Nita Wrap Skirt Sewalong Day 2: Prepare the Fabric

Welcome to Day 2 of the Nita Wrap Skirt Sewalong! If you haven't done so already, grab your copy of the pdf pattern right here and then check out all of the sewalong posts here.

Day 2: Cutting Fabric, Applying interfacing

You’ve gathered your supplies and assembled your pattern. Now it’s time to cut your fabric and interfacing. The pattern includes cutting diagrams for the different views and widths of fabric. However, you may find that you’re able to use less fabric by cutting the pattern flat instead of folded. 

When you lay your fabric out to start cutting, make sure that it is folded on the grain and not twisted or wrinkled. To check that it is folded straight, hold the folded fabric with the selvage edges at the top, pinched between your fingers. If it is folded on the grain, it should hang straight without any curves. Adjust the selvage left or right until it hangs straight. 

Any of the waist closures can be used with any length. I’m going to be mixing and matching my views a bit and sewing the View B midi length with the View C tie belt. Each pattern piece is labeled with how many you need to cut out. The pieces you need for each view are listed in the pattern on page 7.

Now for cutting. There are basically two ways that you can cut out your fabric–using scissors and pins or using a rotary cutter and pattern weights. For beginners, scissors is generally the way to go because the rotary cutter supplies can be expensive and have a little tiny bit of a learning curve. Tilly has a really great tutorial about cutting and marking for beginners. 

The only thing to watch out for is that when you pin paper to the fabric it will wrinkle a little bit. I often skip the pins and just put one of my grid rulers (or anything handy) on top of the pattern to hold it in place. A rotary cutter will give a very accurate cut but you have to be sure to have a self-healing cutting mat underneath so that you don't damage the surface underneath. And then there's the tricky thing that the cutting mat is smaller than your fabric so you'll need to move it section by section as you cut.

All that said, do what works best for you. I often use a combination of scissors and rotary cutter, choosing whatever seems easiest for the fabric. Hold the fabric in place using pins or pattern weights (I just use whatever heavy thing is handy). Use scissors or a rotary cutter to cut around each piece.

Full Coverage Variation: If you are using the Full Coverage Left Side, you need to be careful to cut with the fabric and the pattern right side up. You only need to cut one from the right front pattern piece (2) and one from the left front pattern piece (8). 

If you are looking for even more coverage, you can straighten out the pattern as illustrated above. If making View B or C, you will no longer have an opening at the center front. 

Next, you'll need to transfer markings to your fabric. I like to punch holes directly in the pattern for darts and circles. Then with the pattern still on top of the fabric, I use chalk or a disappearing ink pen (similar here on amazon) to mark the circles. Make sure you're marking the wrong side of the fabric. For notches, I use a special kind of punch called a pattern notcher (similar one here on amazon) to punch a notch in the side of the pattern. After cutting out the fabric, I use my tiny scissors to carefully make a small clip in the seam allowance. 


To cut the interfacing, I find it easiest to use my rotary cutter and a ruler. For the waistband (all views), you will need to cut 2 from pattern piece 4 and one from pattern piece 3. Note that for views B  and C, this does not exactly match the fabric pieces. Views B/C have a belt extension from the right waistband that does not need to be interfaced. So instead of cutting interfacing to match pattern piece 5, we will cut two pieces from pattern piece 4 and use for both the left and right fronts.

Apply the interfacing to the waistband, using the manufacturers instructions. It’s a good idea to use a press cloth every time you apply interfacing. This will protect your iron in case you accidentally have the interfacing wrong side up or in case the heat of the iron is too high.

For the front facing, cut two strips that are 2 5/8 inches wide and the length of the facing for that view. For View A cut 21 inches, View B cut 28 inches and View C cut 40.5 inches.  The strip will be a little longer than the facing but you can trim off the little triangles of excess after applying the interfacing to the fabric.

That's it for today. Next we are going to start actually sewing! If you are making a skirt without a lining, head over to Day 3 of the Sewalong to get started. If you are making a lining, skip ahead to Day 4. Happy sewing!