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I've bought the Wilder Gown pattern from the Friday Pattern Company and the layout instructions seem to suggest you don't fold the fabric before cutting the pieces, instead keeping the fabric open/flat (see picture). Am I interpreting this correctly?
I've only ever folded fabric wrong sides together before cutting so haven't seen this before. Wouldn't folding the fabric ensure accuracy between matching pieces?

I'm fairly new to sewing so any help would be much appreciated!

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When given pieces that are too wide for the folded fabric (see piece E in your diagram), pattern cutting layouts will show cutting on a single thickness of fabric, rather than a folded piece. This is very common when the pieces won't fit the standard width of fabric in the correct orientation without unfolding it.

"Precise matching" of pieces isn't particularly critical in most patterns; the size of the pieces is sufficient to compensate for any small differences in the cut pieces. It's also more likely to have minimal differences in the two pieces when they're cut separately, as fabric can shift or be wrinkled on the lower layer, leading to a misshapen piece.

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It depends on the material.

Materials like denim (e.g. jeans) might be quite suitable for folding before cutting.

However, materials like silk will slide easily and the result will be anything but symmetrical.

If you insist on folding before cutting, then sew the margins together (manually, with big "steps"), along the intended cut. That will minimize the sliding of the two halves, ans therefore maximize the symmetry of the piece after cutting.

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Part B is the only one clearly expected to be cut from folded fabric. The rest is arranged in a way that reduces waste as much as possible.

I hope seam allowance is included in the pattern, otherwise there's no way you can cut it as drawn!

You can easily seperate the pattern into 2 parts:

  1. Keep parts B & C together in one piece and fold (or cut) the pattern in half along the line dividing part B into a light and a dark half. Then fold the fabric in half, align the pattern to the fold and cut both parts.
  2. Cut all of the remaining parts from unfolded fabric.

You could theoretically cut parts A from folded fabric, but only if you arranged the right part above the left part (mirror them horizontally). This probably won't fit on the remaining fabric, which might be why they're arranged side by side (to reduce waste). If you mirror the parts vertically (side by side), you'd have the wrong side of one piece facing out!

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