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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Grain lines ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Grain lines
jsauer
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Date: 4/18/13 11:04 PM

I have a piece of 50"-ish wide fabric that will be large enough for a skirt pattern if I turn it 90 degrees and use the cross-grain to line up the pattern. What do you think the potential problems might be? This is for Simplicity 2215 (skirt only). The fabric is an Anna Maria Horner voile. I can fit the waist band either on the grain or across the grain. Would it mess things up to have it opposite of the skirt pieces?

Your thoughts are appreciated.

Jennifer in KS

koffeegypsy
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In reply to jsauer <<


Date: 4/19/13 1:35 AM

Jennifer -

I'll be honest with you the Grain stuff really messes with my head! I just completed several printed pattern outfits and could not cut on the grain as I was supposed to. Everything has been washed and hasn't seemed to fall to tragedy.
This was a helpful write up of Grainlines to me:
http://peggyspickles.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/grainlines/

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Michelle -"KoffeeGypsy"

beauturbo
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Date: 4/19/13 5:55 AM

I think it would be O.K. I think where the skirt is pleated into the waistband it might pleat up a bit different or not, but you can just make some folds in it along the salvage edge and then hold that up in the air even at your waist and let it fall and drape and kind of just see about that and if you like it just as well as going the other direction, even before cutting it out. Any printed pattern would be going in the other direction though. So lay it out that way over a sofa or such, and stand way back and look at that too, to see if you like that. It would be just much like using a border printed on the salvage kind of fabric instead, because in that case you would have to have the grain line going the other way, just anyways.

Miss Fairchild
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Date: 4/19/13 8:11 AM

I'm going to throw something in here, only from experience and the sad loss of some really good silk.
I had a piece of Anna Sui silk that I loved. Unfortunately, the print (which contained lines) went horizontal, on the crosswise grain. And I wanted them to go vertical to make me look slimmer.
So I cut the top on the crosswise grain. And, being the friend or foe that the crosswise grain was, the top began to puddle. The folds were beautiful had I designed the pattern to make them, but folds at CB and below my bustline at CF were not too pretty. So the fabric is now going to be an expensive undershirt to be worn under clothing, or a pair of panties.
My thinking is that if you are making a skirt and it's cut on the crossgrain, the fabric, especially in your hip area where you sit, is going to puddle and the hemline of the skirt will be uneven eventually. I don't know another way around this, but it still irks me about that silk!

Edited to add: Love that blog! But one thing it doesn't go into is that crossgrains are stretchy, no matter the fabric you use. Straight grains are not. This is why quilters can get their seams to line up in all those intricate patterns; the fabric is cut on the crossgrain and has a little give.
-- Edited on 4/19/13 8:16 AM --

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JTink
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Date: 4/19/13 8:44 AM

I've never had any garment work for me that was not cut on the grain indicated on the pattern. If it were a tote bag, not a problem.

Elona
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Date: 4/19/13 10:45 AM

In most fabrics, the warp threads, the ones that run the length of the fabric, are made of strong fibers with very little stretch.

For the sake of economy nowadays, the crosswise fibers, called the weft, are made of softer, cheaper threads (you can really see this in upholstery fabrics, which they try to sell as 'thick 'n thin,' a style feature, but really it is just cheaping out). These softer threads are generally more stretchy and less durable, but more important, it means that the thread count--the number of threads per square inch--is NOT the same in the length and the width of the fabric.

This usually means that things cut on the lengthwise grain will hang differently from those cut on the crosswise grain.

Nancy K
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In reply to jsauer <<


Date: 4/19/13 5:13 PM

You can cut it on the cross grain. There is more stretch in the cross grain but you should be fine in a skirt. The waistband can be cut on either, but the straight grain will be less inclined to stretch.

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Nan Kay
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Date: 4/19/13 5:24 PM

I agree with Nancy K, it can be cut on the cross grain. Some stretch wovens actually have the most stretch running with the selvage. So to make pants the pattern needs to lay cross grain to cut. Otherwise the stretch would be up and down, wouldn't make the pants fit very well. In non stretch woven fabric it is a bit of an experiment if cross grain will hang well. Silk would be much more likely to stretch cross grain than blends or cotton. Linen doesn't seem to care which way it is cut. But, unless you are aiming for bias, do cut with the grain, either cross or with the selvage! Hang a piece cross grain for a couple of hours, you'll know if it will hang well or droop.

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Nancy

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