Tutorial: How to Cut Fabric to Make Chevrons

When I was making my Playing with Stripes dress, I had a hard time figuring out how to cut the fabric to ensure that the stripes would be on the bias and that they would match up and make a chevron. The first two bodice pieces I cut out were actually oriented the same way and made a long diagonal stripe. It took me the first 2/3 of watching My Week with Marilyn to figure out a quick and dirty way to do this, and imagonna show you how. May you have an easier time than I did.

First I marked a new grain line on my pattern piece. I used my cutting mat to do this. It has a 45 degree line printed on it. I lined up the straight grain line with one of the vertical lines on my mat and traced the 45 degree line. Easy peasy. This photo was taken after the fact and I didn’t properly line up the straight grain. Ooops. Do as I say, not as I do.

With printed fabrics, it is not a guarantee that the design is printed on the grain. Since it was important to me that my stripes be at a 45 degree angle, I used them instead of the true bias grainline (speaking of true bias, Kelli won my giveaway). I simply lined up my new 45 degree grainline on the pattern piece with the edge of one of my stripes. I don’t have a photo of this so I hope that makes sense. If it doesn’t leave a comment and I’ll clarify.

To get the accuracy needed to match up stripes, it’s best to cut fabric in a single thickness, instead of doubled over. After the first half (e.g. the bodice front or bodice back) is cut use the piece you just cut as the pattern piece. This is what will make it easy for you. I was doing all sorts of crazy things trying to line things up right.

Simply flip the piece you just cut right side down, line up the stripes that way (this only works if you can make out the stripes on the wrong side of your fabric). Voila, when you stitch the center seam they will form a chevron.

I hope this will help someone out and happy stitching! I want to see more cute chevron dresses.


13 thoughts on “Tutorial: How to Cut Fabric to Make Chevrons

  1. Thank you for sharing, this is a very clear tutorial. I have some striped fabric and I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with the layout of the stripes, and chevrons were making my head hurt.

  2. Thanks! That’s the sort of thing I would blithly assume that I intuitively understood how to do… right up until I tried to do it, and then I’d sit there turning things over and around for an hour before I figured it out! Thanks for saving me that thinking time! 🙂

  3. First of all, wasn’t My Week With Marilyn just fabulous? It didn’t get good reviews but I really like Michelle Williams. Maybe that’s the reason I liked it. Thanks for you tip on maker a 45 degree angle on the pattern. I knew to cut each piece at a time to line up the stripes but marking the pattern piece will definitely be helpful. Thanks lady 🙂

  4. Pingback: Two Mid-century-style Dresses

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