May 23, 2011

Bonus Post - Cutting Bias Stripes

It's time to cut your fabric and you've chosen to tackle version 3 of the Ginger pattern. You might be wondering what's gotten into you? I mean you want to tackle a bias cut skirt!!! This is a big deal. To make your bias experience much more successful I'll be walking you through some of my tips for working with the bias. Today, we tackle the cut.

Let's talk about striped fabric first. There are balanced stripes and there are unbalanced stripes. How do you tell which is which? With your fabric double folded, right sides together, fold over an end at the selvage in a triangle. You should see the stripes forming a chevron pattern along the fold of the triangle and from here you can determine if the stripe is balanced or not. If the stripes match each other perfectly, you've got balanced stripes, if they do not, this stripe is unbalanced. If your stripes are unbalanced (which is usually the result of more than one type of stripe in the fabric) I highly recommend that you not tackle version 3 for your first bias cut skirt. Instead, go with version 1 or 2.

For those of you who have a balanced stripe, have a careful look at the cutting layout for version 3. You'll be cutting each piece out individually and it must be in a certain arrangement on the fabric so as to achieve the stripe line-up in the finished product and to make sure that you have one of each side of the pattern - a Left Front and a Right Front, same for the back.

A couple of tips when cutting this version - The skirt pieces have a notch that indicates where to match up the stripe. I took my ruler and measured down from the bias grainline the length of the skirt so that I had a line to match up the stripes to instead of just a notch. It really helped because all I had to do was lay the pattern piece over the top of the fabric and you could easily match up the stripe since the tissue is see through.

One more thing - make sure that you align the stripe along one side of the stripe rather than down the middle of the stripe. It will be much more accurate this way.

See? Not too hard really. Ready, set, cut! I'll be back with more tips for sewing on the bias tomorrow. Until then Happy Cutting Trails!




  1. I'm not doing the sew-along (yet) but I'm loving all the little tips! Thanks!

  2. Sunni,

    This is so helpful! I have been playing this out in my mind and wondering how I was going to pull this off. I will add the line as you suggested to the pattern. Now I feel confident…okay pretty confident! Thank you so much!


  3. You will do great.. Have confidence in you.. Cant wait to see it..

  4. Yea... I am so excited that cutting day is here.. Hope everyone has fun.. Can't wait to see everyones finished project.. Happy Sewing.

  5. Good! Actually when I put the pattern on the striped fabric and tried matching up the "notch" I wondered how I would ever get it to be exact. Drawing a line in place of the notch is the best thing ever - so much easier!

  6. *Great* tip about drawing a line to match up the stripes. Looking forward to the cutting post!

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