• Kaine

Sewing 109 - How to Lay out and Cut your Fabric

Updated: Jan 30

Welcome back. This lesson is about the proper way to lay out your fabric and patterns before you cut it into pieces. It does not matter if you are drafting directly on the fabric or using pre-drafted patterns. It is the same principles that are involved.


In previous chapters, we covered grain lines and their importance. In this chapter we shall put that knowledge to practical use. How you choose to place your patterns on the fabric will ultimately affect how the fabric looks and how it drapes on the body. This will also teach you how to make the most of your fabric to avoid waste.


Laying out your Pattern

1)The fabric should be on grain. (See Sewing 108).

2)It should also be ironed. Pre-washing is recommended but it is optional.

3)The pattern can be placed/drafted three general positions on the fabric



(a) On the Folded edge of the fabric, if you are cutting out one piece that has two symmetrical sides.



(b) On a double layer of fabric, if you are cutting out two separate but identical/mirrored pieces.


pattern placed on single layer of fabric

(c) On a single layer of fabric, if you are cutting one piece that is asymmetrical or solo


4) In addition, the Pattern can be placed/drafted along any one of the three grain lines


pattern placed on lengthwise straight grain of fabric

(a) The lengthwise grain or straight grain (parallel to the selvedge)


pattern placed on crosswise grain of fabric

(b) The crosswise grain (parallel to the width)


pattern placed on bias of fabric

(c) The Bias (45 degrees angle)


In summary, the lay out is a combination of the positioning and the alignment with the grain lines. For example, you can place the pattern in any of the following ways


pattern pieces cut on different grain lines of fabric

i) on the Fold along the lengthwise grain; or

ii) on a double layer along the lengthwise grain; or

iii) on the Fold along the Crosswise grain; or

iv) on a single layer along the bias; etc.


Your choice depends on the garment your sewing, the type of fabric your using, the type of print or pattern on the fabric your using and the quantity of fabric your have to work with.


General Principles to remember


fabric folded with right sides together

1. When working on the fold or on a double layer, the right sides of the fabric should be facing (This ensures that you are creating mirrored pieces and also protects the right sides of your fabric from damage)