Jump Rope Dress Sew-Along ~ Tracing Your Pattern & Cutting Your Fabric

on September 6 | in Jump Rope Dress Sew-Along, Products, Sew-Alongs | by | with 69 Comments

Amy from Badskirt starts us skipping along on our Jump Rope Dress Sew-Along today! Check here for a full sew-along schedule and information about the pattern, notions and supplies.

Today we are going to:

  • Look at Oliver+S pattern symbols and sizes
  • Locate the pattern pieces and placket markings
  • Trace the pattern pieces
  • Cut out our fabric and interfacing

Locating & Tracing Pattern Pieces
If you are new to working with patterns or need a refresher, begin by reading Tips for Working with Patterns and Patterns Demystified to get started.

Because Oliver+S patterns cater to multiple sizes, we want to copy or trace the patterns so they can be reused multiple times. There are several methods available for tracing patterns and several helpful guides.

The Sew,Mama,Sew! forum has a thread with tips on preserving your original patterns and methods of tracing them. The Oliver+S forum also has a similar topic. I will confess that I am lazy with my pattern tracing. We own a multifunction printer/copier, so I photocopy the entire pattern section by section. Then I tape it back together then cut out the size that I need.

About Oliver+S Patterns
Each Jump Rope Dress has 5 sizes of patterns on them. They are coded using dotted and dashed lines. The PATTERN SIZE KEY is located in the upper left corner of your pattern. Find the line style which matches the size you are making.

Pattern Size Key

Next to the PATTERN SIZE KEY is the PATTERN SYMBOL KEY. For the Jump Rope dress, the important symbols are the grain line, notches, buttons, buttonholes and matching dots. The interfacing is not marked on the pattern sheet. This will be covered in the directions.

Pattern Symbol Key

Seam allowances are included in the pattern.

If you are sewing with a directional fabric, pattern pieces are marked with an arrow on the grain line. Make sure you have your fabric oriented correctly. The arrow should point towards the bottom of the fabric design.

Grain Line Arrow

Locate the Pattern Pieces for your View
Using your preferred method, trace each of the following pattern pieces. Be sure to copy all pattern markings including grain lines, notches and matching points.

Placket Markings
Fabric pieces 1 (View A) and 12 (View B) need placket markings transferred to them before they are ready to use. When you are tracing the pattern pieces, be sure to trace the placket markings. They are located in a rectangle in the center left of the pattern page and resemble a connect-the-dots drawing.

Placket Markings

Layout the Pattern Pieces on your Fabric
Using the pattern layout on the pattern page as a guide, layout and pin your pattern pieces. Transfer your pattern markings to the fabric. I use an air erasable fabric marker, so I mark my pieces just before I am ready to use them. During tomorrow’s placket creation section, I will demonstrate my method for transferring markings to fabric with both a fabric marker and tacking thread. For now, cut out all of your pieces making notches as indicated by the pattern piece. Below are a few special considerations:

Pattern Piece 3, Right Placket
This pattern piece is the inner placket which will hold the buttons. If you want contrasting fabric on the inside of the placket, this is the piece to change. Note: The right placket refers to your right as you look at the dress. This is on the wearer’s left.

Pattern Piece 4, Left Placket
This pattern piece is the outer placket which has buttonholes. If you want contrasting fabric on the outside of the placket including the triangle point, this is the piece to change.

Pattern Piece 7, Skirt Front and Back (View A)
Note that there are two sets of matching marks on this pattern piece. After cutting 2 on the fold, choose 1 piece of fabric to be the front and one to be the back. Tip: put a few safety pins in the front with a small note so you remember which piece is which later on. When you are ready to transfer the matching marks, copy the round dots to the front skirt fabric and the square dots to the back skirt fabric.

Pattern Piece 8, Belt Loops (View A)
When cutting out fabric for the belt loops on piece 8, I recommend adding 1” in length. This will allow us extra length so we can use the Magic Loop Turning Technique from Sew,Mama,Sew!

Pattern Piece 9, Sleeve
The sleeves on the Jump Rope dress are interchangeable. Pattern piece 9 provides both the long and short sleeve version.

Pattern Piece 10, Pocket (View A)
If you have a directional print, you need to take special steps with pocket to ensure the pocket flap is oriented correctly. For pattern piece 10:

  • Cut 2 oriented as shown (henceforth known as pocket outer fabric)
  • Cut 2 rotated 180degrees (henceforth known as pocket flap fabric)

Pattern Piece 14, Pocket Bias (View B)
Note that this piece is cut on the bias at a 45 degree angle.

With these notes in mind, it’s time to forge ahead and cut our fabric pieces!

Interfacing adds stability to fabric. In addition to adding a bit of rigidity, it prevents the fabric from ripping from stress around the buttons and buttonholes. There are a number of types of interfacing available on the market ranging from very lightweight to extremely durable. It is important to choose an interfacing appropriate for your fabric and project. Bags usually require a durable heavy interfacing for thickness. Garment interfacing needs vary by project and fabric. If you are using quilting weight cotton similar, a lightweight fusible interfacing is best to use for the Jump Rope Dress. For more information on interfacing, you can read Amy Butler’s Guide to Interfacing on Sew,Mama,Sew!

In addition to cutting out the fabric, we will also need to cut interfacing for the collar and the plackets. For the collar, we will need to cut one piece of interfacing using Pattern Piece 6. Eventually, we will trim a 1/2” seam allowance away from this piece.

We also need a long 1” strip of interfacing to use on the placket. The exact length varies by pattern size. For now cut a piece that will roughly cover the length of both pattern piece 3 and 4.

Total Fabric Pieces
When you have finished cutting out fabrics, do a quick count to make sure you’ve got everything. You should have:

Now that we have all of our fabric pieces, we’re ready to start sewing. Check back tomorrow when we begin with the placket.

* Win a new Oliver + S sewing pattern of your choice, courtesy of Oliver + S. (4 winners, See the selection at Sew,Mama,Sew! & Badskirt.)

* Win a pack of 12 fat quarters from the new City Weekend fabric collection by Liesl Gibson for Moda, courtesy of Sew,Mama,Sew! (3 winners)

To enter the drawing:

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69 Responses to Jump Rope Dress Sew-Along ~ Tracing Your Pattern & Cutting Your Fabric

  1. Jodie says:

    I am glad you made this list. How did I only cut one skirt panel… yet another backless dress in the making. Oops!

  2. Karrie says:

    My pattern still hasn’t shown up in the mail yet – I want to play along!!! I’ve made one dress for my daughter so far, so I’m thrilled with this sew-along. I’ve never done plackets or buttons, so I’m going to learn a lot!

  3. KerryQ says:

    Ok- you got me. I’m in!

  4. Tong says:

    I’m a complete garment sewing newbie, this is great info to help me get started!

  5. Denise says:

    Thanks for the link to tips on tracing pattern pieces! I am new to sewing and have two daughters so I will need to trace patterns often.

  6. beverly says:

    tracing patterns is probably the one thing that holds me back from my sewing. it’s so tedious, but necessary. thanks for the info.

  7. Julie Hickey says:

    I so totally need to find this pattern! My daughter loves dresses and I need to keep making them while she is still young enough to love them (she’s 7). Any clue as to where I might find it in the Toronto area???

  8. Melissa says:

    Very helpful info. Thanks a million!

  9. Jackiw says:

    So helpful thanks!

  10. claireel says:

    What a helpful post. Thanks!

  11. Alex says:

    totally helpful – thanks!

  12. Heather C says:

    I buy a roll of pattern paper from my local shop. Put it on the pattern and trace it with my daughter’s art pencils. When I switched from a #2 pencil to a softer art pencil the tracing was much easier and faster.

  13. Serena says:

    I just saw on a blog where the lady uses paper towels to make/trace her patterns. I thought that was a great idea, though I’m partial to Pattern Ease or, for smaller things (especially felt projects, so it can be ironed on!), freezer paper.

  14. Ela says:

    This is lovely, a bit too advanced for my level, i think – but hey, never hurts to try. Here i go!

  15. Jennifer says:

    There always seems to be so much to do before you can actually start sewing already!!!

  16. Samantha says:

    I really like this pattern–which view to choose! 🙂

  17. Crowleyanna says:

    This is awesome!

  18. Cindy says:

    I wasn’t able to cut my fabric until today but I now have 3 dresses waiting to be sewn.

  19. Michele says:

    Some great tips, thanks! Tempted to buy the smaller size of the pattern.

  20. Jenn S says:

    I’m a day behind cutting out, but it’s done, & I’m doing the placket tonight, too.

  21. alisha says:

    This is always one of the hardest steps for me — preparing the pattern and cutting the fabric. I think I’m just lazy. 🙂

  22. Sara says:

    Being behind already on back to school sewing, I am going to sit this sew along out but I am looking forward to reading along instead. Thanks for the chance to win!

  23. Louise says:

    Thankyou, this is going to be so helpful!

  24. Tong says:

    Love Oliver + S patterns! I should really get this pattern and follow along!

  25. susan alexander/wilson says:

    I’ve been flummoxed by patterns so this is especially helpful. Thanks!

  26. Jessica says:

    I don’t have the pattern to follow, but being a new sewist, I’m learning a lot just reading, and applying!

  27. Kelly Sas says:

    While I am not sewing the dress – no little girls in family, I am following along because I am learning so much. Love all the pattern transfer ideas!

  28. Alexandra R says:

    Oh I love that you are doing this sew-a-long. It would be great to win one of the new patterns or the fabric!

  29. Colleen Butler says:

    I think it is genius too! The scanning part was great! off to a good start! Thanks

  30. Thirza says:

    Bummer… Got ready to copy the pattern sheet this morning, but I had forgotten how big that pattern sheet actually is. Back to the drawing board tonight!

  31. Nadia says:

    This is wonderful motivation to tackle a project for my little girl!

  32. I’m meant to spend one more week working before starting maternity leave, but this sew-along is just too tempting! I found the perfect fabrics in my stash and have cut them out during the time I was meant to be working!

  33. Nicole says:

    Helpful tips, thank you!

  34. Justine says:

    Thanks Amy! I’ve drafted both my sizes (2&8) onto vilene and have cut out the size 8. Hoping to cut out the 2 tonight and get sewing tomorrow!

  35. Devon says:

    excited to get started tonight!

  36. Rachel says:

    The whole scanning and printing the pattern pieces and then cutting them out is GENIUS. Saved me so much time today!

  37. darci says:

    i, too, hate tracing patterns. Thats why i am already behind on this sew along- cant be bothered to get my pattern copied off. Guess i’ll just watch and learn. I completed the ice cream social, but i never uploaded any photos for proof!

  38. Mary Margaret says:

    Woooo! I’ve chosen my fabric (& changed my mind a dozen times!) then traced and cut my pattern from freezer paper! Don’t know if I’ll get the fabric cut out tonight(still time to change my mind on that!), but even if I don’t I’m sure I can catch up tomorrow!

  39. Kristy says:

    I have just had a good read over the forums in the pattern tracing link, well worth the read!

  40. Jodie says:

    A brilliant start. I hope my pattern arrives today because I am getting behind…

  41. Crystal Lynn says:

    Very fun to do this as a sew along with tips, techniques, and moral support! You guys are always awesome.

  42. Jennifer Lachman says:

    I am cutting the pattern on a different dress I am making tonight. Although I’m not making the same dress as you in this so along I plan to use it to keep me moving at a good pace on my own dress. Thanks so much for the tips. The tips for working with patterns was very helpful.

  43. Cricket says:

    I’ve never actually done any sewing with directional prints, and it seems like now would be the ideal time to try. I wonder if I am brave enough to go with plaid…

    Um, nope. I wish, though.

  44. Kristin says:

    I am definitely reading along and taking notes so that as soon as a finish up a wedding present for a friend I can make a dress for my daughter!

  45. Kimberly says:

    Can’t wait to get started

  46. Catherine says:

    Even though I won’t be able to join the sew along, I’ve found this info so helpful for following this or any pattern – thanks!

  47. gigi says:

    just traced my pattern pieces & am trying to decide on fabrics. so excited for this sew a long!!

  48. Jennifer P says:

    I’m so excited to get started. I have my freezer paper out and ready… now I’m just waiting on the postman to bring my pattern and fabric. Let’s go USPS!!!

  49. Thirza says:

    …. copying the pattern on a copier and then cut it out… Why didn’t I think of that myself!? I seriously dislike tracing patterns, so my work colleagues will have to refrain from copying for 15 minutes or so tomorrow!

    Can’t wait!

  50. Melani says:

    Hooray! Looking forward to getting a couple more of these ready for my girl!

  51. Maeve says:

    You all have got me in the mood to try my hand at sewing a tunic top for myself, first time in years and years. I purchased Poodle fabric and Paradise fabric – not sure which one I will be using. Decisions, decisions! Love this blog!

  52. Michelle says:

    Can’t wait to get started…I’ll work on cutting out my fabrics tonight.

  53. Trisha says:

    On my way to the fabric store to purchase my fabric. Can’t wait to start. Traced my pattern on to freezer paper last night, going to iron it on to the fabric tonight and cut it out. So excited to see the girls wearing their new dresses.

  54. Lisa K. says:

    Oh, freezer paper! Sarah B., what a great idea. i don’t like it when the pattern shifts around while I’m cutting.

  55. miktha says:

    there are so many pattern pieces, i can’t wait to see you transform them to a cute dress.

  56. mela says:

    My pattern is traced. My goal is to make one of A and one of B. so far, i’m stuck at fabric selection…i hope i can keep up!

  57. Jenn S says:

    Hopefully, my kids will let me trace my pattern today, and decide my fabric.

  58. Brandi says:

    Bummer… not sewing along this time, but will be reading. Great info! 🙂

  59. gina Snyder says:

    Oh how fun! I love sew alongs. I’ll need to get the pattern and of course be late as usual!


  60. Kyrie says:

    Thanks for all the great information!

  61. bruinbr says:

    Sew-a-longs make tackling a new project soooo much easier! Thanks so much for this! Can’t wait to get started!

  62. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve just started 2 jumprope dresses, this should help to keep me moving along!!

  63. heather b says:

    Have my pattern pieces traced & going to start cutting the fabric. Thanks for the sew-along!

  64. Rebecca says:

    I am excited to be starting out ahead of the game- I already traced and cut everything- it has been sitting and waiting for the sew along for a couple of weeks now!

  65. jenn says:

    I am late ordering my pattern, but I can’t wait to make this!!
    I love these sew-a-longs!!

  66. Allison says:

    I would love to win either of those prizes, and I think I’ll pull out my pattern and join the sew along!

  67. Morgan says:

    Man this is inspiring. I need to find a little girl to sew for!

  68. Stephanie says:

    This is a cute pattern, I’m going to have to try it for my daughter.

  69. SarahB says:

    I traced most my pieces out on freezer paper yesterday, so I’ll finish that today and cut out the fabric!

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