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I teach a lot, and I'm always amazed at the lousy scissors people use. Not only are bad scissors tiring to use, they'll shred your fabric, and that diminishes your results. It's not a huge investment, and I recommend only three pairs: a very sharp 4-inch embroidery scissor with large finger holes; 5-inch tailor's points (they go through just about anything); and 8-inch micro-serrated shears (they really grip fabric as you cut). Appliqué scissors are a nice addition; they're very useful for cutting close to edges without cutting into the surrounding area. -Susan Khalje
Many sewers pin patterns to fabric incorrectly, usually by pinning sparsely and in random spots. Or they temporarily secure patterns with too few weights and move them to cut another pattern section. With nothing holding the cut fabric to the pattern, the fabric can stretch out of shape.
To pin patterns to fabric, always set the pins parallel to the raw edge of the pattern, and pin within the seam allowance. This prevents the pins from marring the fashion fabric. Place pins in every corner of the pattern shape and space them every 4 inches along straight seams. Set pins closer together within tight curves. Leave the pins and pattern pieces in place until the garment pieces are ready to be sewn. -Louise Cutting
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