Directional writing on pattern pieces

In response to the entry on preventing sewing mistakes through proper pattern marking, Trish wrote:

I was taught to write along the grain line. Why is this not a good idea?

owee_oweeThe answer depends on context and function. With hard (hand) patterns -namely when you’re most likely to worry about this, it is best to not write like all the books say along the grainline based on the most common handling of the pattern pieces. Pattern pieces are hung and if you’re looking through hundreds of pieces, you can get a kink in your neck very quickly.

Returning to function and context, the pattern grader is allowed to write aligned with the grainline (as shown below) because that is how the pattern piece will be used and laid out for digitizing. This won’t confuse anyone because these notes amount to cryptic notation that very few people need to know what means much less care. Meaning, there’s no source of confusion.


The last context in which it is permissible to write aligned with the grain is in marker making. Because markers are very long, one can only read them alongside the table edge anyway. The table edge is of course, the grain. In any event, most markers are made with a CAD program; the default will label each pattern piece in this way although you can over ride it if needed.

This entry originally included other related topics (a one-in-all post on grainlines) but I broke it up because it was too long. I’ll post that tomorrow.

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One comment

  1. MandySA says:

    Kathleen, your illustration has made my day – I almost laughed my head off – wonderful antidote for home-renovation-induced stress. Thank you!

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