Maybe it’s because I’m a novice at sewing, but measuring & cutting large pieces of fabric is very challenging. (And by large, I mean anything above 36 inches.) The longer/wider the piece, the more trouble I have with keeping my edges straight and equal.
I’ve considered buying a cutting mat or large ruler from a crafts/fabric store to help— until I saw the price tag. The idea came to me recently to create one myself by repurposing a poster-size plastic frame. I’d previously used the frame as a dry-erase board in the kitchen, but it went in the closet when I created the magnetic cookie sheet wall.
All you need is:
*the plastic from a frame (the larger, the better)
You could probably have a sheet of plastic cut at a hardware store if you don’t have an old frame lying around. If you do this, you should calculate your total measurements using step #2.
*a black permanent marker
*a colored permanent marker (I used aqua)
1. Measure the plastic to make sure it’s a true rectangle or square: each corner should be a true right angle. My piece measures 27″ x 40″.
2. Plan where you will mark your grid lines. To avoid the end result looking like a bunch of mind-boggling lines, I planned to draw 1″ squares sectioned off in larger squares of 3″ x 3″. I chose 3 inches so I would have 9 of these squares on the sides and 13 squares (rounded down) on the top and bottom.
There is an excess row 1″ wide on the right side, but I’m not concerned about trimming it. My edges are nice and straight and I certainly don’t want to mess with that!
3. Using your black permanent marker, mark your larger squares (mine, 3″ x 3″) on the plastic to make the first grid.
4. Using a different color marker, mark the smaller squares on the plastic. I chose to make these squares 1″ x1″. It may be helpful to indicate fractions of the inches, such as 1/4″ or 1/2″.
5. Indicate the number of inches for each larger square; for example, mine were 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, etc. I marked only the top row and the row on the left side.
6. Measure and cut with peace of mind! This ruler helps immensely when you need to even out the edge cut by the fabric store employee. I used the grid today for a few sewing projects and it was a huge help!