Monday, May 4, 2015

Sew-Along #24 - Sweet Polly Playclothes - Lesson #1

The Sweet Polly Playclothes by Izzy & Ivy Designs 

Please read through the Sweet Polly pattern directions before beginning this sew-along. You will need to keep these directions handy. If you have any questions, suggestions, or tips to share during the sew-along; please make sure to post them on our Facebook group.  Also, if you would like to see any of the images larger that are posted in this blog, just click on them to enlarge. 

Tracing and Cutting
Welcome to Day 1 of the Sweet Polly's Playclothes Sew Along.  My name is Sarah and I am really happy to be here with you guys!

For Day 1, we are going to get all of our fabric ready, the pattern prepped and our pieces cut so we can start sewing on Day 2.

1. The first step in getting ready to cut and sew is to prewash your fabric.  This is especially important when you are working with knits since they tend to shrink a lot.  I wash mine on warm and dry on medium; that is my preference because I try to get as much shrinkage as possible out in the first wash and because I normally wash on cold and dry on low, I figure it will not shrink any more if I do my normal laundry routine at a lower temperature than I prewashed on.  So far, that has always worked for me :)
Note from Danielle: I recently found this great blog I enjoy reading, One Little Minute.  Anyway, she has a post about knits where she shared this picture of a tee she made without prewashing her knit and what it looked like after the first washing.  It's VERY important to prewash knits.

2. The next thing I like to do with my paper patterns is to trace them onto freezer paper.  If you aren't familiar with this method, no worries!  I am going to explain it.  I like to use this method because I typically make more than one size (one for each kiddo) and I don't want to cut out a particular size and not be able to use the other sizes on my paper patterns.  It is also a really good way to deal with cutting out hard to work with fabric; the stability that the paper gives while cutting is great!  This is also something I do with all of my very favorite patterns so I can easy find and use them over and over.

You'll just need a roll of freezer paper (usually found with the baggies and cellophane wrap in the grocery store) and a black sharpie or marker.  Make sure it is freezer paper (coated on one side) and not wax paper (wax on both sides) or parchment (no coating).  

I pull my freezer paper out in sheets about as long as the piece I am going to trace.  You will want to place the freezer paper with the shiny side DOWN over the top of your printed pattern piece.  Then, using the sharpie, I trace around the size for each piece I need and transfer the patterns markings (grain, stretch, fold, etc).

I also write the piece description and the size I am tracing on the paper to make it easier to keep it all straight.  Sometimes I also include the designer, just in case I have similar patterns traced from different designers.  For this project, I added which fabric I was going to use for each item on the pattern as well.  Since I was cutting 6 different pieces with 6 different fabrics, I figured it would help me not make any cutting mistakes :) 

3. Once all of the pieces are traced, cut each traced piece out along the traced lines.  Then lay out your fabric and pieces as you normally do, using the freezer paper pieces.  

Now, take a hot iron and iron over the paper side (shiny side should be down, paper side up) and the freezer paper will stick to the fabric.  Once the paper is stuck to the fabric, cut out the pieces along the pattern edges.  I leave my pattern pieces stuck to the fabric after they are cut and until I am ready to sew them.  Once you are ready to sew, the paper will peel right off of the fabric and you can reuse/re-iron the pieces over and over.  

You will want to repeat this process for each piece you need to cut.  DON'T FORGET: if you are making a top/cardigan that requires binding, you will also want to cut those.  The required width and length for those are on pages 6, 7 and 8.  There are also cutting requirements for ruffles, if you are making the ruffle capris, on page 12. 

4.The last step for day one is to get a little organized.  I like to look at the items that require elastic or ribbon and go ahead and either cut those, or at least write the required length on the pattern piece for that item.  That way I don't have to stop in the middle of sewing to look that information up later. 

Once you are finished prepping your fabric and cutting out your pieces, you are done with Day 1!  Congrats and I will see you back here for Day 2: Making the Tank Top.   


* If you would like to earn entries into the prize drawing, please make sure to submit a photo(s) of your completed lesson one item(s) to the Facebook Album by 12:00 noon CT, Thursday
, May 7th.  Note: If you are making more than one item during the sew-along, please submit a separate photo for each item. Also, if you have any questions the Facebook Group is a great place to ask.

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