in the same way that you did with the weft, or horizontal thread, by cutting and pulling the thread. As soon as you have removed the selvage, ask someone to assist you in pulling one corner of the fabric towards you.

Then repeat the process on the other end. Don’t forget this step, especially if you are using cotton and elastane together.

6. Not following the Fabric-Grain Guidelines

If you don’t check how the fabric behaves after washing and ironing, you end up with a too-short garment. The pattern indicates the textile grain with a long arrow running along its length. Thanks to the textile grain, the material will lay flat, when cut at a right angle. When a pattern piece is not placed in a direction appropriately, it will not merely appear unattractive but also become attached to your body since the fabric will bend at an angle.

Fabric-Grain Guidelines

When cutting out designs, make certain that the pattern is aligned accurately with the grain. After preparing the fabric, connect the edges and fold it to find the grain.

7. Insufficient Fabric for a Striped Pattern or Plaids

As I found almost all types of sewers commit this mistake when working with plaited materials. So to avoid this issue, I will suggest you buy additional fabrics and place the pattern in such a way as to match the prints or plaid. After that, you must choose the color that dominates your pattern. It is imperative to remain true to the fiber direction of the fabric while using its orientation. Depending on your size, the width of the fabric, and the model you wish to create, you will always need different amounts of fabric. 

8. Cutting fabrics in low lighting

low lighting

It is essential to have proper lighting when cutting fabrics. Why? If your sewing room has low lighting, you may not be able to see the color of your fabric properly, thus causing you to cut in an area where you do not need to cut. It is therefore recommended that you have proper lighting in your sewing room, particularly on the cutting table, so that you will be able to easily cut fabrics without straining your eyes.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What types of fabrics should I wash before cutting?

    Almost all types of fabrics can be washed, but fabrics like wool, silk, cotton, and linen need to be thoroughly cleaned because they have the potential to shrink. Moreover, after washing, then iron it, and if necessary, wash it again so that it shrinks more before cutting to achieve the best results.

  2. What type of scissors should I use for cutting fabrics?

    Well, it depends upon the nature of the fabrics. If they are too robust, go for heavy-duty scissors, otherwise, general or standard scissors will suffice to cut fabrics perfectly.

  3. Do I need to measure fabrics before cutting?

    Measuring fabrics before cutting is the most important thing that you must do in order to get the desired length of clothes. Sewing Tape Measure should be used along with a pen to cut the fabrics in a perfect position.