I’ve started work on my Minoru Jacket! I bet you were all wondering when that was going to happen, after my November claim that I would make not one but two coats. (Was it really that long ago? Eek!) But I’m as good as my word, here at Didyoumakethat Towers – eventually.
Whilst cutting out, I thought this would be a good opportunity to share a little tip I learned during the Gertie Bombshell course. For some of my readers, this will be like teaching a grandma to suck eggs. I’m sure Gertie won’t mind me sharing this technique as I think it is probably way out of anyone’s intellectual property, being the type of thing most people could and should be able to work out for themselves – unless they’re an idiot like me.
I’m going to show you how to make a printed grainline help you keep pattern pieces on grain when cutting out on the fold. In case you’re not familiar with a grainline, it looks like this printed on a pattern:
It’s a long arrow that usually runs down a large section of the pattern piece and is there to show you how to place your pattern piece on your fabric.
The printed grain line should run along the grain of the fabric. That’s the theory, anyway. But if you’re eyeballing placement, things can be off by millimetres or even centimetres – which can affect the drape of fabric in the finished item.
Here’s how to avoid that particular issue. Please note that in these photos I am working with the pattern piece furthest away from us, not the one placed on the fold.
1. Place your pattern piece on your fabric and at the top of the arrow measure how far the arrow is from the edge of the fabric. You can measure to the selvedge or to the fold. (My selvedge was a bit rough, so I measured to the crisply pressed fold on my fabric.) This is how you place your measuring tape against the grainline arrow:
2. Once you’ve noted the distance between arrow and edge of fabric, pop a pin in at this part of the pattern piece.
3. Before doing any other pinning, move down to the other end of the arrow and measure that distance between the arrow and the edge of the fabric.
4. On this example I found out that there was an inch difference in the placement of the pattern piece! I swivelled the bottom part of the pattern piece until the measurements from both ends of the arrow were the same.
5. Pop a pin in at this end of the pattern piece, also. Now you can pin the rest of your fabric piece and cut, confident that you’re on grain.
Simple, eh? By the way, I am now totally loving my camel wool, but I grin broadly whenever I remember the stall holder’s claim that this is a wool/cashmere mix. Yeah, right. At £6 a metre? I think he forgot to mention a man-made element and that the cashmere percentage is probably about 0.01. Not that I’m bothered – this is meant to be a practical make, after all. And who am I to deny a man his salesman patter?