Daffy's Stitchy Friends

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pulled Thread Cut

Here is how to cut straight and square on linen and plainweave. This won't work for Aida since the threads of that fabric are secured differently. However, Aida is simple to trim because the lines are huge and easy to see. But on plainweave it's much harder to see to cut straight. We've all done it; you open a new package of fabric or the store help wasn't careful and the fabric you get is uneven and wonky. I hate having an inch and a half of wasted fabric because it wasn't cut to square. Yuck! Use this method to even up those crappy out-of-square edges. Here, I am making cut lines to finish a Christmas ornament.

First, measure out from the edge of your stitched design and mark it with a pencil. This is going to be a small ornament so I only measured out one inch. You can also count the threads if you want to be exacting. I often count threads when I'm doing a seam-sewed edge. For example: I'll count out ten threads and pull the eleventh.

Just to be clear, this first thread pull is going to be vertical (going up and down.)


Take a needle and pull up that marked thread enough to slip the sharp tip of a scissors through it and cut the thread.


Now, use the needle to work that cut thread loose. Just slip the cut thread out from under the stable threads. You need enough to grab onto. I use my fingers but sometimes tweezers come in handy too.


Once you can get a good grip start pulling that thread. Hold the fabric with one hand pinching near where the cut thread emerges and pull with the other hand. It takes a good tug! Bunch up the fabric as if you were gathering a hem. Note: some fabrics pull easy and the thread comes out very neatly. Other fabrics the thread likes to break with the slightest tug. Monaco pulls pretty easy but oh my, the sound it makes going through the fabric sets my teeth on edge!


Once you have the thread pulled, you have a nice straight line to make a clean cut! No more wonky edges!


See, now I have all four sides done! There is no chance now of getting things cut too short or uneven. I haven't made the actual cuts yet because I'm not ready to start finishing ~ still more to do first!


There will be quite a few of my readers that already know this kind of information but I know some of my readers are still learning these little tricks that make stitching and finishing look so easy. That's why I'm posting about it. I hope this helps someone learn!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

46 comments:

Fiona said...

thanks for that Daffycat, very usful info to know seeing as I am going to try linen for the first time next year :)

Cindy said...

oh wow!! thank you for posting, i had no idea...hehehe...off to do some finishing now that i have putting off for just this reason...thank you again!! :D

Barbi said...

OMG!!! Isn't that CLEVER!!!! I have never seen this. From now on though.....
thanks for the tip

Parsley said...

Brilliant! Thanks for the post!

Kaisievic said...

Great post - thank you - very helpful!

hugs, Kaye xoxox

Rachel said...

Very interesting!! I never thought of doing that. I just stick my face as close to the fabric as possible and cut very very slowly, lol!

Barbara said...

From working in local shops I learned that this is the only way to really cut linen and evenweaves...gives you a straight line every time.
Blessings

Mouse said...

even though I do this my self it is soooo nice to see other peeps letting other folks know how to do this and make it not as scary as it sounds ..lol :) love mouse xxxx

Pumpkin said...

Perfect way to show this Sharon! You know something though...I wish more NS would use this method when cutting their fabric >:o(

Jackie said...

I love seeing every bit of the process. I have a lot to learn!

Margaret said...

Thank you! This is very helpful to me. I'm going to bookmark this.

Kate said...

Oh that's my method - I also use the "gap" as a guide for machine stitching too.

Danielle said...

Fantastic! Thanks so much for posting this!

Becky K in OK said...

That's exactly how I make a straight edge also. Thanks for sharing with all us stitchers.

Cat said...

I will have to try that, I 'cheat', and just cut out what I want a bit large and sew the sides up on a sewing machine. This looks much better...

Cat

Nancy said...

Thanks for posting this. I am still very new at finishings and any help is greatly appreciated. I will definitely bookmark this one for future reference.

Theresa said...

Wow~~ What a great tip!!! Thank you for sharing!!

Ali said...

Thanks for sharing I would never ever have thought of that xx

Christine said...

I do that if I'm hem stitching a piece but I'm ashamed to admit I usually just hack at it with a pair of scissors if I'm cutting out a small piece like that :(
Lovely little design you used to demonstrate by the way

cucki said...

thank you for sharing this..xxx

Robin said...

Sew nice for you to share these little tricks and hints. They are not new to me but we sometimes assume everyone knows them. Thanks for sharing them!

Tessa said...

And now, can you reveal the design of your demo stitched piece -it is gorgeous :)

Penny said...

No more going cross-eyed trying to cut a straight line. :) Thanks for showing how to do this ~ saw it done at my LNS once and was amazed, she didn't tell me how to do it though.

The Inspired Stitcher said...

I love this idea. I've done it for my larger pieces but my try it on a small to. I agree, I hate to waste linen because someone didn't care to cut it straight.

Rachel S said...

thank you! This helps a lot!

Debbie said...

thanks for the information. Your photos are great!

Minnie said...

I had already discovered this method and it works perfectly. You did a good job of showing and explaining it.

Stephie said...

Wow! Never once have I even thought of that. Thank you for such a fab tip, I will definitely be giving this a go when I go to sort my little decs out. Thank you so much. xxx

Julie said...

Super clear instructions, thank you.

Charity C. said...

What a great idea! Thanks for such a great piece of advice!

Joysze said...

Awesome, Daffycat!! Yanno, that look could be a finish in itself. Some table linens have that look... :D

Carol said...

I never knew about this, Sharon--thanks so much for all these great instructions that you're sharing with us :)

miek 2 said...

thanks for the tip, probebly in a former live i have learned this at school,but it has left wen boys came it to the picture, i guess :-)
i had never thought of that to do it this way, thanks again.
greetings

Kat said...

I had no idea this was even possible! I'm off to try it tonight - THANKS for sharing this info!

~Kat

Jane said...

Thanks for sharing and to see photos too is really helpful xxx

Norma Soulet (AZArtist) said...

Wow that is great!
Hugs

Patty C. said...

Always the best way for a straight edge-
Great tutorial :)

SoCal Debbie said...

Thank you so much! I love learning more about cross stitch!

Lynn said...

Brilliant! Now why couldn't I think of that?!

Doris said...

great tutorial.

Mangogirl said...

Wow such an easy way to make sure you cute straight! That's awesome :D

lynda said...

Well you've certainly helped me! Thanks!

Lei said...

Thank you for posting this tip. I have always had problems getting a straight cut on my linen and now I won't.

Lindsay said...

I've never pulled threads when finishing but I'll give it a try when I next do

Lisa said...

thank you Daffy Cat I am very pleased you decided to share this technique I'm terrible at cutting straight, I will definitely be doing it this way now!

ps. love your stitched piece

Jeanne Dansby said...

I love you, Daffycat.