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Forum > Beginner's Forum > How to determine the grain in rtw clothing? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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How to determine the grain in rtw clothing?
ahrizel
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ahrizel
Member since 4/22/12
Posts: 300
Skill: Beginner
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Date: 10/31/12 8:07 PM

Well the contest bug has bitten me, and I'm entering the repurpose contest. I picked up some items at the thrift store which look very nice to change up. But my patterns have me lay it out on the grain. How the heck do I figure out the grain in, say, a polo shirt? Or a dress? I know about ripping to get the grain, but I don't know about the knits. And I have a limited amount of fabric to work with don't want to waste much if I can avoid it. Help is much appreciated.
Mary
CM_Sews
CM_Sews
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Member since 9/18/04
Posts: 2046
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 10/31/12 10:20 PM

On knits, there is the most stretch across the grain. On a polo shirt, the stretch should be across the shirt, around your chest. So the grain runs up and down, from the shoulder to the hem. Here's a handy photo (thank you, person I do not know for your Flickr photo stream):
Finding Grains on Knits

In the photo, the grain line is marked in blue, up and down. You can see the knit stitches clearly in the photo. A 4-way stretch knit will also have some stretch from top to bottom, along the grain line, but the knit stitches will still appear more or less (depending on the type of knit) as you see them in this photo.

For a woven garment that you want to repurpose, the grain line (the lengthwise grain of the fabric) should also be running down the garment, from shoulder to hem. Here's a handy Threads article about cutting garments on different grainlines. The "Crash Course on Grains" box has some helpful info. If you pull on a woven fabric along the two grain lines, the crosswise grain will have a little "stretch" to it, but the lengthwise grain will be stable (NOT stretchy) by comparison.

CMC
ahrizel
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ahrizel
Member since 4/22/12
Posts: 300
Skill: Beginner
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In reply to CM_Sews

Date: 11/1/12 8:32 AM

Thank you! That actually helps a lot. I've been having a lot of fun looking at the thrift shop for clothes for the contest. Knowing how to lay out the patterns correctly makes my life easier.
Mary
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