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Grainline Question

AnneAudette | Posted in Fitting on

I have the grain line and crotch line marked with thread on test fabric.  (97% cotton/3% Lycra). 

I’m making shorts.  The grain lines hang perpendicular to the floor except the right front.  It begins to swing out at the crotch line and then swings  towards the side seam gradually below the crotch line.  When I pull the right CF up a tad, the grain line straightens but then the front crotch is too snug, particularly the right.

I’ve played with the fabric at the waist at the top of the right side seam and along the side seam below the crotch line.  I haven’t come up with a solution so that the grain line hangs better.

The front and back crotch lines hang parallel to the floor.



  1. starzoe | | #1

    Sometimes, when we cut patterns double (in your case fronts), the bottom layer is out of line and not on the straight of the goods. Don't rely on selvedges or torn/cut edges to give you the straight of the goods. This is particularly true with cottons. They can be skewed very badly when we buy the fabric. The lycra content is so small but it may also be part of the skewing effect.

    1. sewelegant | | #2

      This is interesting... and I am wondering why they are putting so much lycra in fabrics.  I just made a dress from some fabric my daughter sent me.  I didn't have the fabric content label but it was so obviously a cotton lycra.  This fabric was definitely not made for a dress!  It clung to itself like velcro.  I finished the muu muu type dress and it will do, but I do have to wear a half slip to keep it from clinging and I had in mind something more casual.  I am guessing this fabric should be for clingy clothing like tights, bathing suits, work out clothing, etc.  I'm beginning to think I need to take a lesson on how to sew all the new fangled fabrics out there!  Now there is bamboo?

      Back to the grainline question for AnneAudette - I think it may well be the fabric because it seems like there needs to be more fabric in the crotch area on your right side to make up for the decrease when you  pull up at the waist.  Unless you have a figure flaw that requires more on the right than the left.  If you are just testing this pattern I might try a different fabric and see if the same problem presents.


  2. jjgg | | #3

    How tight fitting are these shorts? Is your right thigh heavier in the front than the left? it may be causing the one piece to shift off. (most of us do have one leg heavier than the other). Are you able to shift the piece so the grain is straight and then recut the crotch? The piece will look a bit different from the other, but that is custom fitting, you may need that.

    On the other hand, it may be like another poster mentioned, if you cut them with the fabric folded over, then one piece may have been skewed when cut out.

    1. AnneAudette | | #4


      Thanks for your post!

      Actually the circumference of my right thigh is larger than the left. 

      I cut all pieces (RF, LF, RB and LB) separately and marked the crotch line and grain line separately on each.

      I like your idea---

         " Are you able to shift the piece so the grain is straight and then recut the crotch? "

      How do I put your idea into action?  I'm not sure how to do this!

      I can post a photo if necessary.




      1. jjgg | | #5

        It's best if you play with this in muslin before you mess up your good fabric, you may be able to save the piece you cut already if it's just a small adjustment.You said when you pull up on the piece it straightens the grain, but the crotch gets too tight, so try to scoop the crotch a bit lower, YOu can use your pattern piece to get the right curve.I would start by marking in the sewing lines (Not the cutting lines on the muslin and make the adjustments from there. Make sure you mark in all the grain lines both vertical and horizontal. If your right thigh is wider (and you don't mention how tight or loose these shorts are) then all you may need to fix this is really adjusting a side seam somewhere. (right hip area?)Best of luck

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