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Profile for LOUISE CUTTING - Threads



Louise Cutting
Cutting Line Designs/Cutting Corners
Winter Park, FL

Louise is a contributing editor for Thread’s Magazine, the designer of 'Cutting Line Designs' patterns and co-designer for ‘Shapes’ Pattern Company. She created the 'One Seam Pant'© with over 42,000 patterns sold to date. Her sewing instructions have been quoted as the best in the independent pattern industry. She owned Fabric Collections; a designer fabric store in Winter Park, FL. Louise was the Fashion Design Department Head at Prospect Hall College, The Art Institute and taught Interior Design at Marymount College. The televisions programs 'Sew Much More' for HGTV, 'America Sews' and ‘Sewing with Martha Pullen’ have featured Louise’s talents numerous time. Her articles & pattern designs have appeared in Threads, Sew News, Sewing Today, Sew Stylish, Handwoven, and Sew Beautiful magazines. She is an internationally known speaker on sewing and design and just received ‘The Outstanding Teacher Award for 2008’.

craft interests: fashion, sewing, pattern design

Gender: Female

Member Since: 05/13/2009

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How to Create Echo Stitching

Lately, I have been finding echo stitching on numerous designer garments. I've seen it on collars, cuffs, and on front plackets. Learn how to add this stitching for a designer look.

Clean-Finish a Curved Shirttail Hem

Many shirttails have very tight curves at the side seams and can be difficult to produce a smooth line along the outside edge. In this technique, the front and back hem curves are completed before the side seams are sewn.

Bust Dart Pressing: Cup Size is a Factor in Which Technique You Choose

There are reasons to press darts in various ways. Find out which way will work best for you.

How to Interface a Hem

Interface the hem to support a flimsy hemline or 'beef' up pant legs that wrap around your ankles as you walk.

Proper Fitting for a Forward Shoulder

Adjust your patterns to match your posture.

How to Make the Most of Exceptional Interfacings

Discover high-quality interfacings the pros rely on.

Cut Longer Facings for Better-Looking Garments

Use this clever facing technique for achieving better looking garments.

How to Pretest Pattern Changes with "Minipats"

Audition pattern design changes in miniature to speed the process and save your pattern and fabric.

How to Add Mock Cuffs on Short Sleeves

This little detail gives a sporty look to a short sleeve.

How to Sew Inseams

Learn how to sew two off-grain fabrics into an inseam.

How to Reduce Collar Bulk

Louise Cutting shares a great technique to smooth away a collar's bulky points and edges.

How to Make a Half Bias Jacket Lining

Support a jacket’s structure using a vintage tailoring technique.

Quick Tip: Button Placement Inside a Vertical Buttonhole

Learn how to place a button in a vertical buttonhole so the button won't slip out while wearing and the front garment sides won't become uneven.

Industry Insider Techniques DVD, Vol. 5

Louise Cutting shares a behind-the-scenes look at how professionals construct fine clothing worthy of designer labels.

How to Edgestitch and Topstitch a Collar Lapel

Fine sewing vanishes from the viewers eye, but if it is a mistake, it becomes very visible.

How to Make a Floating Shoulder Pad

Check out this designer-inspired shoulder pad that moves with your garment as you move.

How to Create a Balanced Dart

In heavy or dimensional fabric a dart can look bulky when pressed to one side. This technique will balance the dart value.

Industry Insider Techniques, Vol. 4

In this new volume, Louise Cutting shares closely held trade secrets related to fitting and finishing.

Industry Insider Techniques, Vol. 3

Louise Cutting shares the techniques and solutions essential for creating designer-quality garments in this all-new 12-episode series.

Making Pretty Buttonholes

Fine details make a good garment. Buttonholes are one of the finer details that draw attention to the finished creation.

Fashion Scarf How-to

Long scarves have been on the fashion scene for several seasons and seem to only grow more popular. Save some money and make one yourself! And, learn to tie a chic "Tuscany" knot.

Stress-Free Pleats

Pleats are making a comeback! Learn how to add them to your garments.

Industry Insider Techniques DVD, Vol. 1

Louise Cutting shares a behind-the-scenes look at how professionals construct fine clothing worthy of designer labels.

Rayon Fabric and Interfacing Placement

Interfacing is the back bone for garment construction. When placed in the wrong direction, it can make the garment look less than professional.

Slot Buttonholes

This high fashion buttonhole treatment is perfect every time. Often fabric is very dimensional and a machine buttonhole that's not perfect can ruin a beautifully sewn garment.

Industry Insider Techniques DVD, Vol. 2

Louise Cutting demystifies the complexities of duplicating designer looks as she demonstrates important techniques in step-by-step detail.

Drawstring Placement

Many garments in ready-to-wear are sporting drawstrings, you can add them to blouses, dresses, tunics, and jackets fairly easily. The question is, where is the best placement so the garment looks good?

Creating a Back Neck Facing for a Garment

Many garment patterns don’t include a back neck facing. But try creating this ‘clean finish’ to turn the collar under from shoulder seam to shoulder seam across the neckline of the back of the garment.

Your Favorite Jacket Can Become a Vest

Create your favorite Jacket pattern into your favorite vest. Or, you just don't have enough fabric to make a jacket, create a great casual vest.

Add Gradual Width

Adjust your pattern for the perfect fit.

Simple Bust Enlargement

Here is a quick and easy pattern alteration to get a bit more room for the bust and upper chest.

Narrow Back Adjustment

How to fit a garment with vertical wrinkles along the outer edges of the back shoulders.

Ready-To-Wear Tricks for Pockets & Buttons

Learn how you can incorporate ready-to-wear tricks in your garments.

Add Godets to a Simple Flared Dress Pattern

Customize a simple pattern for a flared dress by adding a godet.

How to find the correct sleeve length

Find the correct sleeve length with a drop or extended shoulder in a blouse or jacket, with or without a cuff.

Button Placement

Find the perfect button placement to prevent a gap at the front of a garment.

Double Bias Length Extension

Extend your sleeves with bias fabric insets. This technique could also be used to extend the hem of a pair of pants or add interest to a straight skirt.

Weight a Narrow Hem with Thread

This simple technique allows you to easily add weight to a narrow hem so it hangs straighter than it would if it were sewn with a rolled-hem presser foot.

Decorative pockets or bound buttonholes

I first saw this opening as pocket on a suit jacket in a designer boutique. I have since seen this shaped opening as a series of different brightly colored bound buttonholes down the front of a black sheath dress.

Add style and flair with pleats

In a recent 'snoop' shopping trip I was noticing a series of pleats at the waist areas in blouses, shirts, and lightweight jackets.

Raw-Edge Bias Binding

This binding can be used on any part of the garment--curved, straight, or on corners.

More Tips for Working with Boiled Wool

I was inspired by Mary Ray's blog and the current issue of Threads to work with the boiled wool I had been saving for several years. Here are some tips I developed in the process.

How to Sew Hidden Snaps

Designer hand-woven or soft boucle jackets often feature larger buttons. Making a larger-than-normal buttonhole gives a less-than-professional look. Try several hidden snaps along the center front edge.

Not Your Traditional Patch Pocket

The key to sewing a very flat patch pocket is where you place the interfacing and how the fabric is folded and sewn.

How to Form Slotted Seams

Make a wonderful finish for a center front, center back, or just about any straight or curved seam you want to call attention to.

An Easy Way to Turn Bias Cording Right Side Out

Bias covered cording has many sewing uses once you know the secrets to making it.

recent comments

Re: How to Create Echo Stitching

The full article has a quote next to the natural linen sample showing what can happen using a heavier fabric.

"As you can see, stitching through heavier fabrics can cause echo stitching that looks askew. In ready-to-wear, echo-stitched garments are stitched with tone-on-tone threads to help mask this problem."

The white pique fabric shows the 45 degree stitching to help turn as you get to the corner. The color even in the white examples, in the finished garment, I would have used tone on tone color. The color thread was used so the camera can pick up the technique.

Hope this helps why you see what can happen when using thicker or dimensional fabric are used


Re: Clean-Finish a Curved Shirttail Hem

I'm on the road heading to a sewing expo, but had a minute to jump on here.

Between 3a & 4 is when you would do your side seams. Then you can sew the side seams and sew the curves of the front and back hems at the same time with one continuous stitch.


Re: How to Interface a Hem

Let me pop in here to answer some of the questions that have been asked in the comments.

I only recommend woven, knit, or weft interfacing. Nonwoven interfacing has a tendency to pill when it is placed in between layers of fabric, and especially when two layers are 'facing' each other.

You have to stitch the interfacing together, glue side out, if it is not stitched, the interfacing will not hold the hem up and in place. I have dry cleaned many garments using this interfaced hem, and have never had it pull apart. A quality interfacing has to be applied correctly using: heat, moisture, pressure, and time.

You can not use one continuous folded piece of interfacing, A sharp crease would have to be at the hem fold and with the glue on the outside of the interfacing there is no way to press this fold in.

Using the rotary cutter to cut the interfacing just shy of the hem depth gives you the best result for this technique.

If you are planning on lining a garment, the two layers of interfacing should be stitched 1/2" - 5/8" away from one edge. This row of stitching will be toward the top edge of the hem. The the lining can be machine stitched to the fashion fabric hem above this stitching line on the interfacing.

I think this answered all the comments and questions I read here.


Re: Cut Longer Facings for Better-Looking Garments

In reading through the comments, why knitted or woven interfacing, this would also include weft interfacing, what I am not fond of is any non woven interfacing. But, you have to let the fabric dictate the weight of interfacing to be used in the garment. Tissue weight, sheer, stretch, all bias, fabric in one hand and interfacing in the other, fashion fabric should always feel heavier.

The reason the last photo has the curve cut off, and the extension of fabric towards the right, once the curve is turned to the wrong side, the extension becomes a 2" hem in the garment.

Re: Cut Longer Facings for Better-Looking Garments

Half are getting the concept and the other half, I will go a bit more in depth with the explination.

Interfacing has a tendency to shrink when pressed to the fashion fabric, even if it has been pre-shrunk (which I always do my self)...but, it can still shrink more. The pattern tissue for the facing and the front of the garment are usually the same length. Most sewers (me included) after unpinning the tissue from the fashion fabric, fold the pattern pieces up and place them back in the envelope, never realizing that the two pattern pieces fit together.

When the interfacing is pressed to the facing, it might (not always) shrink. But, because the tissues have been place back in the envelope, many sewers think, because they are seeing the front of the garment and the facing are two different lengths, the pattern front piece need to be 'eased' onto the facing or that the facing has to be stretched to fit the total length of the front. The final result of the garment will have a rippled effect along the front seam. Cutting the facing longer can avoid this effect.

If you cut the facing piece about 2" longer then the front of the garment, the facing can then be pinned evenly from the top neck edge to the bottom along the front seamline.

After stitching the long front edge and if the bottom of the garment is square, then excess facing hanging below the garment can be cut off and the hem finished as usual.

If it is a curved bottom as pictured in the last photo, the patten piece can be placed over the facing and the hem curve of the pattern can be traced onto the facing and be sewn according to the pattern directions. Any additional facing after the curve is stitched would be trimmed away.

Re: How to Pretest Pattern Changes with "Minipats"

Jumping in here...'minipats' are scaled to each other (or at least Cutting Line Design 'minipats' are. But, as far as scaled for x% and all 'minipats'...generally it is alloted to the space avaliable on the instruction sheet. some are quite small and others are a decent size.

A lady e-mailed me that she was able to make her daughter's American Girl Doll a Jeans Jacket using the 'minipats' from 'By Popular Demand' from my pattern line, she enlarged just the front a little at a time until the little pattern front was close in scale to clothes she already had for the doll. Then enlarged all the other 'minipats' the same %.


Re: How to Reduce Collar Bulk

How to sew the collar: The upper collar needs to be placed toward the presser foot and the under collar is on the feed dogs. The under collar is off grain or can be even a full bias depending on the design of the original collar style.

Off grain or bias sections of garments sew better when placed toward the feed dogs. The feed dogs will ease the bias, while the presserfoot 'pushes' the fabric ever so slightly...the end of the seam will come out even. Sewing the collar this way will keep the front points from curling.

Don't forget to trim the seam, clip the corners, and press the seam open over a point presser/clapper before turning the collar right side out.

Re: How to Make a Floating Shoulder Pad

I'm here to help clear up a few of the questions you are having.

In step 5 you are looking at the wrong side of the garment and the tricot underside of the pad. The silk side is toward the wrong side of the garment (you don't see it in the picture). That way when worn, the color of the silk will blend with the color of the garment.

Step 6: I think I confused you using the word "between" would place the facing with right sides together on the right side of the garment, matching the necklines. Stitch the facing to the garment neckline in the conventional way. Trim the neckline seam trim the excess of the shoulder pad, clip the neckline, press the neckline seam open over a point presser and turn to the wrong side of the garment, press into place.

The extension of the shoulder pad will now be sandwiched between the wrong side of the garment and the wrong side of the facing. Hand stitch to secure the facing to the tricot side of the shoulder pad.

If you have different shoulders, you can put 2 different heights of shoulder pads in a will then have another pair of different height pads for the next garment. ;-)

Re: How to Create a Balanced Dart

Thank you Judy for adding the step-outs for the balanced dart. As Katielynne sugested, making a sample will help you see exactly what is being sewn, pressed, and trimmed.

Louise Cutting

Re: Fashion Scarf How-to

this will take you to the blog about how to do a weighted rolled hem.

Yes, it is presser foot...thanks for the catch...wanted to get the article in and miss that. Old tired eyes!

the fringe was just pulling the cross thread until I got to about an inch, then combed the fringe. I didn't even stitch across the short end to secure...wanted to keep it as light weight as possible


sent from my iPad

Re: Rayon Fabric and Interfacing Placement

In step 2 it has the 'how to's' when working with interfacing...To pre-shrink, place the interfacing in a sink full of hot water and let sit for 15-20 minutes (until water cools). Drain and roll the interfacing in a towel to remove excess water. Hang woven interfacing to dry over a shower rod with the glue side up. Lay knit interfacings flat to dry to avoid stretching out of shape.

I only recommend woven or knitted interfacings for garment sewing. I don't work with any non-woven doesn't like to move the way knitted or woven interfacing do when fused to fashion fabrics.

I see there were a few comments that used the term 'wash' the just place the folded interfacing in hot want to be careful when working with wet interfacing.

Sorry the wording is tiny on your computer...Rayon stretches lengthwise (parallel) to the edge of the fabric...when working with your pattern piece on the interfacing, place the facing pattern piece so it goes across the interfacing from edge to edge the way the interfacing stretches. This way it will stretch the same way the rayon fabric does once it is pressed into position.

Re: Simple Bust Enlargement

Just checking back in here...if you need length...just true up the front hem adding the amount needed at the center front...remeber, this is just for small bust enlargment...I'll submit for larger bust adjustments soon.

The armhole doesn't change in the adjustment, the horizontal line is at your bust point and generally intersects the side seam about 2" below the armseye point.

For a smaller bust, try to slide the cut lines the other way...overlapping the vertical lines just a little. A small horizontal pie shape opens up that will need to be filled in with tissue.

In the photos (7 & 8) check where the horizontal lines overlap. They have to overlap to make the pattern lie flat.

Got to run,till later, Louise Cutting

Re: Simple Bust Enlargement

Yes, exactly, this technique is for just a 'bit more room' in the bust and upper chest area...not a full bust adjustment. This alteration is for a garment that a dart would not work...such as in a print, plaid, strip, knit, etc. I will submit a 'full bust alteration' soon...and yes, that type of adjustment needs more tissue and then fabric at the lower level of the front of the garment so it doesn't 'hike' up when worn.

As you can see on the grided mat in the photo, the two parallel vertical lines are only 1" apart. And then can be brought back to nothing if no extra fabric is needed from side seam to side seam around the tummy area.

This adjustment is needed when you have measured yourself from side seam to side seam, over your bust and then after measuring the pattern in the same spot, you find there is just not enought room 'right there' but the garment will fit everywhere else. It's just adds 'bit of room' so you don't end up with 'gaposis' at the center front of your blouse.

till later, Louise Cutting

Re: School's On for Summer!

It was wonderful for Judy to post about the upcoming Fitting Clinics and Core Technique/Teacher Training weekends. Many of you have already e-mailed me for the details. Please contact me directly at.

For additional details and registration forms contact:

Thanks, Louise

Re: Narrow Back Adjustment

There was a question about how do you know the correct amount that can be removed. You can be more accurate on a set in sleeved garment than a drop shoulder, but still some amount of vertical fulliness may be removed from this style also using the same alteration.

For a garment with a set in sleeve, you need a sewing buddy to help measure you. Stand with your arms hanging straight against your body. The measurement is taken straight across your back from the 'crack' were your arm joins your body to the other 'crack'. In the pattern this is about where the back notch is on the armseye. You need to add an additional 1" to this measurement for movement.

Now you have an idea of the across back width you can now adjust the pattern.

I will try to address the additional questions you had about pattern adjusting in future blogs. They need pictures of tissue patterns and the adjustments.

Louise Cutting

Re: How to find the correct sleeve length

You start out with your elbow bent, the inside of your wrist is sitting at the side of your waist with your fingers point straight down to the floor (the inside of your hand is sitting on your high hip...with fingers straight down to the floor). You now have created a sharp bend at your wrist...this is where most people wear the face of their wrist watch...that is where you will be measuring to...Start at the neckline and measure along your shoulder line, put your thumb under the tape measurer at your shoulder bone if you are planning on a shoulder pad, continue to measure along the outside of your arm, over your elbow and continue down to the bend where your hand meets your wrist.

Adding the extra 1 1/2" is the ease needed so you can bend your arm and the cuffand sleeve won't ride up your arm.

Re: Button Placement

So sorry for the confusion. To find where the first button is place on an almost completed garment:
1. Put the garment on standing in front of a mirror
2. Place a pin at Center Front at the fullest part of your bust. This is where the most improtant buttonhole will be sewn.
3. Decided where you want the button at the top of the center front will be. Place a pin there.
4. Fold the garment matching the 2 pins. The fold line inbetween the 2 pins will be where the next pin(and buttonhole) will be.
5. Measure the distance between 2 of the pins, then below the bust pin placement, put additional pins down the center front to indicate where all the buttonholes will be sewn.

If you want the buttons and buttonholes closer together, divided the distance between the bust pin and neckline pin by 3...this will give you the placement for 2 buttonholes to be spaced equal distance between the bust and neckline. Using this same measurement that you now have between pins, measure down the center front for the additional buttonhole placement.

Yes, when at all possible try to sew horizontal buttonholes. This helps from having a garment accidently pop open. Vertical buttonholes are used when making a shirt with a vertical tab along the front.

Hope this helps, Sincerely, Louise

Re: Double Bias Length Extension

You are not using bias tape, but fabric cut on the bias. The illustration in the technique has three different colors of linen to show the steps. The technique could be sewn in all the same colored fabrics...think strips, a small plaid or a linen weave...the bias insert would show off all your work.

Sincerely, Louise Cutting

Re: Add style and flair with pleats

I am thrilled Judy will write about the different definitions for pleats, tucks and 'thingys' tomorrow. I was taught years and years ago by one of my sewing teachers that a pleat/tuck on the surface of a garment, even if it was pressed flat, balanced or left un-pressed was under the umbrella of the 'cartridge' heading. So sorry for the confusion. See above for some pictures of the final garment.

Sincerely, Louise Cutting

Re: Fitting Tips from the Pros: Online Extra

I want to clarify the adjustment in the illustrations above. This quick fix may be made in a high caped sleeved garment that just has a front and back with little detail. If you only added ½” to the front and back of the garment from the shoulder seam to the hem mid way from the neck to armseye parallel to the center front, this addition would not add that much to the shoulder seam and could be removed along the armseye from notch to notch (if needed)...but by the time you are at the bust area on the body, that ½” would add 2” to the total circumference from the bust area through the hem circumference. The shoulder seam would be ‘trued’ up. This adjustment is used if the garment fits in the neck area and going up (or down) a size would make the total garment too large or too small. The 2” added in the body circumference would not affect the sleeve being stitched into the garment because the additional circumference is not being added along the side seams.

If the pattern you are think about is a over sized blouse or top and again the neck circumference is the correct size, then a larger amount may be taken out ... shoulder seam ‘trued’ and then the sleeve length can be added to or removed.

Think of the Plaza Jacket from The Sewing Workshop pattern line, or A Subtle Twist from Cutting Line Design pattern collection. Both are oversized patterns but moving up or down in size could ‘throw’ neck/sleeve length/body length off. This is a perfect alteration for an oversized garment pattern verses want you as the designer would like to have for the finished garment.