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WelcomeCutting patterns in preparation for sewing is definitely my least favorite sewing chore but its necessary. So every time I can read up on and think about better ways to get it done I do. And today I’m sharing some of those time (and sanity) saving methods with you in case you’re in the same boat.

Cutting patterns can be a chore, but these 7 tips make it easier, faster, and slicker.

Tips for Cutting Patterns in Record Time

Use selvage edges for things like pocket tops or seams that you would have otherwise had to finish

I don’t do this often, but sometimes its such a time-saver. And its a double time saver since that’s one more edge you don’t have to finish later on.

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25 Comments on 7 Tips for Cutting Patterns in Record Time

  1. Mary
    Friday, January 15, 2016 at 12:26 PM (2 years ago)

    Loving these ideas, thank you for posting them.

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 9:24 AM (2 years ago)

      Thank you Mary–I appreciate your comment!

      Reply
  2. Jaime
    Friday, January 15, 2016 at 4:21 PM (2 years ago)

    Gonna try stacking the fabric/lining/interfacing. My own personal Duh-moment! ha!

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 9:24 AM (2 years ago)

      I hate going back to cut the interfacing (which I always seem to forget) so stacking them saves me a ton of time.

      Reply
  3. Audrey
    Friday, January 15, 2016 at 5:49 PM (2 years ago)

    Going to have to try pattern weights. Question about using a rotary cutter: don’t you use a mat underneath? Moving the mat and adjusting the fabric always seems to take longer that just using a scissors.

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 9:23 AM (2 years ago)

      Hi Audrey,

      Yes, I use a mat and suggest the biggest one you can fit/afford. It’s true that on really big things like adult pants and tunics I have to adjust but my cutting table isn’t much bigger than my mat so I have to do that anyway if I use scissors. But on those bigger things it is easier to use scissors on the floor. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  4. Reece
    Sunday, January 17, 2016 at 9:50 PM (2 years ago)

    Ugh! Cutting is the worst! Where are the cutting fairies? I’ll have to finally try weights. I usually take and cut, but weights would eliminate a step.

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Monday, January 18, 2016 at 8:11 AM (2 years ago)

      Cutting fairies would be magical. I vote for that.

      Reply
  5. Pienkel
    Monday, January 18, 2016 at 1:46 AM (2 years ago)

    Thanks for the tips! Using weights and a rotary cutter really speeded it up for me as well indeed… And, since I don’t have a sewing room, cutting multiple projects in one session is a big help as well, that way I only have to clear the floor and get out my cutting mat, and another time I can sew all through the pile of ready cut projects.

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Monday, January 18, 2016 at 8:13 AM (2 years ago)

      Yes, the clearing so you can cut is a big one. And I love being able to move from one project to another without having to stop and cut again. Its a mental thing that makes me feel like I’m winning. :)

      Reply
  6. Marsha Law
    Monday, January 18, 2016 at 7:38 AM (2 years ago)

    Cutting the main and the in-seam pocket in one piece is brilliant! I’ll have to add that to my repertoire.
    By the way, do you mind if I link a mini-post back to this? I think my 3 readers would love to know too. :)

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Monday, January 18, 2016 at 8:12 AM (2 years ago)

      Link away! I’d love for you to share there and on social media!

      Reply
  7. Denita
    Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 9:54 AM (2 years ago)

    Great tips! You’re using Jedi mind tricks about stacking interfacing and cutting larger pieces first.

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Sunday, January 24, 2016 at 9:15 AM (2 years ago)

      Jedi mind tricks are my favorite. ;)

      Reply
  8. Tibeca
    Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 11:57 AM (2 years ago)

    I can’t imagine to going back to pinning and then cutting patterns. Rotary cutter FTW!

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Sunday, January 24, 2016 at 9:13 AM (2 years ago)

      Yes! Pinning takes so much time!

      Reply
  9. Gina
    Saturday, January 23, 2016 at 4:20 PM (2 years ago)

    These are all great tips and many I have jut recently started using…i.e. cutting outer lining and inner together and the big one…using my rotary cutter instead of scissors. This last one also helps with my carpal tunnel! I have not tried the weights. I’ll look into that one! Where do you buy yours?

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Sunday, January 24, 2016 at 9:15 AM (2 years ago)

      Hi Gina, I actually just use big washers from a home improvement store and other things laying around. Some day I’ll invest in actual pattern weights. :)

      Reply
  10. Teresa
    Monday, January 25, 2016 at 12:06 PM (2 years ago)

    Thanks for the great tips. As far as pattern weights – to buy they are really expensive. When I was little my mom used empty old 35mm film (yes I’m that old!) cases and filled them with pennies or BB’s. I bought some really inexpensive screw top plastic containers at Joanns. They were under 50 cents each. I filled them with BB’s that I got at WalMart in the hunting/fishing area. I probably put around $25 into the whole thing and have enough to lay out on my huge cutting table.

    I also invested in one of the big mats at Joanns using a 40% off coupon – made it really reasonable. It covers my table perfectly. Love my rotary cutter and metal yardstick (along with other clear rulers).

    I use all your cutting tricks except I’ve never tried the pocket/facing trick. GENIUS!

    I also use a cordless electric scissors which helps with thick layers and curves – but again they are pricey (I inherited mine from mom).

    Happy sewing and thanks again for the tips!

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 8:59 AM (2 years ago)

      That’s a great idea for pattern weights. I use big washers which are inexpensive and also anything that’s sitting around that’s heavy. Ha! I’m intrigued by your cordless electric scissors…I’ll have to check them out!

      Reply
      • Teresa
        Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 11:56 AM (2 years ago)

        Lisa: mine are black and decker cordless power scissors. Amazon sells them for $120. I absolutely love them. Especially for curves on patterns.

        Reply
  11. Victoria Honeywood
    Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 11:24 PM (2 years ago)

    I’ve just stumbled onto your blog via Pinterest…what great tips! I haven’t done much sewing lately but want to get back into it. I’ve never tried using a rotary cutter before but will give it a go as like most, cutting isn’t my favourite task! Using weights instead of pins is ingenious!

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 8:19 AM (2 years ago)

      Hi Victoria, welcome back to sewing! A rotary cutter will change your life–do try it!

      Reply
  12. Catrina Byrge
    Friday, April 15, 2016 at 7:01 AM (1 year ago)

    Fabulous tips! I so HATE cutting out patterns. Anything to get to the fun part of actually sewing, quicker!

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 7:41 AM (1 year ago)

      Exactly, Catrina!

      Reply

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