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Conversational Threads

Pulling a thread on muslin?

myca99 | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I’m following the instructions for draping a muslin cover from the book “Fitting for your Figure” and it mentions pulling a thread about an inch from the edge. Is there a magic trick to pulling a thread? I have to pull a thread along a 30″ length and even if I pull 2 threads at once, they break after about 2 inches.



  1. PASDENOM | | #1

    Yes, those threads are pretty weak. My solution is to pull it so it's puckered, then cut along the puckered line, then grab another thread close by and repeating across.

    1. myca99 | | #3

      Hi Pasdenom, That makes sense to me, but apparently this book doesn't want you to cut along the line because the pulled threads are marking your center front and your bust line on a block. I ended up sort of iterating between establishing a start to the bust line by pulling a thread, then straightening the grain so the edges are square, and extending the pulled thread line by measuring parallel from the straightened edge. It looks on grain, we'll see when I start draping the muslin cover. Also, I made the mistake of ironing wrinkles out of the muslin before I pulled a thread and read that probably made it more difficult, too. Myca

      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #4

        Use cheap gingham check (woven) instead of plain muslin and you will have lots of lines to work with!


      2. PASDENOM | | #6

        So this is purely a marking rather than a cutting line. You can pull as much as possible and then use a ruler to continue the line. A chalk or pencil mark will be much more visible than a pulled thread.

    2. sewelegant | | #5

      I always pull a thread when I make napkins because the finished cloth is perfect!  Even though when it is washed you have to pull it straight diagonally.  I just fold them from the dryer - in half, then in half again, finally in half again.  Stack them in the linen closet and they are ready to use without ironing.  It's so easy I have been using cloth napkins for daily family use for years.  I find the quilting cotton cloth has any color I need!  And 100% cotton is so easy to sew up.  I have used the serger, but I like the look of hemmed edges so I will iron down 1/2" on each edge then fold it under another 1/4" , press and take to the machine and stich all around.  These make you feel "elegant" even at breakfast.

      Oh yes, we were talking about pulling the thread... my soluntion is the same.  Pull one thread gently, gathering the cloth as you go.  If it breaks, try to hold it tightly where the thread broke and gently ease in as much more gathering as you can, then cut the fabric along the pulled thread line.  This cutting the fabric makes it easier to catch another thread (or two) to continue the process.

      If the fabric end is way out of line I will snip into it at the selvedge and tear it across.  You sure don't want to go to all that trouble of  pulling  thread and find it won't go all the way across!!!

  2. Jeanette | | #2


    I agree with Pasdenom.  This is the same method that my mum taught me and there are few fabrics it doesn't work with.  Like Pasdenom says just pull the thread a little bit and then work the excess puckering out into your fabric.  I only use one thread as I find 2 threads doubles the diffiulty. Depending on the fabric I can sometimes pull the thread across the entire fabric but usually I have to pull, ease the puckering and then pull again and when the thread snaps, I cut along the very obvious pull line to where I stopped pulling and  then pick up the thread again and continue until I reach the end.

    Hopes this helps.  I use this technique for all fabrics before I sew apart from the odd fabric that can't take this method.

  3. jkimes | | #7

    My patternmaking instructor in college had us do this to prepare our muslins. I remember it being a pain, though picking with a fine pin helped. She had us run a pencil along it afterwards to make the line more visible.
    You might try a lower thread count/looser weave.Good luck!

    1. myca99 | | #8

      Thanks, jkimes -- that's a good idea. I will try picking it with a pin from now on.

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