The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

I was wondering if anyone uses a rotary cutter and a cutting mat to cut out their patterns. I came accross it in a blog this week and I am very interested in the idea. I bet it would save so much time- for me pinning and cutting the pattern takes for ever. Have you tried this? Is it good or no good? Any feed back would be wonderful.

Janey

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I use a rotary cutter and cutting mat - they're fantastic!  I only started using them this year, after seeing them on some other blog posts, and they've totally changed how I feel about cutting out fabric.  I used to hate it - it was just a necessary chore I had to get through before I could sew.  Now, it's actually kinda fun!  ;-)  (Also, I use pattern weights with it rather than pins - so much faster and cleaner to use.)

The one recommendation I'd have is to get the biggest cutting board you possibly can.  Sure, it'll cost a bit more, but it's totally worth it as you don't have to move it under your fabric as much.  

I second what Kat said! It really makes everything so much faster, and reduces wrist strain from too much scissor-ing.  I have two sizes of rotary cutter: The larger one is 45mm across and the smaller is 28mm.  The smaller is better for the curves of garment patterns, and the big one is best for long straight cuts, especially through many layers of fabric, like you'd need when creating quilts. I found both at thrift stores for a pittance, and bought new blades at a fabric store.

Yes!  I love my rotary tools and cutting mats.  And yes, get a coupon and treat yourself to the largest that you possibly can.  It took me years to fall in love with rotary cutting because I had to learn to cut without the fabric making a little "hill" and bunching up as I went, but it was well worth the practice.  It saves so much time, is much more accurate and gives a nice, neat, satisfying cut.  I also use pattern weights.  Before I had my pattern weights, I used the lids of jar candles with the rubbery side face-down.  Not a perfect solution, sometimes too big, but if you move them around a little bit, they'll work in a pinch.

I use nuts as my pattern weights... Metal nuts, as in nuts + bolts (not for eating!), which you can get from the hardware store. Big washers from the same section of the hardware store are also really great, and easy to store because you can hang them on a little wall hook out of the way.

Good topic of discussion... Now I'm considering how small my own cutting mat is, and looking out for a coupon to fund a larger one!

Thank you! I am going to get a cutting mat and rotary cutters. We don't have coupons in Australia, but I found a warehouse not too far from home that has them at a good price, with good reviews, so once new year is over and I have money again I plan to go shopping. I think I will get two sizes of cutters as was suggested, and I am sure we have a lot if nuts etc here to use as weights. I can't sew for a few more weeks and it is killing me!!! We have been moving all our furniture around and doing a huge clean out to paint the inside of our house next week. My daughter (9 yrs) and I are missing our sewing machines so much- I have so many ideas and new fabric I was given for Christmas. I want to sew!!!! Thanks for your feedback every one- much appreciated. 

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