Leggi questo post in: Italiano
When cutting pattern pieces out, it’s very important to read the instructions to find out how many of each to cut out of what fabric and in what way. And in some cases pattern instructions tell you to cut out mirrored pieces.
As the name suggests, mirrored pieces are pieces of the same exact shape, but cut in opposite directions, so as to be symmetrical mirror images of each other.
We frequently need to cut mirrored pieces when sewing garments. Consider the front of a cardigan, for example. Most classic designs would require two identical pieces. If you are using a fabric that is the same on the front and back, such as a solid-colored woven cotton, you could cut out the two pieces exactly the same and just flip one over so that they mirror each other. If you are using a printed fabric, like the one above, or a fabric with a nap on one side, like velour, however, the front and back of the fabric look very different and you most likely won’t want the back showing.
Luckily it’s very easy to get around this problem in two different ways. Want to find out more about how to cut mirrored pattern pieces? Then read on!
First off, get some fabric that is different on the front and back and a pattern piece. Here I am using the pocket pattern piece for my Evening Primrose pajama pants for women pattern. (update 05/02/16: this pattern was originally called “Oenothera Biennis Pajama Pants,” which is why you’ll see that name in the pictures in this post.) The instructions in the pattern (here shown in Italian, but also available in English) say to cut out four pieces total, two mirrored pairs. This is because there are two pockets in this design. The fabric is a thrifted duvet cover.
The absolute easiest way to cut mirrored pattern pieces is to simply fold the fabric in half before cutting. Make sure that any directional prints are facing the right way and that the grainline is running the same on both sides.
Position the pattern piece on the fabric and pin it in place to keep the layers together.
Cut out around the pattern, and voilà… two perfectly symmetrical pieces! Easy, right?
Now let’s say that you have a directional print that doesn’t go in the right direction when folded or the fabric piece is too small to fold in half. Or perhaps you just want to use up scraps or have more control over the positioning of the fabric print. It’s just as easy to cut mirrored pieces from separate pieces of fabric.
First lay the pattern piece right side up and outline it (or cut it out directly). Then flip the pattern piece over and trace it that way on the second piece of fabric. Or you could trace it right side up onto the back of the second piece of fabric. Just don’t use a big black permanent marker, like I did!
Ta-da! Once again, easy perfection!
And here are the 3/4 length Evening Primrose Pajama Pants that I made with these pockets! So comfortable to wear and I just love having pockets in my PJs! In this picture, I’m also wearing one of my freezer paper stenciled t-shirts (see here for the tutorial).
This pattern has lots of options, including elastic or drawstring waistband, pockets or not, and three lengths: pants, 3/4 (capri), or shorts. With 11 sizes and indications on how to lengthen or shorten the pants, this is the only women’s pajama pants pattern you’ll ever need! Got kids or a manly significant other? Coming soon to the shop are the children’s and men’s versions, too!
So, what are you waiting for? Get the Evening Primrose Pajama Pants pattern from the Cucicucicoo pattern shop, or any other pattern with mirrored pieces, and get cutting!
This lesson on how to cut mirrored pattern pieces is extra content in the Cucicucicoo beginner’s sewing course! Don’t forget to share pictures of your work on the Cucicucicoo Creations Flickr Group or the Cucicucicoo Facebook page!
5 thoughts on “How to cut mirrored pattern pieces”
Thank you, I’ve been sewing for many, many, years, however due to a brain injury I sometimes ‘forget’ how to do basic steps. So again thanks for this simple to understanding explanation of cutting mirror images.
Liz, even without a brain injury I sometimes forget really basic things, too, so I’d say you’re doing pretty well! I’m also really glad to hear that you’re still able to sew despite your injury! Be strong and carry on!
Simple & Spot On