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Diane Rodgers writes in with this question:

"I'm THRILLED to see this group created!

I have a question about how to mark the straight of grain on my pattern.

I have created a pants pattern that I think is quite close to do I mark the straight of the grain on it so I know it is straight and correct?

Thanks for your help!
Diane in Michigan"

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Replies to This Post

Usually the grainline is perpendicular to the hemline, assuming the pants have a straight hem. Or mark it up the center of the pant leg, this works too.
straight of grain on pants is perpendicular to the HIPLINE
technically the hipline, kneeline and hemline should be parallel to each other, thus the grainline would be perpendicular to all of these but in the absence of other reference lines, drawing the grain perpendicular to the hem can work if it's a straight hem.
How do I do this? Which tool do I use? Do I fold the pattern?
an L-ruler or T square works, folding would probably work too.
set one edge of your ruler alone the hipline or whatever horizontal reference line you are using and then draw your grainline against the vertical edge of the ruler.
you need to use a L ruler to do this because you want the straight of grain to be as perfect as possible to insure your pants hang straight.
I just completed a four day sewing class with Susan Khalje and Kenneth King. I will share his method for marking the straight of grain on a pant pattern. Fold the lower portion of the pant leg in half. Line up the stiching line and the make a crease all the way up. This is providing you have a straight leg pants pattern.

After reading the others suggestion, I think I am going to use the L-shape ruler to be sure the grain is straight.
Just a thought about marking the straight of grain - Construction workers use a chalk line gadget that they lay flat over the area to mark and since it is slightly elastic they just pick up the line and let it snap back into position. This provides an exactly straight chalk line between 2 points. I guess you could use it on patterns as well. I don't know about others, but I can sew a straight line but have trouble drawing a straight line. Takes out the posibility of a "shifting" L or T square. But maybe it's overkill. Might be an idea though.

I am curious how this pattern was developed.  Usually a grain line is the first element on paper when beginning to draft a pattern.  Ideally, patternmaker's dot paper is used, this being like a 1" grid, so the horizontal hip line and center front are all there from the start.  Drafting that grain line down perpendicular from the hip line will work to locate a grainline. 

A fitting in muslin will help to show if you made the right choice, since a true vertical line will become apparent once the muslin is on the figure.  Sometimes the body will 'torque' the fabric,  so that true vertical and the grain line as drafted on the pattern do not align.  This is where drawing a new grain line in colored pencil on the fitting muslin can help to re-locate that on the pattern.  Tie a button to a  length of thread and hang it down the front of the leg to locate the true grainline or vertical.  This plumb line will also work to find the true alignment of the side seam.


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