Sewing for beginners: Fabric prep, pattern layout & more | Sewing Tutorial with Angela Wolf

Sewing for beginners: Fabric prep, pattern layout & more | Sewing Tutorial with Angela Wolf


Sewing garments is not as difficult as you
might think, even if you are total beginner! ! It all comes down to doing the proper fabric
prep to make your sewing super easy. Hi, I’m Angela Wolf – with some essential
techniques that every beginner sewer should know! Before you even lay out your pattern and cut
the fabric, it is important to pretreat it. If you plan on washing and drying your finished
garment, pre-shrink your fabric by washing and drying it, especially if you are using
a natural fiber like cotton or wool. If you plan on dry cleaning your garment,
just go to the drycleaner and ask them to steam-press your fabric. Once you’ve prepped your fabric, grab your
pattern pieces, and prepare to cut them out. Each pattern piece has an arrow which refers
to the grainline, or the direction you need to lay out your pattern. The lengthwise grainline runs parallel to
the selvage. The selvages are the two finished sides of
the fabric – they’re the tightly woven edges that stop the fabric from fraying
There is also the crosswise grainline, which runs perpendicular to the selvage. (The main reason to lay a pattern out on the
cross grain is to get more stretch in the fabric or if you want to change the direction
of a print.) As you get into more advanced sewing projects,
the pattern might call for fabric cut on the bias. The bias is a 45° angle from the grainline. If I were to fold this corner right here,
this fold would be a 45° angle. Before you can cut your fabric pieces out
– pin your pattern pieces to the fabric – I like to insert the pins perpendicular to the
seams to stop the pattern from skewing. To cut the pattern pieces out, use sewing
scissors and hold them flat along the table to get nice long, smooth cuts. Take a look at the key pattern markings, starting
with these little triangles – they’re called notches and they’re important because each
notch shows you where to match up the opposite pattern piece along the seam. The easiest way to transfer them from pattern
to fabric is to snip about an eighth of an inch into the seam allowance. But be very careful to not go past the seam
allowance – or you will end up with a hole in your project! These are darts – it’s also important to transfer
these markings. The easiest way to do this is with carbon
tracing paper and a tracing wheel. Always mark on the wrong side of the fabric
by sliding the carbon paper underneath. Use the tracing wheel to trace the dart. At the outside edge of the dart, I like to
put two little snips at each stitch line. It’ll make it easier to find and line up when
you’re sewing. So those are the basics of prepping your fabric. Once you have this down pat you are ready
to get to the fun part–sewing! Thanks for watching and don’t forget you can
click the “i” at the top right corner of this video to learn more sewing techniques or to
find the supplies I’ve been using.

4 Replies to “Sewing for beginners: Fabric prep, pattern layout & more | Sewing Tutorial with Angela Wolf”

  1. Thanks. I've sewn a little bit and usually just make things up as I go. I'm teaching my daughter and want to teach her the best ways to do things. This was helpful!

  2. This is an embarrassing question and I am only asking because I watched a video showing the pattern pieces cut out on the wrong side of fabric rather than right side….Which is correct.

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