Before you start sewing, do you “true up” your fabric? This has been a learning point for my 4-H girls as they begin to sew. It’s not often talked about, so I thought I would share my thoughts with you.
True up means to make the fabric straight with the grain. There are several ways to do this including removing a fiber and tearing. Tearing is definitely faster, but I find it sometimes distorts the fabric, making it ripple. I have also made the fabric true by following a pattern in the fabric, especially if it is very apparent.
Here is the method for true-ing up fabric by removing a fiber:
Find the grain of your fabric. The grain is the threads you can see that make up the fabric. In this project the grain should be horizontal and vertical and NOT diagonal. It’s a good idea to “true-up” your fabric at this point. This means to make it straight. You can do this by finding a thread at the edge of the fabric and pulling it out across the fabric (see picture.) A straight pin will help you pull out the thread. Then cut across this line. Your fabric is completely straight!
At left is the fabric with your secured thread. In the middle is as you are pulling it out. And at right is the fabric with the thread removed, ready to cut.