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4 way stretch fabric – pattern layout

ctirish | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I have had the problem of laying out my pattern on knit fabric and by the time I cut I somehow have the non-stretch of the fabric going the wrong way. I don’t even know how I do it.
Today, I laid out a little toddler dress on some fabric that has 3 way stretch. After it was all laid out, I decided to triple check the stretch before I cut the fabric and low and behold, the fabric seemed turned the wrong way again to me.

So, I need someone to tell me – if you have fabric that is 3 way stretch and it has two cut edges and then two edges that were melted somehow for edges. Which edges do I use if I want the stretch to go crosswise through the middle of the garment. Any info is truly appreciated.



  1. netizen | | #1

    I ignore the edges and look at three things:

    1: Is there a pattern printed on the fabric? Sometimes even though the stretch is the wrong way, the print of the pattern determines the only layout. I just did a top with stretch lace, the flowers were the wrong way and I went with the flowers, not the stretch.

    2: Is there a ribbed or ridgey-ness to the fabric? Sometimes it's very subtle but it will hang differently. The ribs should go up and down (head to foot). When it is up and down, the edges will roll in on the cut fabric.

    3: A stretch test. Mark a 4" square. Pull it one way up against a ruler, pull it the other way. Whichever way stretches more, wins, that's going to be the grain that's going around, not up and down.

    4: okay I added another one. Sometimes the wrong side of the fabric works better, it's less elasticy looking.

  2. Teaf5 | | #2

    Netizen offers some great ideas. When in doubt, I wrap & safety pin the uncut fabric length around my torso or legs and move around a bit to see how it "wears." This method makes my family laugh hysterically, but it tells me a lot about the fabric before I cut into it and saves a lot of trouble later on.

    Once I figure out which side should be up and out, I tape or chalk mark the inside in several places with arrows to show the "up" and "wrong side" for layout and cutting.

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