Archer Sew Along | Day 2 | Cutting the Fabric

Alright day 2 of the sew along and we’re going to cut our fabric, but really quickly before we start, I had some questions about the sew along schedule. I’ve never hosted or partaken in one of these suckers before so pardon me for not addressing that. My plan is to post Monday + Tuesday, Wednesday off for catchup, then Thursday + Friday with the weekend for catching up as well. I’ve got everything broken down into digestible tidbits so hopefully it’s easy to follow along without too much homework. Okay, now back to cutting that fabric out!

Grainline Studio | Archer Sew Along | Cutting the Pattern

First you’re going to need to gather those cutting supplies. You’ll need the following:

– your fabric
– scissors
– ruler / measuring tape
– pins / pattern weights
– a marking utensil, I enjoy a #2 Ticonderoga pencil
– your cut pattern
– iron + ironing board

Grainline Studio | Archer Sew Along | Cutting the Pattern

First you’re going to want to press your fabric so that everything lays out smoothly with no wrinkled surprises. We’re going to be pressing a lot over the course of this sew along so get ready. I think it’s one of the most important steps to getting a professional looking finished garment, you’ve been warned, ha!

Grainline Studio | Archer Sew Along | Cutting the Pattern

Lay out your fabric and fold in half with selvedges together. Smooth out any lumps or bumps and start laying out your pieces according to the layout diagram found in the instructions. This is where I admit that I never look at those, including the one I made for this pattern, so my layout above may vary from the illustration I gave you. Srry dudes!

Grainline Studio | Archer Sew Along | Cutting the Pattern

You’re going to want to make sure that the grainlines marked on the pattern pieces are aligned with either the folded edge or selve edge so get out those rulers and make sure they’re straight.

Grainline Studio | Archer Sew Along | Cutting the Pattern

Trace around the pieces using that favorite marking utensil of yours. Above you see good ol’ number 2 doing it’s thing. When you cut a pattern or fabric you always want to cut off the outside line to avoid pattern growth so you can pretty much use anything that leaves a mark and doesn’t bleed. Since you’ll be cutting it off nobody will ever know.

Grainline Studio | Archer Sew Along | Cutting the Pattern

Pin or weight (or in this case for demonstration purposes, both) your fabric pieces and cut them out!

Grainline Studio | Archer Sew Along | Cutting the Pattern

Don’t forget to mark your notches. I do a 1/4″ clip into the fabric to mark mine but you can do whatever you’re comfortable with.

Grainline Studio | Archer Sew Along | Cutting the Pattern

Make sure to mark things like the pocket placement and the sleeve placket opening. I like to cut my sleeve plackets open at this step so I don’t have to worry about it later. You’ll just cut along the marked line on the pattern. You can also do this later but be sure to mark the start and end of the opening on your fabric now.

Grainline Studio | Archer Sew Along | Cutting the Pattern

The last thing you’ll need to do to cut your fabric is trim the CF edge of the right front piece. There’s been some discussion over what is right front and what is left front. Right front is the piece that is on the right side of your body while you are wearing it. Women’s shirts / blazers / coats / cardigans always close right over left. Anyway, cut or fold along the dotted line on the pattern.

Grainline Studio | Archer Sew Along | Cutting the Pattern

Align this pattern piece with the right front piece you cut and mark the new CF edge.

Grainline Studio | Archer Sew Along | Cutting the Pattern

Cut the edge off and discard the extra piece you removed. You don’t want to get that piece confused with the actual right front button band since the piece you cut off is 1/2″ smaller in width than the actual button band.

If you’re making your Archer out of silk or another type of slippery fabric I have a tutorial on cutting silk fabric between paper here that you may want to reference, it’s how I cut all my silk. By using this method you eliminate the tendency of the silk to slip this way and that and can cut on grain much easier. This will also make it easier to sew later on because a lot of the difficulty people have with sewing silk can be attributed to the fabric not being cut on the proper grain, or the two pieces you are sewing together being cut off grain in relation to each other.

If you’re making a plaid Archer, Amy has a really great plaid series on her blog. There wasn’t a lot I could add to cutting plaid that she didn’t already say so check out what she has to say about that.

We’ll also need to cut our interfacing but we’ll talk about that on Thursday when we cut and fuse our pieces. If you have any questions on cutting your fabric, matching plaids, cutting silk, my favorite tea or my Wednesday plans let me know in the comments below. Just kidding about those last two. My favorite tea is David’s Pure Chai and Wednesday I’m working on more sew along posts, DUH!!

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29 Responses to Archer Sew Along | Day 2 | Cutting the Fabric

  1. nothy says:

    You have to tell me about those super cool pattern weights. I use large washers from Home Depot but yours look better because of the size of them….

  2. sallie says:

    I’m also in love with your pattern weights! Also, are you making a chambray Archer! Totally classic! This on my list too. Thank you again for all your beautiful work on the sewalong!

  3. gingermakes says:

    Your photos are always so gorgeous! Thanks so much for going to all this trouble!

  4. Sara says:

    You have inspired me to pull out my sewing machine! Thanks! Love your blog!

  5. Alicia says:

    Your marking technique has got me all curious. How would you go about marking things like darts and pleats with this pencil method?

    And thanks for the sewalong!

  6. Stephanie says:

    I feel like the biggest noob today. I forgot to cut-off the one front side AND cut the placket slits. Soooo, thanks for doing a sewalong! 🙂

  7. sewamysew says:

    Same question from me. Tailor’s tacks?

  8. Jocelyn says:

    Also, do you use pencil for most materials?

    • Yep, if the pencil will show up I use it. Even on custom / couture white wedding dresses at work. If I need something to mark on a dark fabric I use a chalk pencil usually or at work, soap.

  9. Wanett says:

    I just cut out my Archer using this pencil method and I could send you a big, giant SMOOOOOOCH for how kick ass the experience was!! Totally easy and the most accurate pattern cutting of my life. Even at nearly 5am ;o)

    Too bad there was no warning to remind me NOT to cut the front where there was a flaw in the fabric ;(

    • Gah, bummer! We’re in the same boat on that one…look for a white slub on View B of this sew along at the upper right shoulder. Why I am pointing this out we may never know!

      Glad you like the pencil method…#2 is my BFF!!

  10. Jennifer says:

    Totally confused by the last step. I’ve just bough the pattern and have pieces for front right and front left. Do I need to trim a bit off? This seems counter-intuitive! Why can’t I just cut out the pieces as in the pattern piece.

    • Jen says:

      If you’ve just bought the pattern you don’t need to trim anything off. The original pattern had one piece for the left and right front to save people from taping together about 15 extra pages. Just ignore that part.

  11. Susan Auer says:

    I bought the printed pattern, and am confused about how to identify the Center Front (“CF?”) on the right and left sides. For the left side, is it between the two front notches? and for the right, is it the seam line???

  12. Teena says:

    On cutting the right front side, would I be cutting off 2 1/2 inches? Where do you mark the CF of both fronts?
    Thank you for the sew along.

  13. Laura says:

    Thank you for the sewalong!
    I just bought the pattern and wondered if the seam allowance is already in the pattern or if I have to add it. Because of the pictures you posted I guess it’s already added, am I right?
    I am so exited for the finished Archer!

  14. Bette Ransom says:

    Help! I cut out the Archer view A using a small pin stripped linen fabric. The yoke I cut on the grain but now I will have unmatched stripes which will drive me crazy. I pulled the linen in both directions and it doesn’t seem that the give is much different. What are your thoughts for cutting cross grain for yoke and cuffs with the linen?

    • Jen says:

      You can definitely cut the yoke and cuffs on the crossgrain or bias, I do it all the time for decorative reasons like you’re describing above. If you do go on the bias though I recommend cutting the inner yoke on the straight grain to reduce stretching.

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