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Sewing Tips – ‘Cut on the Fold’ and ‘Fabric Grain’


Here are some more basic tips for all of you out there who may cringe at sewing terminology.
But no more. No need to be scared of weird sewing words. Hang in there.


So, have you ever read any sewing instructions that tell you to ‘cut on the fold’? That might seem strange and a bit tricky. I have had several people email me, unsure of this technique…….so don’t worry if you don’t know either.


I have scribbled out a real generic pattern piece that says on one side, “cut on fold”. So you’ll have to fold your fabric in half, and line up that edge of the pattern piece along the fold. Then cut around that pattern piece, except for the side that’s on the fold.


Once you open up your piece of fabric, you’ll have a piece that’s twice as big as the original pattern piece. Make sense?

Easy, easy.


Now, did you know that fabric has a grain? Not a whole wheat grain that you should be eating more of….. But a grain line in your fabric. Well, not all fabrics do……but today we’re looking at cotton and cotton definitely does. When they make cotton, they weave it together with different strands of cotton……and blah, blah, blah. We don’t need to go into that. But, you need to take an upclose look at your fabric to see that there are lines in it. There are lines going horizontally and vertically. See them?


And when a pattern piece has an arrow going through it, you’ll need to make sure that the arrow is running parallel to a set of the grain lines………


……not diagonally, like below. Yes, the pattern piece is lined up with the edge of the fabric, but the arrow isn’t running even with the grain lines. Do you see that?


If you make sure and cut with the grain, your fabric will lay flatter, hold up better, and will be stronger.


Hope that helps.
More tips to come in the weeks to come.



Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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