Lonetree Sewalong Pt 2: Cutting Out the Pattern
Welcome back, folks! Yesterday we talked all about the supplies you’ll need for your own Lonetree Jacket or Vest. Remember that our Lonetree Kits are always a good option if you want to take the hassle out of sourcing all of the tough-to-find supplies.
Here is the sewalong schedule for the next two weeks:
- Feb 20 | Pt 1: Gathering Your Supplies
- Feb 21 | Pt 2: Cutting out the Pattern
- Feb 22 | Pt 3: Applying Interfacing and Finishing Raw Edges
- Feb 23 | Pt 4: Marking the Pattern Pieces
- Feb 24 | Pt 5: Sewing the Pockets
- Feb 25 | Pt 6: Sewing Side Seams, Drawstring Casing, and Shoulder Seams
- Feb 27 | Pt 7: Sewing the Sleeves and Cuffs (View A)
- Feb 28 | Pt 8: Sewing the Optional Hood
- Mar 1 | Pt 9: Sewing the Armscye Facings (View B)
- Mar 2 | Pt 10: Sewing the Facings and Collar
- Mar 3 | Pt 11: Sewing the Zipper
- Mar 4 | Pt 12: Final Finishes and Hem
Today, we’re ready to print the Lonetree sewing pattern and cut out our jacket or vest pattern pieces! If you’ve decided to sew the Lonetree (an intermediate sewing pattern), then you’ve likely cut out a few sewing patterns before.
Hence this post will cover a few tips and tricks for cutting out the pattern quickly and accurately. We won’t be adding any notches or markings to the pattern yet; instead we’ll do that in Part 4. In this post, I’ll also show you how to shorten or lengthen the bodices.
Four Tips for Cutting out the Lonetree
1. Print Using the Layers Feature (Tiled Pattern)
One of the most common things we hear about the Lonetree is that the notches and markings are plentiful and align perfectly when placing pattern pieces together. This is the result of using a powerful patternmaking software meant for clothing production.
But this also means that there are a lot of notches that overlap on the nested pattern. When printing the tiled pattern from Adobe Reader, I recommend using the layers function to print only the size (or sizes if grading between) you need. It will make the process of marking notches much easier. Check out the .gif above to see how easy it is to use this feature.
Note that the copyshop version (which you'll see me using below) doesn't contain layers.
2. Iron Your Fabric Before Cutting
This is likely a no brainer for most of you, but I often skip this step out of pure laziness. For this design, it’s imperative that your fabric is pressed well with creases ironed out before you cut out of your pieces. A poorly placed fabric crease can affect the shape of the pattern piece and throw off the fit of your garment.
3. Follow the Fabric Layouts
While I’ve built in a bit of extra yardage in the requirements table (page 3) to account for fabric shrinkage, I strongly recommend that you use the Fabric Layout diagrams on page 8 through 11. Notice that there are different diagrams for sizes 3XL and 4XL.
4. Use Pattern Weights
Another no-brainer, but I’ve been neglecting to pin my pattern down or use pattern weights for years (again, laziness). For a structured design like this, it’s imperative that your fabric doesn’t shift underneath the pattern.
5. Use a Rotary Blade
If you have some experience using a rotary blade, it makes quick work of cutting out both the paper pattern and your fabric. I use two different blades for each purpose: a small rotary blade for the paper and a large (very sharp) rotary blade for the fabric. If you’ve never used a rotary blade, take it slow. It takes some time to build up the dexterity to fly around curves with this tool.
Shortening or Lengthen the Bodices
The Lonetree is graded vertically with standard US zipper lengths in mind. In the US, zippers are usually sold in 1” increments so this design has a 1” vertical grade up to size L. Sizes L through 4XL are the same length, which, in short, is in based on average height measurements for women in the US, so they all require the same 28” zipper. Please see the table on page 4 of the pattern to find out the zipper length you’ll need.
If needed, you can easily shorten or lengthen the bodices of the Lonetree Jacket or Vest. To do so, simply cut halfway between the drawstring casing markings on both pattern pieces...
...and adjust the length as necessary. I’ve decided to shorten the bodice of my Lonetree Vest by 1”, so I’m overlapping the two pieces by .5”. If you’re using US zippers, be sure to adjust the length in 1” increments so that you won’t need to shorten your separating zipper.
Tape the pieces back together and smooth out the side seam. Repeat on the back bodice (between the drawstring markings) and the front facing (using the lengthen/shorten line).
We’ve added a handy Pattern Inventory section to page 7 of the Lonetree sewing pattern. Be sure to compare the pieces you cut out with that list to make sure you’re not missing anything. It’s easy to forget a piece or two.
Here are the pieces that I’ve cut out for my mauve pink Lonetree Jacket (sans hood). Remember that I’ve decided not to interface the facings, cuffs, or collar for this jacket as the fabric has a bit of body.
And these are the pieces for my army green tencel Lonetree Vest. This fabric is very drapey, so I’ll be using interfacing on the collar and facings, but have decided to skip it on the pocket flaps.
I recommend spending a single afternoon or evening cutting out the pattern pieces. It takes a bit of time to cut out 13 or 15 (depending on the view) pattern pieces plus interfacing. Turn on a podcast and enjoy the process. We’ll start sewing tomorrow!
Are you sewing your Lonetree along with us? Use #lonetreesewalong on social media to join in the fun!
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