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How important to cut on the grainline?

Jaderaven | Posted in General Sewing Info on

The last time I posted a question I received so much help and info. I thought I’d ask you ladies (& guys) my new question. I made McCall pattern M5110 – I followed the directions exactly and the skirt turned out so well that I decided to make another one in a yellow cotton/poly blend fabric. (same fabric as last time)

It says to cut the yoke on the grainline. However, if I were to cut perpendicular to the grainline I would have enough fabric to make a matching sleeveless blouse. So how important is it to cut on the grainline?

The fabric does have a bit more “give” to it on the other direction (not sure of the proper name), but not too much more. It wouldn’t be a bias cut. And the fabric isn’t heavy, it’s more light and thin I’d say. The skirt doesn’t have a lining but the yoke is lined with the same fabric.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks 😀



  1. surya | | #1

    I usually don't have a problem when I cut on the crossgrain. the fabric will have a little more stretch, which can be advantages in the waist area. Sewing is so full of surprises though, I'm afraid to tell you for sure as I haven't tried it on a skirt. Hopefully one of the expert sewers will answer soon.

    1. Jaderaven | | #3

      Thank you both for your experience! I do believe I will cut on the crossgrain (thanks also for the proper term :) ). Since the yoke is lined that should help with any movement. Once again the ones on the forum have been a great help! :)

  2. melanie | | #2

    I've often "cheated" a bit with small pieces such as the one you mention, disregarding the grainline if I really had to. Fusing the piece onto a non-woven fusible of a weight that would not make the essential piece any heavier or stiffer than the dress fabric will usually stabilise it satisfactorily. Make a test piece on a scrap though.

  3. user-60627 | | #4

    Usually it's best to have the grainlines going the same way - weird things can happen with some fabrics when you have opposing grainlines.

    That said, I have cut and successfully sewn facings that have opposing grainlines and everything has worked out just fine.  Everything should be fine for you as well, if you are using a stable fabric (i.e., something along the lines of a plain-woven cotton, like a broadcloth ), and that you have pre-shrunk the fabric, which will help greatly to eliminate the weird things happening that I mentioned earlier.

    1. Jaderaven | | #5

      I read once to always always prewash just in case. So I do and I did. The first fabric did shrink, but this one doesn't seem to have. Thanks again. :)

  4. User avater
    matzahari | | #6

    I frequently use the cross grain with no ill effects...  especially whan making skirts or nightgowns without a pattern and things are fine. stabilizing the fabric as someone suggested would make  for a VERY stiff skirt... in my opinion.

  5. Teaf5 | | #7

    I almost always cut a yoke on the crossgrain, unless it's a stripe and I want to get an interesting contrast with the lower part of the shirt.  Differing grains can cause problems if you mix them in the same garment area--say, one panel of a princess seamed top--but usually won't if the pieces have are in different areas with separate functions, like a yoke, collar, waistband, collar band, or cuff.

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