E.S.P. Dress Sew Along: A Week Late And Not About Pleats May 17 2016 5 Comments

E.S.P. Dress Sew Along: A Week Late And Not About Pleats

 Art history nerd joke mash up of Magritte and pleats for the header image. Apologies to the art sensitive!

Man! This "blog voice" thing is tricky! Last week's post really had an overwhelming "Wah wuh. Wah wah was wuh." feel to it. That's the teacher from Charlie Brown in case you couldn't tell. The teacher from Charlie Brown is not the voice we want so we'll keep working on it. 

We said we were going to talk about pleats in this post but we lied. We're going to talk about cutting your pattern on the cross grain instead. Here we go!

Our fabric has stripes running perpendicular to the selvage (aka railroaded stripes). Cutting the pattern on the straight of grain would give us a horizontally striped dress. Our model said, "Um. Nope." to horizontal stripes, so we'll cut on the cross grain.


The biggest difference between the cross grain and the straight of grain is the cross grain has more "give" to it. You can see for yourself by pinching two points on the cross grain and stretching it slightly. Try it again of the straight of the grain and you should see a difference. The cross has more stretch; it should bounce back, as the "give" is due to the tension in the threads when it is woven. Threads has a very informative article on changing your grain direction for different design effects as well as a detailed article on how grain lines "behave".

You can see the difference between the two. The drape of the straight of grain is softer and falls closer to the dress from. The fabric draped on the cross grain holds a shape further out from the dress form. Some recommend increasing the circumference of your garment by an inch if you are cutting on the cross grain. It all boils down to personal preference and the specifics of your fabric and pattern. You might notice a garment cut on the cross grain feeling a bit constricting across the back and shoulders. 

Our fabric has an unusually stable weave and there is actually not much difference between the cross and straight grain regarding "give" and drape. So for this project, cutting the bodice and skirt on the cross will have little affect to the drape and fit of the dress. 

 Ok. We're still figuring out how to pace things so we'll end it here this week. Next week, we'll talk about increasing the fullness of the skirt and how we gorilla pleat the skirt.

Pleating  Tutorial Sneak Peek