Cutting fabric straight cannot be easier once you learn how to square up fabric! You’ll be mastering this easy peasy technique in no time with this simple tutorial!
How To Cut Fabric Straight
Ever wondered how to straighten fabric grain or struggled squaring fabric? Rest assured, you’re not alone! I’ve been living in the dark for ages and never got my fabric as straight as I wanted and needed it to be. Until I learned how to square up fabric just like professionals do through a super easy and simple method.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know my mom used to be a professional sewer and that she’s been sewing for over 56 years now (if you’re not, subscribe to my newsletter here). She knows all the tricks and tips the “old school “used to teach sewers back then. But she lacks the patience to teach me and I basically had to teach myself how to sew, instead of taking advantage of her skills and experience.
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So I was always hesitant to ask for advice (and to be honest too proud to) when I had troubles figuring things out, like how to square up fabric. I imagined there should be some sort of technique for cutting fabric on grain to get that perfectly cut fabric result but trying to figure it out myself just didn’t do the trick. So I finally caved and asked mom how to square up fabric and surprise! She was more than happy to show me! Lesson learned!
Turns out squaring fabric is actually super easy and a lot faster than measuring for thousand times and pinning and eye-balling etc methods I used for too long (feel free to laugh out loud, I know I’m a Muppet!).
For understanding how to square up fabric and cutting fabric on grain you need to get familiar with 2 terms, like the weft and the warp. The weft runs perpendicularly on the selvage while the warp runs perpendicularly on the weft. Sounds fancy? They truly aren’t lol
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How to square up fabric
- fabric of choice
- Squaring and truing fabric means you need to make a cut on the weft and the warp. You’ll achieve this by simply pulling a line of thread on the weft and then one on the warp.
- Make a cut on the weft (I fold fabric in half to find the shortest half and use the deepest part of the fabric edge in that short half as a starting point)
- Pull the thread all the way through, making sure the thread doesn’t break.
- Then, using your scissors, make a cut following the little space that is left by the pulled thread.
- Move to the other side of the fabric, the selvage. Cut away the selvage, pull a thread and repeat the process.
- Repeat for all 4 edges and you’ll end up with a perfectly straight piece of fabric.
Is it that easy, you might ask? Well I’m glad you asked because the answer is: you bet! That’s all you need to do for squaring fabric and cutting fabric on grain!
Note: you might end up with serious fabric loss so don’t freak out, be prepared! Most of the ladies at the fabric shops simply rip the fabric when cutting the amount you ask for. The fabric shape is extremely distorted in the process so you’ll end up with less fabric when squaring up. Something to keep in mind when buying fabric so better order more than what your project requires for this specific reason.
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