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Watch your grain!

January 31, 2011

I managed to lose 10 pounds in the last couple of days so here I am in the twist sweat, rather fitted but very comfortable:

Of course, I’m joking. I did not lose any weight. I just put on the shirt backwards. Do you recall me stating that the front is on grain and the back cross-grain? That’s how it’s supposed to be. But I made a mistake when cutting it and did it the other way around, i.e. the front cross-grain and the back on grain. Because the fabric stretches more width- than lengthwise, my sweatshirt stretches more in the back than in the front, which explains why it fits better when worn backwards (the shoulder seam should be in the back). In other words, the fit of the garment is achieved by playing with the grain, ensuring that it stretches more where the curves are: in the front. If you make this up in a fabric that stretches more lengthwise (such fabrics do exist), it’s a fact to remember. The sleeves are rather snug, though, despite my rather skinny arms but I’m hoping the bias will stretch over time. Now it just needs hemming 🙂

Conclusion: one size does fit all after all, Mom is happy about one more top, DD is happy with the partner look (shown: Avalon jacket). Yeah!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2011 22:53

    sympa ! j’aime beaucoup la forme et le motif du tissu !


  2. Marie-Christine permalink
    February 1, 2011 10:28

    Oh yes, I totally understand it’d make a huge difference. I recently engaged in some blind-by-night cutting, and cut a back cross-grain. No way is this going to be wearable, I’m going to have to make underpants out of the remains.


  3. February 3, 2011 14:47

    ah-HA! It feels good to get to the bottom of something like this AND you get a wearable shirt, too! Result!


  4. fran permalink
    February 14, 2011 08:53

    hey there. i was wondering, is it a bad idea to sew a garment on the cross grain? i have a striped crepe wool that i want to make into pants, the strips are with the grain (vertical), i want them against the grain (horizontal). is this a bad idea? ive always wondered about sewing garments on the cross grain. please advise. thanks!


    • February 14, 2011 09:57

      I would check in what direction the fabric stretches more. Most fabrics strech more crosswise than lengthwise, which is why pants, for example, will become bigger around the waist and hip with wear (think of your jeans). If cut against the grain, you will not have have any give in the width but they might get slightly longer with time (!). Some fabrics, however, stretch more length- than widthwise so you want to cut them against the grain. And then some fabrics don’t stretch at all so it doesn’t really matter, as long as you don’t cut on the bias. That’s why I always check the grain and the direction of the stretch in my fabrics. I hope that makes sense.



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