Grain-line eludes me

I've been sewing since I was about 9 or 10 (I wonder if I have any pictures of the first halter tops my mom taught me to sew?).  I've known the importance of grain-line since I started using patterns in junior high.  I always take lots of care with my fabric.  I pre-wash it, I iron it before laying it out, I take my time putting the selvages together, measuring that grain-line guideline on patterns in multiple locations, multiple times and measuring it again if I have to tweak a pattern piece.  I've read about grain-line importance.  I've watched Threads video on getting the fabric setup properly.  I've tried to do that trick where you pull out a cross grain thread/fiber but the dang things just break on me about four inches in from the side.  Okay, so I haven't tried to rip along the cross grain very often; frankly I worry that I would just end up with mishappen strips of fabric instead of a usable squared up fabric (or by the time I get it right I don't have enough fabric for my chosen project).  I would like to blame my sewing set-up (a queen size bed covered with a folding cardboard cutting mat that won't lay flat) but I'm not sure that is fair.  Many sewers face the same space and budget constraints.

Add my usual grainline woes to a 58/60" drapey flannel fabric and every frustration just gets amplified.  When open it is longer than my wingspan and too wide for my cutting surface, it drapes and grips at the same time. Grumble. Then I realized that the selvage edges indicate the pattern is woven in, which means cross-grain stripes are truely cross grain and I put faith in this during the layout and cutting of the pajama pants I'm making. I manged to get one leg of the pajama pants I'm sewing on grain, but not the other leg – I'm hoping it isn't too noticeable.  Then to top it all off I sewed one right sides together (correct) wrong sides together (incorrect).  And I forgot to mark a couple things from the pattern onto the fabric.  Needless to say I'm putting this project away for the rest of the day.

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March 26, 2008. Tags: , . Thoughts.

One Comment

  1. library_chic replied:

    Sounds like my last attempt at pajama pants (even though I usually wind up fighting with my sewing machine, not the fabric)…I sewed them together right side – wrong side and couldn't figure out how to get the legs to connect đŸ™‚ Then they wound up being *way* too big. So I hope your project gets better!

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