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Conversational Threads

Side Seam and Grainline Question

AnneAudette | Posted in General Sewing Info on


I’ve made a wrap skirt out of test fabric.  After I made alterations, I cut out the skirt in the actual fabric.  For some reason, the right back isn’t hanging properly at the side seam.  All other pieces look good. 

I’m wondering if the grainline is off.  I made the pattern myself.  How do I determine the grainline for each pattern piece?




  1. Teaf5 | | #1

    If you're cutting the skirt on the straight of the grain, the grainline is usually parallel to the center back seam/ fold and the center front seam/fold.  If those seams are not straight up and down, you can draw a grainline perpendicular to the waistline.  Except on completely straight tube skirts, the side seam will probably cut across the grain as it flares out.

    Very flared or wrap skirts are often cut on the bias, which you can determine by folding the pattern piece in half, then in quarters, and then opening it up to match one horizontal crease with one vertical crease.  The 45-degree angle is the bias line, which you then place along the lengthwise grain of the fabric to get a lovely drape.

  2. suesew | | #2

    I'm guessing you cut that piece with the grain straight on the side seam instead of down the center front or back. I don't suppose you could take it off and flip it over for a two tone look!!

  3. tmorris1 | | #3

    Anne;Is it only one side seam?? Could it be a posture issue that you have not corrected for?? Sometimes our hips do not sit evenly, and can throw off the line of a skirt. Follow a single thread down both sides of the seam, if they are even, then the grainline is okay and you need to raise or lower one side of the skirt. The other thing that you may consider is the fabric that your skirt is made from. If the fabric is quite light, then a seamline at one side will give the fabric more stability in that area causing a draping effect on the opposite side. Try re-pinning your hem to accommodate this and it should straighten out, or add a seam to the other side as well.

    If you pick up a T Square at the hardware store, it helps to keep your pattern shapes even and square when drafting.Happy Sewing,

    1. AnneAudette | | #4


      All the posts have very, very good points and will be given consideration.

      The waist and hem are unfinished.  I made the wrap out of Supplex nylon to wear over cycling shorts.

      Although the photo in the above link is blurry, can you see how the RB at the side seam doesn't hang properly.  The left side seams hangs well.  The CF and CB seams are perpendicular to the floor.

      1. tmorris1 | | #5

        Anne;I am not immediately familiar with the fabric that you are using, does it have any stretch in it?? Perhaps the stretch on the fabric is uneven in this seam. With a stretch fabric, the feed dogs are apt to pick up more of the fabric on the underside of the seam. I am sorry, I really cannot see anything in your photo, so I am still just throwing ideas at you, but maybe just ripping this seam and resewing it will help.T.

      2. Teaf5 | | #6

        I agree with Tmorris that the side seam looks a bit stretched.  If you tear out the seam and stitch it again using a much looser pressure foot tension and sew from the bottom up (largest to smallest part of the bias of the seam), you might have less rippling.

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