The term “on fold” refers to a specific cutting or folding instruction provided in a sewing pattern. When a pattern piece is marked as “on fold”, it means that the piece should be placed and cut on a folded edge of the fabric rather than being cut as a separate piece.
Here’s what “on fold” means for seamstresses and pattern makers:
- Fabric fold: When cutting out a pattern piece on fold, you align the designated edge of the pattern piece with the folded edge of the fabric. The fabric is folded in half so that the selvages (finished edges) or cut edges meet, creating a single, double-layered piece.
- Cutting accuracy: Placing a pattern piece on fold ensures that both halves of the garment or fabric piece are symmetrical. By cutting on fold, you eliminate the need to cut two separate pieces and join them together, reducing the chances of unevenness or mismatched halves.
Cutting on fold is commonly used for symmetrical pattern pieces such as front and back bodice pieces, skirt panels, or sleeves. It helps simplify the cutting process, ensures accuracy, and maintains the desired shape and fit of the garment.
When following a pattern, carefully review the cutting layout and instructions to identify which pieces should be cut on fold.