Cutting & Marking the Conifer Skirt

Almost any pattern that you sew will have various marks that you will want to transfer to your cut fabric before you start the actual sewing. The Conifer Skirt is no exception.

notch pieces conifer skirt

The Conifer Skirt has notches that we use to align the top of the skirt with the waistband and optional pocket. As with any pattern, you can mark the notches in several ways. When you are cutting out the fabric pieces, you can make notches of fabric pointing out. If you find that laborious (or forget before it’s too late), you can make little snips into the fabric piece. Remember that you have a 5/8″ seam allowance and make sure that your snip is significantly less than that. Any fabric that you would use on the Conifer Skirt is likely to handle a snip well, but remember that you don’t want to snip into any very delicate fabrics or fabrics that are extremely prone to raveling. Finally, you can mark the notch points with chalk or a fabric safe pen.

dressmakers tracing paper conifer skirt

If you are sewing the Conifer Skirt with the shingled layers, you are going to have to do a fair bit of marking on the skirt front/back so you know exactly where to place those layer. You’ll notice that the instructions have you mark and then sew one layer at a time working from the bottom up. If you want to save some time, you can mark all the layers at once – however, you will find that as you sew on each layer, it covers up a bit of the marks for the layer above. I solve this by marking all the layers at once and then re-marking just the part that is covered with each sewn layer.

tracing placement lines conifer skirt

The most accurate way to mark your layer placement lines is to use dressmakers tracing paper (it can be either chalk or wax. I find that wax usually marks the fabric much better and in this instance you don’t need to worry about it leaving permanent marks on your fabric since it will definitely be covered by the layers). Lay your fabric on the bottom, then a layer of dressmakers tracing paper wax/chalk side down, then your pattern piece on top. Trace along the layer placement lines (NOT the layer stitch lines that are 5/8″ higher) with a tracing wheel.

mark placement lines conifer skirt

You may find that your marks are hard to see. If this is so, take a long straight ruler and some handheld chalk and trace over your marks for more definition.

fold and mark placement lines conifer skirt

You can also cheat a bit with a quicker method of transferring your placement marks (shhhh. I won’t tell). Because the placement marks are straight lines, you can fold your pattern piece along those straight lines (again, make sure you’re using the placement lines not the sewing lines) and use that fold as a guideline. Use a straight ruler to make sure that your line doesn’t wobble and trace along that line.

mark mirror images on both sides conifer skirt

One final, very important thing to remember is that your front and back are mirror images of each other. When you trace your pattern pieces, remember to flip your pattern over when you go from tracing the front to tracing the back!

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