|This batch of blue fabrics has been washed, dried, and is ready to sew.|
|I choose like colored fabrics and wash them in batches together.|
|Cut a 1/2" slit through the salvage edge and tear across to the other side then clip the other salvage.|
|Start with 2 threads as you may break one, I did.|
|This line gives you a true straight line to cut on.|
|An easy cut.|
|Nice and straight.|
Now back to preparing to sew!
Next I get out the trusty ironing board and press the fabric. Then evenly, as directed by the pattern if I am using one, and as determined by the width of the material I fold it to get the best usage of the pattern pieces. I do NOT press the fold with my iron but instead I pin the fabric in place evenly. No sense in pressing in a line or crease I would not want in the finished article.
While placing pattern pieces I usually use the guide in the pattern and always keep the grain lines on the pattern pieces straight with the *grain of the fabric. If you do not know what I am talking about I will explain now. There is usually a long arrow on a pattern piece. For example on a blouse front. To be sure the finished garment will hang correctly you must be sure to both pin and cut the fabric so it is positioned correctly. This is done by using your tape measure and measuring from the very ends of the arrow to the *salvage edge. If one end is 6" then the other end must also measure 6" to the same salvage edge. There can often be two arrows. One up and down and the other across. If you are not measuring to a salvage edge usually you are measuring to a presumed to be straight fold.
*The grain of the fabric is the direction the threads are running. Across as well as up and down.
*The salvage edge is the naturally finished long edge of fabric as it is cut from a bolt as contrasted by the cut edges where a portion is removed.
The exception to this is if you are intentionally cutting the fabric on the bias. That is a whole 'nother conversation and procedure!
Next I mark my pattern pieces with either tracing paper and a tracing wheel, seamstress chalk, or by pinning it in such a way that I will remember what I am doing. The first two are the better habit to form. But I use all three. Now cut your pattern taking care to include all notches and markings.
I try to get all of this done first and be organized and exacting about it all.. It is the prep work and once you get past all of this you can SEW!!