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How do I find the grainline in crepe?
pinkcatflower
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pinkcatflower
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Date: 3/18/12 11:21 PM

Hi,
I am really resisting the idea of HATING cutting fabric, but every time, it just feels like the biggest pain in the world! Can anyone relate? lol!

So I have this mainly polyester crepe for a skirt. I have no idea how to find the grainline. I don't seem to be able to tear it or pull a thread since it's not a plain weave. Ummm, so what do I do to make sure it is on grain?

Gosh am I in over my head AGAIN?

Edit: and actually, while I'm at it, what does one do with twill weave fabric?
-- Edited on 3/18/12 11:48 PM --

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I have a new blog: makingitwell.blogspot.com
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NhiHuynh
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NhiHuynh
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Date: 3/19/12 2:17 AM

You can measure the distance from the selvedge edge for the crepe and the twill. The twill also has a diagonal texture to it that should be 45 degrees from the grain line.

I personally don't worry too much about being exact on grain unless it's an obvious print or a long length like pants. My mom was a factory sewer. The way they use to cut fabric was in 1 ft+ stack at a time. Layers and layers of fabric stacked high, pressed down and cut with a jig saw like thing. I'm pretty sure all those layers weren't exactly on grain. I'm also pretty sure the middle to low end RTW isn't any better now than they were then.

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pinkcatflower
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pinkcatflower
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Date: 3/19/12 3:10 PM

Wow, fascinating look into factory sewing! Thanks for alleviating my grainline fears, I swear, I've come across so many people talking about how you have to have perfect grainline, it's definitely made me more fearful of the cutting process!

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I have a new blog: makingitwell.blogspot.com
I'd love for you to visit :)

NhiHuynh
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NhiHuynh
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In reply to pinkcatflower <<
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Date: 3/22/12 2:28 AM

Yes, I've met those people also. There's nothing to fear about sewing. The way you get better at sewing is to sew more and learn from each project. You'll come to understand the guidelines (I don't believe in rules) of sewing and fabric and can interpret them for your particular project. Good luck on your projects. Looking forward to seeing them on the Review gallery.

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I finally have a blog. www.detectivehoundstooth.com :)

minggiddylooloo
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minggiddylooloo  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/22/12 8:00 AM

On projects I don't worry about grain as much, I go for the lazy sewer's method: rip cross grain starting with a snip at the selvedge, and then fold in half selvedge to selvedge, aligning the ripped edges together. It's a lot faster than pulling thread by thread, and it's worked well for me. I love the sound of ripping fabric (on purpose!).

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Sew Game
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Date: 4/4/12 7:42 PM

Wow. I've looked online for the perfect or right way to find the grain. Thanks for the information. I have dreaded the pinning and cutting because I am trying to make sure my pieces are aligned on the grain. If I had to start pulling threads, I'm also going to start pulling my hair out! Love the lazy method. I've got to try that!

jenleeC
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jenleeC  Friend of PR
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In reply to pinkcatflower <<


Date: 4/4/12 9:42 PM

I am going to disagree with some of the earlier posters and say that grainline IS important. However it is nothing to be scared of or worried about. Have you ever ironed a pillow case where you can only get it to lay flat if the side seams are twisted around? That is what 'off grain' looks like and you don't want that on the sleeve of your shirt or worse, on your pants leg!

Most times you can just fold your fabric along the lengthwise grain (warp grain) and line up the selvedges. If you have a nice fold (not twisty) running parallel to the selvedges then you are good to go! Measure out from the selvedge so your grainline markings on the pattern are parallel to the selvedge. If you want to be a bit more particular you can also fray, pull a thread, or tear along the cross grain (weft grain) so you can line up the cross-grain edge as well.

Sometimes with cheaper fabric it is really hard to cut perfectly on grain as the fabric is twisted (the warp and weft fibres are not perpendicular to each other). There is not much you can do about that other than laying the fabric as smoothly as possible and allowing the fabric to lie the way it wants to.

I think NhiHuynh is quite correct in noting that a lot of RTW clothing is not cut perfectly on grain and with your own sewing you shouldn't be so worried about cutting on grain that it paralyses your sewing efforts. Just sew lots and you will get better the more you do.

As far as crepe weave fabrics go, it is really difficult to see the grainline on crepe because of the way the fibres are twisted before weaving. All you can do is line up your selvedges and layout your pattern with the lengthwise markers parallel to the selvedge. Happy sewing.

BTW, checked out your blog...love your critters!


-- Edited on 4/4/12 9:47 PM --

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Jenny, Perth, WA

TJSEWS
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In reply to pinkcatflower <<


Date: 4/11/12 2:55 PM

I agree with JenLeeC that the grainline IS important. I would follow her advice as to how to find the grainline in the crepe fabric.

The reason grainline is important is that it affects how the garment hangs on your body. If the grainline is off, eventually it will start twisting. As has been mentioned here, RTW does not always follow this rule and you can see the results: garments that twist and are therefore ill-fitting.

If you are going through the trouble of making something, it might as well be better than RTW!

Sewliz
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Date: 4/11/12 4:39 PM

Woven fabrics without lycra have the least amount of mechanical stretch along the grain. With crepes and similar fabrics I pinch a length and pull a little then slightly shift to another angle and pull again, and repeat that process until I have determined which direction has the least amount of give.

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Liz

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Twizard
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Date: 4/14/12 9:44 PM

I third JTSwews and JenleeC's opinions. For a guide, see the following link.
http://www.taunton.com/threads/pdf/grainline.pdf

Have you ever bought a pair of pants or jeans and after a few washings, the leg seam goes around your leg instead of down it? Have you ever had a shirt that didn't hang straight? Or sleeves that twist around your arms? That's RTW sloppy cutting techniques.

BTW, you can cut any pattern on bias or straight grain cut, if you like. But, if you cut on bias, let it hang 24 hours before hemming. But, it drapes beautifully, especially in silk fabric.

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Pfaff 1471, janome 8050, bernina 830, Pfaff Passport 2.0; sergers singer quantum lock 5, baby lock protege, pfaff 794

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