Weekly Tips: Cut tricky fabrics in a single layer

The more I learn about working with knits, the more I love them and want to use them! The biggest plus is that they're super comfortable and so much easier to fit than woven fabrics. There are definitely some tricky things to deal with in sewing up slinky jersey knits in particular, though. I've been working with knits a lot recently and I'm currently sewing up a few different versions of the Briar t-shirt from Megan Nielsen. So for the next couple of weeks, I'd like to share a few tips that have made a big difference in my sewing with knits adventure!

The first thing I always dread when sewing up a knit garment is the cutting. Knits tend to be unstable and floppy, sticking to themselves and refusing to lay flat. When I cut them on the fold, I end up spending a lot of time straightening the grain, smoothing out puckers, and trying to unstick the layers from each other. When I started on my Briar the other day, I groaned at the thought of dealing with this again, but then I thought "Hey, do I have to cut it on the fold? Wouldn't it be easier if I could just cut it flat?".

Um...yes, self. Yes it would! I'll show you how I handled this:

Lay your fabric flat (over your cutting mat if you're using one) and place the first pattern piece on top, close to the corner edge to conserve fabric. Use pattern weights to hold it down or pin.

Cut around the pattern, leaving the "on fold" edge uncut. Use chalk or a water soluble pen to make a few little marks down the edge.

Here you can see where I've marked the "on fold" edge, which is the center of the pattern piece.

Turn your pattern piece over to the other side and line up the "on fold" edge with the marks you just made. You want to just barely cover the marks so that there is no gap between the pieces. Just as before, use pattern weights or pins and cut around the pattern.

Ta-da! Your pattern piece is cut and ready to sew (unless you need to notch or transfer markings - luckily I didn't).

In writing, it may look more complicated than cutting on the fold but I actually found it to be much faster and easier. Give it a try and let you know what you think!

I can't wait to finish my unicorn Briar. I bought this fabric a few months ago from Girl Charlee because I thought it was hilarious! Just waiting on a few extra supplies to come in the mail so I can complete my magical fantasy character t-shirt vision ;) Look out for a patch of Briars (har har) coming from me soon!

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