3/12/12

Grainline

Happy Monday Everyone and hoping you had a great weekend.  I am feeling much better today after my Something is Sew Not Suitable post over the weekend and settled on a rtw suit today... circa  2005 navy blue pinstripe with a lime top... my pic is crappy, but take my word.... its navy blue & lime....lol



However, I still pondered over what truly went wrong and my thoughts settled on Grainline.   For all intent and purposes, I thought I was checking my fabric grainline after pretreating it.  Basically once its washed, dried and ironed, I'd fold the fabric matching edges, if all looked even, I then proeed with cutting the fabric.... nothing more. 

My question today is do you check the grainline for each fabric that you sew by matching up the edges and pulling the thread and all that?
 or
Like me,  fold it matching the edges and if it looks good.. then its on grain.

Until then... have a Fabulous Week.

17 comments:

Faye Lewis said...

I basically do as you mentioned-line up the selveges making sure that at least the top edges line up. For the most part this works out fine. Occasionally this method does not work. I know about pulling a thread and tearing, but to be honest I've never done it because I'm scared I'll destroy the fabric. I do; however pay close attention to grainline pattern markings (the arrows) when laying the pattern out.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Sheila - but there are a few other factors to consider here:

1. Did the grainline skew when you washed the fabric?

2. Was it ever truly on grain to begin with?

3. Did you measure the grainline at the top and the bottom of the pattern piece to insure that it wasn't off by fractions of an inch?

Now to answer your questions, I never pull a thread...honestly that's too much work for me. Also I check how the fabric falls. Sometimes a bad cut means that you can't line the folded pieces up so I smooth them out and lay them together with a skewed top, then I start to lay pattern pieces about 3-4" down from the top.

If it truly was bad grainline, then it could have also been something totally out of your control because the fabric would have come that way.

Clio said...

In general I'm pretty careful, but how careful kind of depends on the fabric I'm using and what I'm making. Honestly, I think with a pants leg the grain is going to be more important than, say, a short bodice piece, for example. And so, I tend to be more careful when I think it will make a big difference.

alethia said...

Faye and Caroline hit the nail on the head. However line up the selvages doesn't always mean that the fabric is on grain. The goal is check how the fabic falls one the selvage is lined up. If the the fold falls evenly without ripples then its on grain. If the fold ripples or the fabric does not lay straight then you need the goal move the selvage down until the fabric is straight without any ripples. Hope this help. I took a second look at the suit and I am convince the grainline in the fabric was totally off.

knitmachinequeen (KMQ) said...

Experience has taught me to let the fabric "do what it do." I always prewash my fabric unless I'm goign to dry clean them. A lot of time the fabric is cut off grain at the cutting counter and one that happens every subsequent cut will be all grain as well. When I'm at Joanns and I can tell it's going to be off I corrent them. If the person doesn't seem to be receptive to what I'm talking about...I let them keep their fabric! Nothing is worse than fabric being cut 8" or 9" off grain. Luckily a lot of times I buy more than I need but if it were a real problem I would have no angst about taking it back...I've done it before!

Sheila said...

Thanks ladies for your thoughts and its interesting to read others' process when working with fabric prior to cutting.

Faye: when you state that you pay close attention to the grainline marking, do you take your ruler and measure from the pattern grainline to the edge of fabric to determine if its on grain?

Carolyn: Honestly I don't recall if the fabric was skewed after pretreating. The pattern & fabric had been cut for over 2 months and placed in ziploc bag.

As for it ever being on grain, don't know. If I had to think of how I treat my other fabrics. I don't check the grainline of the fabric prior to pretreating.

I will say that I didn't check the bottom, only trued up the top of the fabric prior to cutting.

Clio: You answered another question, which garments would best benefit from serious grainline check.

Alethis: I have repeatedly held fabric against me to check drape or how it looks against my complexion, but really never did it to check the fall of the fabric while folded which would indicate if its off/on grain.

WoW... a wealth of information... Thanks.

Carol said...

I start by doing as you do and lining up the selvedges. If the grainline isn't straight, I pull the fabric around until it is. If it's severely off, I usually pick it up when I press the fabric, so the pulling into line happens then. When I put the pattern pieces down, I put a pin in one end of the grainline marker and measure from the folded edge. Using the pin as a pivot point, I shift the pattern until it's in the right position. Hope this helps

Myra said...

Really like the new blog! I agree with everyone here...all that's too much work for me! I just match up the edges and so far have not had a problem.

Victoria said...

I usually straighten the grain (pulling a thread and all) especially on wovens. I know knits are usually move forgiving and besides you can look at the knit weave to see if it's straight or not. But I've worked with some fabrics that I straightened the grain on and it still would lay straight. Those fabrics were faulty in their production. Nice suit by the way!!!

Sheila said...

Thanks ladies.

Love knowing I am not alone with certain sewing processes.

Faye Lewis said...

Sheila - I mostly measure (but sometimes I also just eyeball it for straightness) from the arrow to the edge of my fabric or cutting mat. I love my mat and am glad that I purchased. At first I had buyers remorse about it - but now I truly love and depend on it.

Faye Lewis said...

P.S. Need to mention that I agree with others in saying that some times the fabric grainline is "jacked up" when we purchase it.

velosewer said...

Last weekend I had a crushed linen piece that I had prewashed and I couldn't find the grain line so I ironed it flat and then it was obvious that the fabric was way off grain. I do what you've done but this crushed linen piece was doing my head in.
I do love your outfit.

Rosie said...

Sheila, like you and the rest of the ladies, I usually line up the selvedges and make sure the fabric is smooth all the way cross grain. I am not patient enough to pull a thread and rarely ever do that. If I cannot smooth out the fabric, I press / steam it and try to straighten the grain that way. It is a royal pain when the grainline is skewed and by the time the fabric is done with me, I want to put it through a shredder. Great tips here from all the ladies! (Here I was thinking I was special when I had problems with skewed grainlines.)

narcissaqtpie said...

I'm so glad you posted this question. the comments were extremely helpful.

Sister said...

I was going to say what Alethia and Carol said - check how the fabric lays at the fold, straighten that out (which may throw the selvedges off), and measure from each end of the grain line to the fold when I place the pattern piece. Love your new suit, though!

Knitaholictoo said...

Love your new header! Sorry bout your woes! ; ( ! I know you say you've made the pants before, could it be the spandex in the fabric? Had a similiar experience with some denim with spandex. UGggh! Hugz!