I promised to post the first steps on June 1st. Here we are and I am not done photographing and writing instructions for making adjustments to the length and crotch depth of the pants and was sweating getting this done in time to post by this afternoon – because I just might not be able to do it. While I’m writing up the instructions for making pattern adjustments you can get started with the first couple of steps you have to take before that point. Either this evening or tomorrow I will post the full first tutorial including the instructions I’m putting in this post to get you started.
The first thing you need to do is some laundry.
How to pre-shrink your fabric and when you should do it:
Whenever you sew clothing out of natural fibers you need to pre-shrink your fabric unless you only plan to dry clean them later. Polyester and other synthetic fibers don’t shrink and blends that have a large percentage of synthetics don’t generally shrink either. Cotton shrinks at first. If you don’t preshrink it before cutting out your pattern you may end up with a garment that doesn’t fit you.
Wash your fabric with a like-colored load. I have not had a problem with fabric dye bleeding in years as most dyes are truly fixed but if your fabric is red or red is a dominant color in a print – I would wash it by itself to be safe. Wash the fabric exactly as you will be washing the finished garment. If you always use cold water and delicate cycles – do that. If you wash on hot or warm – do that. Dry the fabric exactly as you will be drying the garment when it hits your laundry pile. Be sure to remove the fabric as soon as it’s done drying to prevent deep wrinkles from setting in it and iron it right away.
Cutting the tissue pieces out:
Unfold your sheets of tissue and look for the pants pattern which are numbered 8 and 9. You will notice that they have included the cutting lines for pajama shorts. If you want to make shorts instead of pants go ahead and cut along the lines for the size you’re making. If you are making the pants – note that the shorts hem protrudes out of the side of the pants’ cutting line. If you can eyeball cutting right through it go ahead. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that here’s how to deal with it:
Cut both pieces out. Disable the steam function on your iron and iron the pattern pieces. I can promise you that this is not a wasted step. Crinkled pattern pieces can cause your fabric pieces to be misshapen and not sew well together.
That shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes since you only have to cut two pieces out.
Please don’t cut your pattern out of the fabric yet unless you already know that you don’t need to make any adjustments to it. Later today or tomorrow I will post the full tutorial including how to make simple adjustments (if needed) and show how to lay out and cut the pattern out of the fabric.
Those of you who are experienced and just joining for the fun – go ahead at whatever speed you want.
I’ll be back with more soon!