ChloeDonovan Sewalong, Donovan Skirt2 Comments

Donovan Sewalong: Cutting the Fabric

Let’s begin! You can view all of our Donovan Sewalong posts here. Before we get our sewing started, we have to cut out our fabric.

Before you start cutting, ask yourself:

1. Is your fabric pre-washed?

It’s crucial to wash your fabric before getting started to make sure your final garment won’t shrink in the wash! Wash your fabric in the same way you’re planning on washing your finished garment. We used mid-weight linen.

2. Are your consulting the correct cutting layout for your size?

There is a layout for each size, so just check at the top of the page to see which size layout you are looking at. Make sure you consult our sizing chart and that you cut out the size that corresponds with your hip measurement.

For this Donovan Skirt, we are using a lovely washed linen in dusty lilac from Blackbird Fabrics.

We are cutting out our main Donovan pieces on the fold, and the waistband and drawstring pieces on the flat. We used a rotary cutter to cut our pieces, and scissors to cut our notches. We used large washers from the hardware store as weights, to make sure the pattern pieces don’t shift around.

You might be wondering: why does the pattern have us cut the waist tie in four separate pieces? This pattern has an extra long tie that would be difficult to cut straight, and also use up more fabric than necessary. You can cut a continuous waist tie or one that is broken into three or two pieces if you prefer.

The waistband can be cut on the grain or on the cross-grain, depending on your size and your fabric width. We always try to save as much fabric as possible by getting creative with cutting! Do be mindful of directional prints and fabric stretch if you decide to cut on the cross grain. 

Make sure that you snip each notch that the pattern piece outlines! These notches are important for making sure all the pieces line up correctly.

Once you’ve cut out all your pattern pieces, give them one last press before we start sewing.

In our next post, we will start sewing the pockets for Donovan! Let us know if you have any questions in the comments.

About the author


Hi, I'm Chloe, the Creative Assistant at Helen's Closet! I'm a Vancouver transplant from San Francisco. I love sewing, the outdoors, and RuPaul's Drag Race.

2 Comments on “Donovan Sewalong: Cutting the Fabric”

  1. I want that iron!! Is it vintage? I bet it doesn’t spit and sizzle and turn itself off at inconvenient moments. And I bet you don’t have to shake the daylights out of it to get it to steam.

    1. Good news Rachel- this iron is not actually vintage, and you can find it pretty easily online! It’s the Black + Decker “The Classic”, and we love it. It’s nice and heavy, presses beautifully, and does not spit or sizzle.

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