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Pattern Cutting Basics – video

Pattern cutting basics - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World

In this video I give you an introduction to some pattern cutting basics.

When I say basics I do mean basics. This isn’t about transferring complicated markings from garment patterns to your fabric. This is very basic stuff about how to lay out a pattern piece and cut around it.

It may seem like I’m overemphasizing the “lay your pattern out as close to the edge of the fabric as you can get it” stuff – but every time I teach a sewing class I come home with at least one large piece of fabric with a small hole cut smack out of the middle of it.


Like this one. 🙂

Here’s the video. . .

So there you are – a simple introduction to pattern cutting. If you want to get just a tiny bit more advanced, check out this post about fabric grain. Happy sewing!

That's me!


  1. Thank you so much for the video, Wendy! I’m 30 and just inherited a sewing machine. I learned how to sew from watching my mom make quilts and have never taken a home ec class. Simple and clear videos like this are very helpful!

  2. Kristy Kay SAYS...

    I am SO glad that I found your website! I am trying to teach myself to sew at 32. I cannot tell you thank you enough for this. Sewing will be much more of a plesure instead of a headache. This is the only one I have found that I understand completely. I even get confused with the sewing books. Every single problem I have been having will be solved thanks to your easy to understand videos. This is my favorite site now. Thank you a million times!!!!!!!!!!!!! God Bless!

  3. Thanks Kristy! I can’t wait to see what you make!

  4. nora SAYS...

    Hi Wendi,

    I just started sewing and your site is fantastic! I’ve made 2 totes and a snake so far.

    A question: Do you always cut out a pattern to its exact size, or do you ever make your cut out larger for seams? Thanks!

    • Almost all US patterns (mine included) have seam allowance included – so for them I cut on the line. If seam allowances are not included the pattern instructions should specify for you to add seam allowance when you cut out the pattern. Excellent question!

  5. Thank you SO MUCH for making and posting these videos! I have been sewing for a while now, but I make my own patterns… just a few months ago I decided to buy a pattern and try my hand at making my daughter a dress (normally I sew doll clothes). I have been having a heck of a time understanding the instructions for the dress and I go to youtube often to find answers and tonight while trying to figure out how to sew the zipper on the dress I happened to find your zipper tutorial. I was on the verge of giving up after having found quite a few really awful tutorials and then I found yours and it was a godsend! I don’t think I can thank you enough! And now I am going through each of your videos on your website and I subscribed to your blog and I can’t wait to try out some of your patterns! Especially the bunny stuffie! My daughter loves bunnies! Thank you again for your wonderfully easy to understand and follow tutorials! You made my life a million times easier! XD

    • Welcome! I’m so glad the videos have been helpful! When you make any of the patterns you’ll have to share a photo. I love seeing what people make from them! 🙂