Before cutting your sewing patterns, it is important to first, prepare your fabric. Not only will this facilitate the alignment and cutting process, the garment pieces will naturally be cut perfectly on grain thus eliminating fit and drape issues.
While there are a few fabric preparation steps you should take prior to cutting your sewing patterns, one of these important steps is straightening the fabric's crosswise edges. Doing so is especially helpful if your fabric will be folded in the pattern cutting process. When the crosswise edges are perfectly straight, not only is the fabric easy to fold, it also remains perfectly on grain as you align your patterns' grainlines.
You can straighten your fabric's crosswise edges by using this common technique:
1. Slit the fabric into the selvage, parallel to the crosswise edge as shown. Pull out a few crosswise threads.
2. Grab one of the crosswise threads and pull gently to create a line. In the process, some gathering will form and it is common for the crosswise thread to break as you move farther along the fabric edge. If this happens, you can use a pin to bring the thread back out where it broke and use it to continue pulling. If you cannot find the break point, start again by pulling another crosswise thread from the end.
3. Once the crosswise thread(s) are pulled, a perfectly straight line will form. Use this line as guide to cut the new fabric edges. The resulting edge will be accurately straight and correspond to the true crosswise grain.
At this point, you can follow this new straight edge to fold your fabric perfectly on grain prior to cutting your sewing patterns. If needed, repeat this step one the second crosswise edge.
Note: A simple technique for straightening crosswise edges it to cut along a linear designated print. If working with a fabric that allows you to use this technique, you should first check that the print has not been applied askew and that the repeating pattern is following the crosswise grain accurately.
First, isolate a crosswise print line you will be using as a cutting guide and simply cut down carefully following this line.
When isolating your cut line make sure it extends from selvage to selvage so that the entire crosswise edge is trimmed.