How to Cut Fabric

You’ve finally found the perfect fabric for that new dress – don’t let careless cutting ruin your project.


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All you need is a needle, thread, some fabric, and these step by step instructions to start sewing.


You Will Need

  • Fabric
  • Laundry detergent
  • An iron
  • An ironing board
  • Sewing chalk
  • Pins
  • A pattern
  • Scissors
  • Padding for table (optional)
  • Foam (optional)
  • Felt (optional)
  • Muslin (optional)
  • Craft paper (optional)
  • A dryer sheet (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Wash and dry your fabric to preshrink it.

  2. Step 2

    Iron your fabric to get rid of any wrinkles.

  3. Cotton fabrics are easier to iron when they’re a little damp.

  4. Step 3

    Decide which side of the fabric is the right side. It’s not always any easy choice. Once you figure it out, mark the right side with sewing chalk or a pin.

  5. Step 4

    Fold the material in half as instructed by your pattern and lay it on a flat surface, such as a padded table or the floor. Square your edges and smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles.

  6. Step 5

    Pin the pattern pieces on the fabric. Make sure you pin both sides together.

  7. To keep slippery fabrics from sliding when you cut, put a thin piece of foam, felt, muslin, or craft paper between the two sides and on the bottom and pin to the fabric and pattern.

  8. Step 6

    Cut your fabric following the pattern instructions. Use long, smooth cutting strokes and, for a smoother finish, don’t let the scissor tips close completely.

  9. Invest in a good pair of scissors and, before each project, wipe the blades with a dryer sheet for easier cuts.

  10. Step 7

    Check your edges before picking up the pieces. You may need to do some additional trimming before removing the pattern.

  11. Did you know? European fabric merchant Scabal has created extremely expensive fabrics – one with diamond fragments and another using 22-carat gold thread.