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advice on cutting fabrc

CindyinCO | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Following all the wonderful advice here then doing quite a bit of reading…and putting in some time getting to know fabric more (I prefer Hancocks over JoAnns), I’ve gotten some lovely cotton/lycra in a midweight suiting. The fabric has a variegated stripe on the cross grain. I ordered it on-line from a swatch & thought the stripe was on the grain. It’s 60″ and has no apparent stretch either with the grain or cross grain (hope that’s the right term). It does have stretch on the bias. My question: the stripe subtle though it is would, I think, be more flattering if I cut it on the cross grain rather than the grain of the fabric. The pattern is a Very Easy Vogue two piece suit & I’ve made my muslin. What would the experienced & experts advise? : ) Waiting to make that first cut!

Replies

  1. starzoe | | #1

    I have used crossgrain many times, but none with a stretch. I would think that if the stretch is the same in both directions you would be safe. Have you considered using the stripe on the bias?

  2. User avater
    Susanc22 | | #2

    If it's truly cotton/Lycra, which is to say, spandex, it should have some obvious stretch, so if it doesn't, it may have been mislabled (either by the online source from which you bought it or by the manufacturer they got it from).  All woven fabrics have stretch on the bias; this is a function of being woven. (Do not cut it on the bias unless you make your muslin on the bias, too, because you will change the fit!  Patterns to be cut on the bias are drafted accordingly, so you will not be happy with the results if you change the grainline to bias.) 

    Usually, the warp of the fabric, which is to say the length of it, parallel to the selvage, has less give than the crossgrain, meaning perpendicular to the selvage, and this is again a function of being woven.  So for stability, we usually cut a garment so that the warp runs from head to toe when worn.  If you feel like cutting it with the warp running left to right, generally you can do it without much trouble, especially since you've made the muslin to adjust for any fitting problems, i.e., being too snug somewhere.  Theoretically, the dress could sag over time being cut this way, but that's just theoretical, and I'd say go for it the way you have in mind, crossgrain and flattering!

    1. CindyinCO | | #3

      Thanks for your helpful advice! I looked at the cross grain again, and it does have a bit of stretch so I'm going to follow the tried & true practice of cutting on the grain. The fabric will look fine either way. I have yet to sew anything with a lot of stretch...not sure I'm ready to deal with controlling the fabric.Thanks, again!

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #4

        I have a lovely piece of silk blend suiting with lycra that has the same stripe problem. When I checked the stretch factor, it actually stretched more in the length than in the cross, so I suspect it was woven to be cut on the cross grain. When checking for stretch, remember to check the stretch in the middle of the fabric, not the edge, and actually measure it against a ruler! Even the slightest difference, even 1/4 of an inch, will show up that way.
        There was a previous discussion on here on making a jacket with a lycra blend fabric. You might want to read it under search before you start as well, as there are some good suggestions on stabilizers you might want to know about. I would search for you now, but I have to go help pick rocks.... Cathy

        1. CindyinCO | | #5

          Thanks for the measuring tip! The cross grain stretch is about 1/4 " and the gain is nearly 1/2"! Is that amount of stretch require a stabilizer? I purchased a Stacy easy knit interfacing that's nice on a small sample. My, my there's much to learn in this wonderful world of sewing!

      2. Tatsy | | #6

        You're the best one to answer this question because you have the fabric in hand. Handle it over the course of a few days before you lay down the pattern and cut it out. You'll know from the feel what you can do with it and what you can't. And don't deny yourself the pleasure of sewing with stretch knits. After everything you have to learn to sew wovens, it's like driving in a sports car with the top down.

        1. CindyinCO | | #7

          What a fun & challenging image! Thanks for the input. I'll post when I'm ready for the ride : )

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