How to Straighten Your Fabric with Two Rulers

How to Straighten Your Fabric with Two Rulers


Welcome to Tuesday’s Tips from SewVeryEasy, my name is Laura. And using two or more rulers while cutting your fabric will save you time and improve the accuracy. Let me show you. So here we have a very large piece of fabric and obviously it needs to be squared off so that we can start to cut our strips. And if you’re right-handed, you’re going to do it one way. If you’re left-handed, you’re going to do it the other way. You’re going to take all your fabric, you’re going to lie it down so that the fold is here, take the ruler, line it up and cut it. And that way we have the straight edge. The next thing you’ll have to do is move your fabric. And when you move the fabric, it’s easier to have the fabric distort, so you’d have to re-line it up again. However, we need to keep this fold towards us, because this is the line we need to follow. So if we’ve trimmed it up, we would need to flip it all the way over, straighten it up again, and then start cutting. But when we start cutting, we’d have to re-cut this side because it might have twisted a little. So you need to start with this side first. The first thing that needs to be done is the fabric does need to be pressed. And the fold will be towards you because you need to use this line in order to straighten up the fabric. So I’m going to cut off all of this little extra so that I can start with a nice, straight line. And there’s two ways you can do this. You can do it with two long rulers, or you can do it with a long ruler and a square. So let’s start with the two long rulers. You’re going to take the one ruler, you’re going to match the folded edge with one of the straight lines in the ruler, using this edge as the edge that you’re going to cut. If you’re right-handed, you’re not going to be able to cut here, but you need think: This is the edge you are going to cut. I like to take the biggest ruler and put it on this edge. So I have my folded edge squared right up along that first row of numbers. Then I’m able to take the second ruler and, holding this ruler down so it does not slip, place the ruler against this ruler, so both the rulers are butted together. And you don’t have to worry about any of the measurements underneath this second ruler, because it’s not what you’re going to be using. You’re going to be using what’s in this ruler, and on. Check again that your edge is straight. You’ll use this ruler to cut with next. And you can just slightly move that ruler (you don’t need to move it a lot) and holding this down, you can now cut. Walk your hands so that the ruler is not going to move. The key is having the ruler not move. Now I have my straight edge. And now I’m able to cut all of the pieces as I go along because this edge has already been squared up. You can do the same thing with a square ruler. And I like to use a very big square ruler when I use this method because that way I know that I have 16½” that are really nice and square. And even though the ruler is not going to hit the end of the fabric, and this is where the selvage is, it’s more important that the line match up to the fold. And you’ll be able to see if your fabric is nice and straight. Making sure all your fabric is nice and flat, again using that straight line on the fold, I’m able to take the next long ruler and have it butt up against this ruler. And it has to touch all the way. And when you put this ruler here, make sure this ruler has not moved. Now I’m able to move this ruler (and again, you don’t need to move it a lot) and again, walk your hand and cut your fabric. Now I do not have to move the fabric and flip it from one side to another. And I can continue to cut. After you’ve cut a couple of your strips out, do the same thing. Line up the ruler and re-straighten it. The fabric could need straightening every couple of inches. Now we can get our cutting done a whole lot faster. Thank for joining me today on Tuesday’s Tips. Feel free to subscribe and, as always, come on back. Let’s see what we’re sewing next time
in the sewing room. Bye for now!

37 Replies to “How to Straighten Your Fabric with Two Rulers”

  1. I love the way you teach about sewing. I will like to ask: do you wash your fabric before you use it?Best regards Linda

  2. It never ceases to amaze me how much fabric I lose because it wasn't cut straight at the store, or wound straight on the bolt. I bought some water resistant exterior fabric, by the time I straightened it, I had lost 8 inches, 4 from each end. I'm happy that I bought an extra 1/2 yard. I'm happy to know I'm straightening it correctly. Have a great week

  3. Thank-you Laura zippers, button holes and FABRIC CUTTING are my nightmares and challenges in sewing. you've answer alot of my minds questions. Maybe now those inner Cutting Voices can Stop! Haa haaa. TFS.

  4. I agree with trying to not have to flip the fabric over, this is the perfect solution. Thank you Laura. Your tips are so helpful and I've lost count of how many of them I use regularly – can't thank you enough.

  5. Thank you, more great ideas and such sweet fabric! This too would be helpful for the fabric stores for their own control let alone our purchases. ~ Curious what large square ruler and which cutting mat you used here and / or recommend.

  6. I bought a quilt kit from Craftsy and there isn't a pattern in it!! I'm a beginner too, my very first quilt!! It supposed to be a beginner quilt but the cover said Intermediate!?! Yikes!! The background fabric has no selvages! It's like 140" L x 90" Wide!! I don't know how to manage the fabric or based of of the strips, which there are 6 different sizes to precut and I'm SO frustrated!! It's supposed to be FUN!!😩😩. I've emailed them and the designer but to no avail! There is supposed to be teacher and classroom help but I cannot find that either!! Will you please help me?

  7. I'm amazed at your expertise. Thank you.

    I have a question. I noticed that you didn't square up,the fabric before . I thought it was a must. Thank you.

  8. Hi again! I have started a drawstring bag and I had used your tip with the two rulers when squaring the fabric: it's great! 😎 Thank you!

  9. Hi Laura, what I meant is this: you know, when you fold the fabric in half and you hold it in front of you; and you move the fabric with your thumbs and index fingers in order to square the fabric, to get it of the folds and then after you place the fabric on the mat and you can cut it. ( I'm French-speaking, I hope I find the right words to express my idea. ) Thank you. 😎

  10. Hi Laura, what I meant is this: you fold the fabric in half and you hold it in front of you. You wiggle the fabric with your thumbs and index fingers until there are no more ripples and then you place it carefully on the cutting mat . I am French-speaking so sometimes , I don't always myself clearly. Thank you. 😎

  11. This is how I was initalkt3 taught to cut fabric in my first quilting class – 2 rulers to square up and cut. I never use the markings on my cutting mats.

  12. Ripping it, will insure a straight of grain each and every time. Without useing any ruler. Give it a try. All professional seamstress use this shortcut

  13. What types of rulers are always used for tailoring or cutting and designing. Please let me know the brand name and size of the biggest ruler and also the square biggest ruler along with the size and brand . All the three rulers you have used in this project also the brand and size of the rotary cutter. Thank you and God bless you.

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