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Do you single or double?

2012 November 28
by elizabeth_admin

Come on, you know I’m talking about sewing right?

I mean, when you are cutting out your pattern on your fashion fabric, do you cut singly or doubly?  Do you fold your fabric selvedge to selvedge or do you cut each pattern piece out singly on a single layer of fashion fabric?

I know there are certain pattern pieces that are normally cut on the fold, like front bodices and the like.  But when straight of grain really matters (and when does it not?), do you cut out a single layer at a time?

The reason why I ask is that I noticed on my last make, the red linen shirt (pictures soon I promise!), that the bottom layer was not always on grain like the top layer, no matter how hard I tried.  Very irritating.  Is there a trick to cutting on the fold of which I am not aware?  Please let me know.

On my next shirt which I am starting to cut out this morning, I am determined to have every piece on grain.  So I’m cutting each piece out singly.  I have created whole pattern pieces for the ones that are cut on the fold, like the collar, stand and yoke.

So what do you do?  Do you single or double?

Oh and here’s a peek at my delicious fabric, a purple linen.  Man I love this shade of purple.  It really is delicious.  Unfortunately, I can’t remember this fabric’s provenance.


Happy sewing everyone!

14 Responses leave one →
  1. November 28, 2012

    I only cut single layer for very slippery fabrics (charmeuse etc) or if I’m low on fabric (I find you can sometimes use a whole yard less if you do! Mostly I’m too lazy – cutting is my least favorite part of sewing, so I just want it over with. I’m not super picky about grain, but I will say that on a fabric like your purple linen above, where it would be obvious if it were off, I would do what you are doing!

  2. November 28, 2012

    Maybe the style of clothing I typically sew has a major impact, but I’m Team Double all the way. I’ve never had a problem with grain (that I’m aware of, anyway). Now, if I was sewing with a stripe, then that’s a whole different story. I’d definitely cut out each piece on a single layer then.

  3. November 28, 2012

    I cut single layers if I have a very shifty fabric, if I am dealing with stripes, or if I really really care about the project (ie – knit top, not so much, wool coat using expensive materials, heck yes). I think cutting single layers gives a much more accurate result with the cutting, but it does take a super long time.

  4. November 28, 2012

    I prefer single for all fabrics and makes regardless of what I am sewing up – especially for prints (so I can avoid this: (LOL!) 🙂

  5. Jennifer G permalink
    November 28, 2012

    I don’t fold my fabric selvedge to selvedge, but rather on the grainline. Which means the selvedges never match up.

    I tend to cut knits and slinky fabric single layer.

  6. November 28, 2012

    Double for skirts, pants, jackets and single for tops and blouses because my fitting adjustments require it due to upper body asymetry

  7. November 28, 2012

    It really depends with me. For an easy to sew project in a not too expensive fabric, I cut double. But for that extra mile project where I’m using the best materials, techniques and finishes, I cut single. I guess it boils down to how invested I am as far as time and material. My internal guidelines are pretty much the same for whether or not to muslin.

  8. November 28, 2012

    Oh wow. Is that what you’re going to use for the Vogue top? Love it!

    I have traditionally gone double but I’ve had a couple misses (gone off grain) that make me think I need to switch to single for certain things. I remember chatting with Leslie a year ago and her sewing room is going to have a very wide table so she can cut everything single layer.

  9. Jane Saxton permalink
    November 28, 2012

    when I’m going to cut double I pull a thread – easy enough to do with linen and then cute where the pulled thread was (if that makes sense). Then I line that cut edge up. Which sometimes means the selvedges don’t match. But the grainline does.

  10. November 29, 2012

    Hello, I just found your blog and I love it! Looking forward to reading more =)

    I’ve recently switched to only cutting single layers. Partly ’cause of grainline issues, but also for making each piece identical (more layers = thicker = harder to cut without any angle whatsoever) and for it being more practical when marking sewing lines. It really started with a very thick wool for a coat, flimsy blouse-fabric and thin knits, but I’ve realised I prefer to always cut on a single layer. Maybe with the exception of medium or heavier cottons…

  11. November 29, 2012

    Hey Elizabeth, I just tested adding Mood Sewing Network to my Google reader and it worked fine. Maybe try again?

  12. November 29, 2012

    So far I’m too lazy to cut singly, pretty much ever, but I have noticed the same grain issues in some cases—especially jeans (which I notice when one leg twists and the other doesn’t.)

    Hmm. But I don’t *wanna*. Hmph. 🙂

  13. November 30, 2012

    I cut double. I hate cutting and I have to rearrange the whole living room and cut on the floor to cut single!

  14. M-C permalink
    November 30, 2012

    I usually double, but I align my fabric very carefully. If there’s any hint of grain creep, I single. But I should say that I also pay a lot of attention to grain when I buy fabric..

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