It's a small detail but one which, as a pattern designer, has been playing on my mind. Pattern instructions usually state that fabric should be folded right sides together prior to pinning and cutting pattern pieces. The pieces are then either cut on the fold or in layers. At the same time, there seems to be no reason given as to why this method of folding is important.
If you're like me and like to bend the rules, you'll know that folding wrong sides together (as in my little diagram below) usually gives you the same results. So why the insistence on folding in a certain way?
My searches haven't returned much concrete information on the topic but what I have found all seems to boil down to this:
Folding right sides together allows you to transfer any pattern markings more easily onto the wrong side of the fabric. Which is where they should be. Apparently.
Is this a compelling enough reason? I would vote no because:
- Many of us use modern independent patterns which are more pared down and simplified than traditional commercial patterns. They have minimal or no pattern markings (especially for children where there are no bust darts, for example).
- Folding the fabric wrong sides together allows the pattern design to be seen when pinning and therefore allows positioning of the pattern pieces to best effect.
What about you? How do you fold and do you think it matters? Are there any important reasons I've missed here for folding in a certain way?