Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Confession

I think I mentioned that I've been ripping fabric strips for my lanyards, rather than cutting them, in order to make sure that the pieces are lined up along the grain lines. And this got me thinking about fabric grain in general...

I pay moderate attention to the grain of my fabric. If it's possible (say, a cotton print), I rip both edges of the fabric before folding it in half and laying down the pattern pieces. And I do make sure to align the pattern pieces with the grainline as directed. For example, I cut out the waistband of the circle skirt that I am making along the bias, as directed.

But if I can't rip the edges, then I don't do that thread pulling thing. And I've never tried to fix fabric that was off grain. (You do it with a steam iron, I think...)

So, how about you? How much attention do you pay to grain line in your fabric? Do you make sure to align your pattern pieces along the grain line as specified? Do you check to see if your fabric is on grain? Do you rip edges and/or pull threads to find the grain line? If your fabric is off grain do you try to fix it? How do you fix it?

Photo credit:

(For more grainline related sites, check out the links embedded in the photo.)


mamafitz said...

yes, i pay attention to grain. if i can't rip the fabric, i pull a thread. if my grain is off, i do not fix it (i've found for me it goes right back after it's washed). if it's only slightly off, i just work with it, mostly paying attention to the warp. if it's bad, the fabric gets tossed or donated, and i pick something else.

i lay my fabric out on a gridded cardboard cutting mat (easy to make sure things are square!), and measure the grainlines on the pattern to the grainline on the fabric to make sure they match.

Sarah E. said...

I don't pay much attention to grain at all. All I look for is that the granline printed on the pattern is going the right direction. I usually just look more for matching the pattern if it is a plaid or stripe.

debbie said...

Yes, yes, yes! I'm a bit obcessive about grainlines.

On wovens I will rip if I have enough fabric. I find it tends to distort the ends a bit. If the weave is loose enough I will pull a thread. I do mostly knits and with those I mark the rib if possible. If a rib isn't easily seen I fold until there are absolutely no visible ripples.

Pattern pieces are always, always on grain.

CarlaF-in Atlanta said...

I pay attention to the grain. I didn't when I first started sewing because it seemed like an unnecessary extra step. It's not. If you want your clothes to look their best pay attention to the grain. If I can't rip the fabric, i pull a thread. If the grain is off, I don't use that fabric for my garment. I spend to much time and effort in my garment construction to have a wadder because I didn't check the grain.

katherine h said...

Now I'm feeling very slack. I don't rip fabric. I don't pull threads. I look at the weave and eyeball it. Sometimes I fold it in half and then hang it from my fingers to see if the fold falls right.

If something is meant to be on the bias, I pull in the direction that I think the bias is and see how the stretch compares here to just a little bit over and just a little bit back.

I can't say that I've noticed a problem with my garments as a result of this slackness.

I do get annoyed when I use non-see-through patterns, because I can't see the grain through the pattern sheet.

Summerset said...

I do pay attention to grain. If the grain is a little off, I'll work with it. If it is way off, the final garment might not be great, so I just move on to a better fabric.

marysews said...

I do my best to get my fabric on grain before cutting out. I never tear the fabric, and I rarely pull a thread to find the cross-grain.