Monday, June 1, 2009

Phineas' Shirt: Shear Taboo

One of the first things that you learn as a sewist is to never ever, under any circumstances, ever cut paper with your dress shears. Cutting paper and cloth with the same scissors is the great taboo of sewing, which will lead to your ruin. Ok, maybe not your ruin, but it is generally viewed as a big no-no because it will dull your shears.

One of the shocking things that Connie Crawford said in her Sew Like a Pro talk was, in the fashion industry, everyone cuts fabric with paper. They pin uncut fabric to a layer of paper to stabilize it, pin the pattern on top and then cut thru all layers. Scandalous! She explained that doing this prevents the fabric from pulling, shifting or distorting while you cut it.

I've always felt that I was not particularly good at cutting - ragged and uneven ends, notches that don't line up perfectly, etc. So, this weekend - after checking over my shoulder for the sewing police - I cut out Phin's shirt using this method. Success! It went so smoothly, and cut so easily/evenly/exactly, that I will never ever cut without paper again. Giddy with my triumph, I quickly moved on to cutting out the muslin for my pants sloper. Again, success!

Neatly cut shirt pieces.
And then I looked down at my shears. Hmmm. So be it. Shears are a means to an end. Let them get dull. Their purpose is to enable my sewing. If I have to replace them in half the time, at least I will have beautiful projects to show for it, which - after all - is the point!

PS- I didn't make much progress on my own top. I am currently seeking treatment for zipperphobia.

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