It’s Saturday and I’ve not had much to do today besides attempt to make a camera lens case for The Boy and I ready for our trip to Berlin on Monday (expect to hear more about that soon!) So I’ve decided to share a little trick of mine that I use when cutting out shapes for makes. It might not be necessary for you, but if there’s anyone out there that is a little clumsy or awkward with lines like me, or just wants to make their lives a little easier, it may help you!
Using the paper template of whatever shape needs cutting out, I just make a sturdier, more stable template out of this thin plastic sheeting.
This stuff is amazing. Not only is it thin enough to cut real easy, but also inexpensive. These 50cmX60cm sheets cost around £3.50 together from Paperchase, although I’m sure other stationary shops sell it too.
Having a template that is solid and sturdy and much less flimsy than a scrap of paper helps me immensely. I’m not particularly good at straight lines. If it’s capable of ending up wonky or uneven it probably will do. Using this means being able to mark around something that isn’t going to crease or scrunch or be difficult to put back into place when I knock it. I don’t use it for big measurements, but for small-ish things that I’m pretty certain I’ll be making again anyway, it really helps me.
For example the templates for the Hanging House charm I talked about in Monday’s “I Made That!” post. These were little slips of paper I kept crumpling and couldn’t keep straight on the fabric. Pinning them made them all creased and skew-whiff as they were so small. Using little plastic templates was so much easier!
It really just makes cutting out shapes – personally the most boring part of sewing I think – so much easier and less hassle. This then leads to less frustration and fewer temper tantrums / bouts of violent cursing.
This was again useful when making up some of the tutorials in this Love to Sew book on cute hanging hearts. I bought this when I very first started sewing. Drawing around the paper template heart shapes was so awkward and finnicky to keep in place I ended up just tracing them through onto the plastic and using that.
They’ve been extremely helpful in keeping my sanity when cutting out heart shapes to make these cute things! (mostly I just put lavender in them and give them to my mum to keep her drawers smelling lovely, they’re good to practice on, some family members are definitely getting them for Christmas!).
So there’s a tip, from me to you, on how you too can keep your sanity when cutting out small / hard shapes for sewing projects. It may be an extra step in the cutting out process – one that you don’t need or want to take – but I recommend trying it if this is an issue for you. The amount of stress and frustration it saves me is priceless.
Happy sharing Saturday!