In this tutorial I'll teach you about different fabrics and the importance of fabric stretch when cutting out doll sewing patterns out or when placing the fabric over the placement stitches in machine embroidery hoops .

fabric photo 1 copy

In general as long as you lay all your doll pattern pieces along the grain ... with the grain of your fabric running up and down the length and side from side you will be golden.  Hang on what's grain? If you look closely at your fabric you can see it looks like a basket weave.  Cool huh!
So Lengthwise is the side that runs down the  selvage/selvedge ..... Clockwise is 90 degrees to this and your Bias is 45 degrees from this.

 But did you know that your fabric has different amounts of stretch to it?  Oh yes Bias is Super Crazy Stretch huh?! Yup .....  But your fabric will stretch Lengthwise and Clockwise.  Go on give it a go!

Now why is this important ... well you'll see that one side Clockwise, is much more stretchy than Lengthwise  .... in fact it is the Maximum Stretch of the fabric (we're ignoring the Bias)

Max stretch on fabric

So if you cut your doll pattern out with the Minimum Stretch running down from the top of your body to your feet you will get a slightly shorter chubbier looking doll than the one where you lay your pattern out with all pieces with the Max Stretch running down the body.
how to lay a doll pattern out onto fabric 1

You should try it some time, make two dolls up and have a look ... and remember some fabrics are more stretchy than others! Fleece is super stretchy!  So which is correct?  I don't believe one is or isn't .  It's purely personal taste (unless stated on your pattern of course hahaha)!  

I use the max stretch running
from the top to bottom for my doll 

and  I use the Max Stretch running across the head for my softies, these are in fleece A - across the head, B up and down the head - see how the shape is so different!

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