How to Cut Fabric on the Bias

How to Cut Fabric on The Bias Step By Step Guide

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Fabric is an essential component of many craft and fashion creations, and knowing how to cut it is one of the most important skills for any maker.

From quilting and dressmaking to home decor projects, cutting fabric on the bias is a technique that many sewers and crafters are eager to learn. We’ll look at how to cut fabric on the bias and why it’s an important skill for anyone who wants to get good at sewing.

How to Cut Fabric on The Bias cut example

The bias cut example begins with a pattern, carefully chosen to flatter the body. The pattern is then traced with the tailor’s chalk onto the fabric, which is cut on the bias to create a gentle drape.

Finally, the cut pieces of fabric are pieced together to create the garment.

Bias Cut

 Bias cut

Transitioning from the previous section, one example of a design technique is bias cut. Bias cut is a type of garment pattern cutting technique that is done by cutting the pattern of a garment diagonally on the bias, which is the 45-degree angle of the fabric.

This technique is used to create a garment that has a softer drape, rather than a stiffer look when the fabric is cut on the grain. This is because the bias cut follows the natural stretch of the fabric and allows the garment to better hug a body shape.

When working with bias-cut fabric, it is important to take into account the fabric’s stretchability and drape in order to obtain the perfect fit. Depending on the type of fabric being used, the pattern used will also be adjusted to account for the fabric’s properties.

For example, a pattern that is used for a bias-cut silk fabric may need to be adjusted to account for the fabric’s delicate properties, whereas a pattern used for a bias-cut wool fabric may need to be adjusted to account for the fabric’s sturdiness.

The bias cut technique is often used in eveningwear, lingerie, and swimwear due to the design’s ability to create a figure-hugging silhouette while still allowing for movement.

Bias-cut fabric can also provide a more modern look, as the fabric creates a softer drape and can be manipulated to create interesting silhouettes. Overall, bias cut is an extremely popular technique for creating garments that have a tailored, flattering fit.


bias pattern

Slipping into the world of fashion, the bias cut is a pattern technique used to create a more flattering, streamlined silhouette. The process of cutting fabric on the bias produces an effect that drapes more fluidly over the body and creates a subtle sheen in the fabric.

Pattern makers must consider the weight, stretch, and drape of the fabric when cutting the fabric on the bias. The pattern maker begins by laying the fabric on the cutting table, crosswise and diagonally to the grain of the fabric.

Once the fabric is pinned to the table, the pattern maker utilizes a French curve and ruler to measure the desired length, width, and depth of the pattern. The pattern maker continues to draw the desired pieces onto the fabric, paying attention to the direction of the fabric grain, until the pattern is complete.

The bias cut technique can be used to create many timeless silhouettes including evening gowns, skirts, and blouses. Because the fabric is cut on an angle, the material can be manipulated to better follow the curves of the body. The result is a unique, elegant look that is both figure-flattering and timeless.


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Carefully selecting the right fabric is essential when creating a garment using the bias cut technique. Fabrics that are most suitable for this method include soft and lightweight materials such as silk, crepe, chiffon, and georgette.

Cotton and wool are not recommended due to their stiffness, which makes them difficult to drape. When choosing the fabric for a bias-cut garment, the most important thing to consider is the stretch and recovery properties.

A fabric with good stretch and recovery will not sag or become deformed after the garment is made. The fabric should also be lightweight, with a drapey fall, and should not be stiff, bulky, or overly heavy. When selecting a fabric, it is important to pay attention to the weave and fiber content.

A tighter weave is better for bias-cut garments, as it will lay more smoothly and hold its shape. Natural fibers such as silk, linen, and rayon are generally the best choice, as they are more malleable and easier to manipulate. Synthetic fibers are not recommended, as they are less pliable and can be difficult to work with.

Identifying the Bias

Identifying the Bias

Focused on the task at hand, now that the bias cut example has been presented, it’s time to learn how to identify the bias of the fabric. Identifying the bias allows for more precise cutting of the bias strips, which is necessary for the desired outcome of a project.

To identify the bias, it helps to understand the structure of the weave of the fabric. The weave is the measure of the threads running in two different directions, one horizontal and one vertical.

The bias runs in a diagonal direction, and it is this diagonal direction that is used to cut the bias strips. The easiest way to find the bias is to look for the stretch in the fabric.

When pulling the fabric gently, it will stretch in one direction more than the other. This is the direction of the bias. Additionally, folding the fabric in half diagonally can help identify the bias.

The fold should match up evenly on both sides, and the edges should be on the bias. If the edges are not on the bias, the fabric will not be cut at a true diagonal.

Once the bias is identified, it can be marked with a fabric pen or pencil, which allows for more precise cutting. With the bias identified, it’s time to prepare the fabric for cutting the bias strips.

Preparing the Fabric

Preparing the Fabric

Having identified the bias of the fabric, it is time to prepare the fabric for cutting the strips. Depending on the fabric, there may be some pre-preparation required.

For example, if the fabric is wrinkled or has a lot of creases, it should be ironed to create a smooth surface. If the fabric is particularly delicate, it is important to use a low-heat setting and a pressing cloth to prevent scorching or damage.

Once the fabric is prepped and ready to go, it is time to cut the strips. For this, an appropriate cutting surface is necessary. A cutting table or large counter is ideal, as it gives plenty of room to spread the fabric and ensure a clean, straight cut.

If you are using a rotary cutter, a self-healing cutting mat is a great addition to any workspace. Before actually cutting the fabric, it is important to measure the strips and make sure they are the correct size.

This can be done either by eye or with a measuring tape. Once the measurements are set, the fabric can be cut. With a rotary cutter, it is possible to cut multiple strips at once, which can save time. If scissors are being used, the strips should be cut one at a time to ensure the edges are even.

Cutting the Strips

Cutting the Strips

Once the fabric is prepped and ready for cutting, it’s time to get to the fun part of this bias-cutting project. With the help of a ruler and rotary cutter, the bias strips can be cut with precision and ease.

Begin by measuring the desired width of the bias strips. It is important to ensure that the strips are neither too wide nor too narrow to properly create the desired shape or garment. Once the width has been determined, it’s time to begin cutting.

To do this, line up the ruler along the bias grain and, using the rotary cutter, cut the fabric along the ruler in a continuous motion. Be sure to make the cuts smooth and even to ensure the strips lay flat.

As the strips are cut, they should be placed in a safe spot so that they can be used later. After each strip is cut, it’s a good idea to double-check the measurements and make any necessary adjustments.

Once all the strips are cut, the bias tape can be used to sew the desired shape or garment. With a few simple steps, bias strips can be created quickly and easily, ready to be used in a variety of projects.

bias cut vs straight cut

The difference between bias cut and straight cut is evident in the way the fabric is cut. Bias cut involves cutting the fabric on the diagonal, at an angle of 45 degrees, resulting in an elegant draping of the fabric.

This draping is one of the distinct advantages of the bias cut, as it allows for a more flattering fit. The durability of the fabric is also increased due to the increased flexibility of the fabric on the bias.

Bias Cut

  • Having discussed how to fold the fabric to cut bias strips, it’s now time for a look into the difference between bias cut and straight cut. Bias cut, simply put, is cutting fabric on the diagonal.
  • This gives the fabric an entirely different look and feel than when it is cut on the straight grain. The bias-cut
  • fabric has a certain drape and flows to it that is quite different than when the same fabric is cut on the straight grain. This is because the threads of the fabric are not on the same tension when one is cut on a bias.
  • Instead, they are stretched in different directions, creating a softer, more fluid look. The fabric also hangs differently and has a more fluid movement.
  • This type of fabric is often used to create an interesting silhouette or to add some texture to a garment. It can also be used to make a garment more comfortable, as it will move with the wearer.
  • Additionally, the bias-cut fabric is great for creating a tailored look, as it will hug the body in a more flattering way.

Advantages of Bias Cut

  • Having explained the process of folding fabric to create bias strips, it is important to understand the advantages of bias cutting. Bias cuts can be used to create intricate and beautiful garments that are difficult to achieve with a straight cut.
  • The advantage of bias cut is that it allows the fabric to be stretched and manipulated in ways that a straight-cut fabric cannot, allowing for the fabric to be draped and contoured to the body.
  • Bias cut takes advantage of the natural elasticity of the fabric and provides a more customized fit. With bias cut, the fabric can be cut on the diagonal, which allows it to stretch and hug the body, creating a more flattering silhouette.
  • In addition, bias cutting allows for more creative and interesting designs, as the fabric can be manipulated to create intricate details and shapes.
  • The capability of bias-cut fabric is unmatched, as the fabric can be draped and manipulated to create the desired effect. This creates more flow and movement in the garment and makes it more appealing to the eye.
  • The fabric can be pulled and stretched to create a unique shape and design, which is much more difficult to achieve with a straight cut.
  • Bias cut allows for the fabric to be manipulated in ways that are not possible with a straight cut, creating a much more interesting and visually appealing garment.

Drapability of Bias Cut

Having learned how to fold the fabric to cut bias strips, it’s now time to compare the difference between bias cut and straight cut.

  • When it comes to drapability, bias cut is undeniably the superior choice. By cutting fabric on the diagonal, bias-cut pieces of fabric are able to conform more easily to the shape of the body, resulting in increased comfort and flexibility.
  • The diagonal grain of the fabric allows it to stretch both across and along the fabric, which can be very useful in clothing or upholstery.
  • Not only does this allow for more comfortable clothing and furniture, but it also creates a much more visually interesting look.
  • The slight stretching of the fabric causes the fabric to fold and contour itself in a way that straight-cut fabric would not be able to do.
  • The increased flexibility of bias-cut fabric also allows it to be used in areas of the garment or upholstery that may require a harder-to-reach shape.
  • The fabric will stretch and drape around the curves to create a more accurate fit. A garment or piece of furniture cut from bias-cut fabric will also be less likely to fray or unravel at the seams since the diagonal grain of the fabric is more stable.
  • Overall, bias-cut fabric offers a level of comfort, flexibility, and visual interest that straight-cut fabric does not. It is an ideal choice for those seeking a more comfortable and visually interesting piece of clothing or furniture.

cut on the biased dress

The delicate process of creating a cut on the bias dress begins with preparing the fabric for bias cutting. Carefully measuring and marking the fabric ensures that the bias-cut pieces are correctly sized and evenly distributed.

After preparation, the fabric is ready to be cut on the bias, using a sharp pair of scissors to create gentle curves and a smooth cut.

Finally, the bias-cut pieces are pieced together using delicate stitches, creating a timeless garment that fits comfortably against the body and moves with grace.

Preparing the fabric for bias cutting

  • Stepping further into the world of bias cutting, the first step in creating a striking cut on the bias dress is to prepare the fabric.
  • As the fabric is cut at a diagonal angle, it is of utmost importance to ensure that the fabric is on grain. This means that all the threads of the fabric are straight and perpendicular to the selvage, creating a balanced texture with no stretching or puckering.
  • To do this, the fabric must be starched before cutting. This helps the fabric hold its shape and makes the cutting process more accurate.
  • Starch also aids in preventing fraying of the fabric, meaning that the edges of the fabric will remain intact and won’t unravel.
  • Ironing the fabric with a hot, dry iron after the starch has been applied will help set the starch and create a crisp, uniform finish. Once the fabric is starched and pressed, it’s ready for cutting!

Cutting the fabric on the bias

  • Once the fabric has been properly prepared for cutting on the bias, it is time to begin cutting. Taking extra care and precision, the fabric should be cut into strips of the desired length and width.
  • When cutting on the bias, it is important to keep the strips evenly distributed so that the grain of the fabric is maintained. To ensure accuracy, many sewers opt for a rotary cutter and a cutting mat.
  • The rotary cutter allows for a clean, straight cut, while the cutting mat ensures that the strips remain even.
  • To make sure that the fabric pieces remain properly aligned, it may also be helpful to use fusible interfacing, which will keep the fabric from stretching or shifting during the cutting process.

Sewing the fabric on the bias

  • The intricate process of sewing fabric on the bias requires a special kind of finesse and precision. Every step is important to ensure the desired outcome is achieved.
  • After cutting the fabric on the bias, it is time to stitch the pieces of fabric together. Beginning with the right side of the fabric, pin the pieces together and baste them together with long stitches.
  • Make sure the pins are perpendicular to the bias direction and that the pins are placed close together in order to keep the fabric from shifting. This will allow for a smooth, even stitch.
  • Once the pieces are basted, the fabric can be sewn together. Use a short stitch length, and a slightly larger needle size than what is typically used for the fabric being sewn.
  • Sewing along the bias can cause the fabric to stretch, so these adjustments will help keep the fabric from stretching out of shape. Take care to maintain an even, slow stitch speed and to keep the fabric taut as it is being sewn.
  • By taking the proper steps and following each step carefully, the fabric will be sewn on the bias with ease. The end result will be a pattern that is cut and sewn together with the utmost precision, creating a piece of clothing that is truly unique.

bias cut shirt

Creating a bias-cut shirt requires careful consideration of the fabric, the pattern, and the cutting. The first step to creating a beautiful bias-cut shirt is to select the right fabric;

choose a lightweight and drapey fabric with plenty of give and stretch for the best results. Once the fabric is chosen, a pattern must be drafted from the measurements of the individual, adjusted to fit the bias of the fabric.

Finally, the pattern pieces are cut from the fabric, using sharp scissors and a keen eye for detail.

Bias Cut Shirt Basics

  • Building upon the previous section’s discussion of the cut on the bias dress, the bias cut shirt is a classic style that has been around for years.
  • A bias-cut shirt is a shirt that is cut on the bias, meaning that it is cut diagonally across the fabric, using the natural grain of the fabric to create a beautiful drape and figure-flattering silhouette.
  • It is a great option for those who want a more fitted shirt with a classic, sophisticated look. When creating a bias cut shirt, the first step is to create a pattern.
  • To do this, start with a basic shirt pattern, then use a ruler and tailor’s chalk to trace the grain lines onto the fabric. Once the grain lines are traced, the fabric can then be cut on the bias.
  • The pattern pieces should be cut with a generous seam allowance to ensure a good fit. When cutting on the bias, it is important to pay attention to the grain of the fabric.
  • The grain should be marked on the fabric before the pattern is cut to ensure that the pieces are cut correctly. This will help to ensure a good fit and a flattering silhouette.
  • Additionally, the bias cut shirt will require a good amount of pressing and steaming, as the fabric will be prone to stretching and will require some extra care.

Creating a Pattern

  • Extending the principles of a bias-cut dress to a shirt, the next step is to create a pattern. This is achieved by understanding the nature of the bias cut and how the fabric behaves when working with it.
  • When cutting fabric on the bias, the fabric is stretched to create a shape. The stretching of the fabric will create a unique pattern.
  • To ensure the fabric is stretched correctly, a pattern should be created which takes into account the nature of the fabric being used.
  • To calculate the size of the pattern to be created, the fabric should be measured diagonally. This will inform the size of the pattern and the number of pieces that should be cut.
  • The fabric should be cut into pattern pieces, one at a time, to ensure that the fabric is stretched correctly. Once all the pieces are cut, they should be arranged in the correct order and labeled.
  • This will ensure that the pieces are in the correct order when sewing the shirt together. Finally, the pieces should be pinned in place before sewing to ensure that the pieces stay in the correct position.
  • Creating a pattern for a bias-cut shirt is a critical step to ensure the shirt is crafted correctly. With the correct pattern, the fabric will be stretched correctly and the shirt will fit perfectly.

Cutting on the Bias

  • Moving from the cut on the bias dress to the bias cut shirt, it is important to understand the basics of how to properly cut fabric on the bias.
  • Cutting on the bias involves taking the bias of the fabric, which is the 45-degree angle, and cutting the fabric along that angle. This allows for fabric to move and stretch in a more flattering way, which can be great for any type of fabric.
  • When it comes to the bias-cut shirt, it is important to create a pattern that is unique to the individual wearing it. Each person’s body is different and requires a unique pattern for the shirt.
  • When creating a pattern for the bias cut shirt, it is important to keep in mind fabric stretch, as well as the desired fit of the shirt. If a shirt is meant to be more form-fitting, the pattern should be created accordingly.
  • Once the pattern has been created, it is time to cut the fabric on the bias. To do so, begin by folding the fabric in half, with the wrong sides together. The bias of the fabric will be the 45-degree angle.
  • Making sure the pattern is placed correctly on the fabric, cut along the lines in the pattern, making sure to stay along the bias of the fabric.
  • Cutting on the bias allows for the fabric to move and stretch in a flattering way, creating a unique and stylish bias-cut shirt.

What does it mean to cut fabric on the bias, and why does it help with some sewing projects?

To cut fabric on the bias, you cut at a 45-degree angle to the straight grain of the cloth. This gives it more stretch and drape, making it perfect for making clothes that flow, like skirts or dresses with a bias cut.

What are some important things to remember when cutting fabric on the bias so that the fabric doesn’t stretch or get messed up?

Cut the cloth cleanly without tugging or pulling with a sharp rotary cutter or fabric scissors. Before cutting, pin the fabric carefully to keep it from moving.

What kinds of fabrics work best for projects or clothes that are cut on the bias?

Lightweight, flowing fabrics like silk, rayon, or chiffon work well for bias-cut designs because they drape well and have the right amount of stretch.

How does cutting a piece of fabric on the bias change how it hangs and moves on the body?

Clothes that are cut on the bias have a graceful, figure-skimming drape that shows off the body’s natural curves and makes for a flattering look.

Are there certain ways to sew lines and hems on bias-cut fabric that work well?

It can be hard to sew bias-cut lines because the fabric stretches. To keep the shape and flow of the clothing, use stay-stitching or interfacing to reinforce seams before sewing, and think about using narrow hems.


Cutting fabric on the bias is an easy and effective way to liven up any garment. With the simple technique of folding fabric and cutting strips, you can create beautiful bias cut garments.

Bias cuts are a great alternative to the traditional straight cut, giving garments an elegant twist. Whether you’re tackling a dress, shirt, or skirt, bias cut fabric is the perfect way to add a unique touch.

With a few easy steps, you can transform any dull fabric into something special and add an extra level of style to your wardrobe.

How to Find and Cut Fabric on the Bias | Guide 2023

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