How to cut out a pattern using striped fabric
Today I'm going to show you how to cut out our Ella skater dress from a striped jersey fabric. I think this is a really nice way to make the Ella dress and it's worth the little bit of patience and precision that is required.
Stripes can be a little intimidating to work with for the first time, but I've made this tutorial to guide you through and take away any fear you may have! The real beauty of this effect comes where the stripes meet each other to form points, which then run down the middle of the skirt. To get this effect the front and back skirt pieces are not cut on the fold, but instead cut from 2 pieces.
To ensure that the stripes on the bodice front and back and the sleeves meet each other at the seams, you need to be aware of a few things when cutting the fabric.
There are two ways to cut the fabric: on a single layer of fabric, or on a double layer. I'll show you the cutting plans for each method below, but you will find these also included in the Ella PDF pattern.
Cutting on a single layer
Cutting out a pattern on a single layer of fabric can require a lot of space and is often only possible on the floor. It does have the advantage though that all pattern pieces can be precisely cut on the correct stripes.
When using this technique you'll need to remember to mirror the bodice pieces and sleeves. This means they will be cut once with the pattern piece face up and once face down. you can also trace to bodice halves onto sheets of paper, such that you have the full piece to use as you're cutting out.
So that the stripes meet each other exactly at the side seams, the underarm points of the bodice pieces and sleeves should all lie on the same colour stripe.
The skirt pieces are cut at a 45 degree angle. On the pattern pieces you'll find lines that will help you align everything suitably. It's important to remember that you'll also need to include a seam allowance for the seam at the front of the skirt.
Cutting on a double layer
To cut out the pattern on a folded piece of fabric you'll require less space, however you need to make sure that the stripes on the top lie exactly over the stripes on the bottom. You can achieve this by slowly rolling the top half of the fabric down over the bottom. To do that you can either slide the top fabric over...
..or you can first roll up the top fabric and then roll it out onto the bottom part.
With stretch fabric this doesn't always work. Sometimes the stripey pattern is almost impossible to straighten out, so the stripes won't lie exactly on each other. In this case you'd be better using the open cut.
The front and back bodice pieces should be cut on a fold. This means the fabric piece for the dress will be separate from the skirt pieces. It is also important that the point of the underarm on both the front bodice and the sleeve lie on the same colour stripe.
So that the fabric doesn't move when it's being cut out, you can pin the fabric layers together at points inside the area of the pattern piece.
Perfect match: our jersey dress pattern
So a good cut is half the battle, then comes the sewing! Having taken the time to cut out the pieces properly you will find it much easier to align the stripes when sewing. Pins or Wonderclips will help you with this, so that in the end you get something like the dress below.
Prym weights and heart shaped needles from Snaply
So, have I tempted you to give this a go? With a little bit of patience and attentiveness, you can easily achieve this effect!