How to Cut Fabric

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

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)

Step 1 Wash and dry your fabric to preshrink it.

Step 2 Iron your fabric to get rid of any wrinkles.

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.

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.

Step 5 Pin the pattern pieces on the fabric. Make sure you pin both sides together.

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.

Step 7 Check your edges before picking up the pieces. You may need to do some additional trimming before removing the pattern.