There are many types of fabric – woven, jersey and cotton lycra are the three I’m going to mention. Woven doesn’t have quite the stretch that the others have, whereas jersey has stretch in one direction and cotton lycra has stretch in two directions.
When cutting out cotton lycra, to me it’s a lot easier because it stretched in both directions. The jersey only stretching in one direction means that you must be careful about which direction you cut. Cutting a waistband in jersey perpendicular to the stretch will end up with a waistband that won’t stretch – whereas with the stretch the waist will be perfect. Woven on the other hand will only have a little stretch if cut on the bias. If you cut right along that diagonal fold, you are cutting on the bias or a 45 degree angle to the selvage. Then if you cut a parallel cut next to the original cut, you can create a strip of fabric cut on the bias. Fabric cut on the bias doesn’t fray as much and has more stretch.
What happens if you cut wrong
If you cut two pants legs on different grains though – the leg will twist. When cutting two legs out at the same time by folding fabric in half and cutting at the same time, it can be easy to get the grain off a little. Possible suggestions include marking the grain line with chalk to make sure that you get the grains lined up perfect.
Sometimes fabric grain lines aren’t perfectly lined up, and the print on some fabric may also not be stamped to match the grain also. It’s always best to double check the grain line. The bias on woven can also be found by pulling on the fabric for the most stretch.
Bias tape is very popular from woven! It is great for trim and is easy to make.