The next step was to pin down the pattern pieces so they could be cut out. I used to try to get away with fewer pins but now I just put them in every corner and bend and every 3 or 4 inches down long sides. Once securely attached to the fabric, I cut out the pieces. I have also started to use pinking shears on the edges of the pieces where I will make a double fold, like the hem, or where a raw edge will be hidden but not bound, like inside the pocket. I don’t usually make pockets on this shirt pattern but I had the fabric so I cut some out in case I feel like adding them later.
Once everything is cut out, I mark the pieces with the dots and darts. I try to remember to fold the fabric wrong sides together before I lay it out to be cut (in this case, the fabric is the same on each side so that was easy). When the wrong side is facing itself and you open up the fabric to where a pin is marking a dot, you can use chalk to mark both sides, the mirror images, of the fabric at the same time. I find it cuts the marking time in less than half because you don’t have to realign the pattern piece and remark the dots.
Once everything is marked, I usually pin the darts into sewing position right then, in case the chalk rubs off and I can’t find the marks later. I like to start at the wide end of the dart and finish with a little back stitching at the point. I know some books say to tie a knot because backstitching can make a lumpy point but I don’t usually find this a problem, especially if I am really careful once I get to the point. This shirt has four long vertical darts and nothing has to be sewn before they get made so I put those pieces aside.
Next I get out the interfacing and cut out the pieces that require it - the collar, front bands and cuffs. I am using iron-on interfacing even though it sometimes bubbles a little because I have to iron this shirt every time I wash it anyway and I can smooth out the bubbles then. Then I spend the time ironing on the interfacing. It’s a bit tedious but you can listen to the radio while you do it.