Cutting a straight edge on fabric

Been making curtains this week – for my sister’s new (secondhand) caravan. We got some really nice flowery fabric in the style of Cath Kidson as my sis wants to do out the whole ‘van in floral vintage style. The fabric is from Abakhan in Liverpool and is incredibly wide – it’s the widest I’ve ever worked with at 6 foot! The pattern repeat is quite small so it’s made it fairly simple to match up a pair of curtains.

Red roses on blue fabric

The pretty roses on the fabric

One major problem I have when using patterned fabric is how to cut straight edges so that the pattern doesnt go wonky across the curtain. With rotary cutters and a long ruler it’s easy to cut a neat straight line but it could be a straight line which doesn’t follow the straight grain of the fabric and hence the pattern ends up wonky!

I thought I’d describe how I make sure my curtains are properly squared in case anyone else out there has been wondering how to do it, especially when there is no selvedge as a starting point!

Firstly inspect your fabric for some nice frayed ends – you might need to pull a bit to get hold of an end but tweezers come in handy for this bit!

Floral fabric with frayed ends

Nice easy to grab strands!

Floral fabric

See the strand coming out

Floral fabric

Strand removed

90degrees lines on fBric

Two strands removed to form two cutting lines at 90 degrees to each other

So with a bit of gentle pulling of one or two strands of fabric you can pull them straight out and leave a blank line – it’s a bit like drawing up curtains – pull gently and then smooth out the fabric and pull again till the strand comes right out.

As you can see above once you have pulled a vertical and horizontal thread out you have two perfect lines to cut along!

Once you have your perfectly aligned cut fabric you can move onto hemming! My Wonderclips come in very handy here as they’re much easier to use than pins – for a start they don’t hurt you!

Wonder clips on fabric

Keeping the hem in place with Wonder-clips

So that was my week – and will be more of the same next week as I haven’t finished them all yet! Hopefully I can take a picture of the caravan all decked out soon!

Linking up with Handmade Monday again this week 😀

 

5 thoughts on “Cutting a straight edge on fabric

  1. I’m not a 100% positive, but I think I might just have some *very* similar Fabric in my “Thrift”-bought Stash-STACK..?! — I seem to be always buying Chintzy-Cottons… Perhaps SOME day I *might* get around to using them! – You know, THIS would make a lovely PAINT-BY-NUMBER…
    Anyhoo, if I ever come across it again, I’ll try to compare. IF it *is* a match, I’ll let you know!

  2. I have used this method before removing the warp and weft thread and agree makes so much easier to cut a straight line. Love the fabric you have used so pretty

  3. You are a genius! I can’t cut a straight line if my life depended on it, definitely bookmarking this page so that I can come back to it next time I get the machine out.

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