4th Post: Cutting A Cover Up
Included in this post are the reasons why the Industry NEVER cuts on the fold.
Time to make my cover up for the reception. On the right is the pattern I'm using. I'm modeling the second muslin and I'm now happy with the fit. The first muslin revealed that the armhole needed to drop 1/2 inch, the sleeve needed to widen 1 inch. I advise my students to NEVER cut a jacket before checking the fit with a muslin. As with any engineering discipline, Anything that can go wrong, will.
I saw the fabric in NYC while there on a field trip with students. I couldn't live without it, so even though I had no idea of what I would do with it I bought 2 yards, more than enough to make the cover up. The moral of the story, when you see something you love, BUY it, then some day when you need it you will have it.
I first saw the Burda 8402 pattern in an ad and just had to have it as well. It's now discontinued, but I did find the pattern on E-bay today (April 1, 2013) at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Burda-Pattern-8402-Easy-Jacket-Coat-high-waist-6-18-/300352791325. There is one left. But one needs to be warned. Home sewing pattern companies can put only so much information in a pattern packet. This cover up looks simple, but it isn't. And the information one needs to produce a truly professional jacket from this pattern just isn't in the instructions. For example: The company gives you just half of the top collar pattern. There is no bottom collar pattern included. This means that the top collar pattern needs to be traced on the fold so it can be opened up and cut on the open. The bottom collar pattern needs to be drafted from the top collar pattern, then reduced slightly in width so that it doesn't extend beyond the top collar pattern at the finished edge. None of that information, nor the bottom collar pattern are in the pattern packet.
Below is the fabric and fusing before I cut it this morning. I like to first cut the fusing, then fuse the self (principal) fabric as I cut.
Here is the layout. The space at the lower right is where the right front pattern will be cut. The block of tracing paper to the right of the sleeve pattern is reserving the space for the second sleeve. Note that the back is laid out on the open. This is because ALL patterns should be cut on the open. Although more than one ply of fabric can be successfully cut at a time, I don't do that either, preferring to be sure the underlying fabric is on perfect grain before I cut.
Here are the reasons the industry NEVER cuts on the fold:
If the underlying ply of fabric is off-grain, the piece cut from it will be off-grain.
Unless the fold of the pattern is perfectly aligned with the fabric’s fold, the cut fabric piece will have lost or gained a triangular wedge down its center, distorting the entire piece. This can increase the width of the fabric piece at the fold by 1/8 inch or more, depending on the thickness of the fabric.
This also distorts the fit and the relationship of the cut piece to the piece(s) to which it will be sewn.
Most layouts on the open produce tighter layouts than they would on the fold. This saves fabric and money.