Monday, March 2, 2009

Why I Need a Grainboard

This is to finish yesterday's post- as I posted it I knew it didn't cover the why's at all. My bad (hate that term, yet here I'm using it, go figure!)

I had to laugh at Berry's comment;
Grainboard??!! At first I got scared (I'm easily impressed), what is a grainboard? Thanks to your detailed info I feel way smarter this morning ;o)

I'm glad you feel smarter although you're already plenty smart as it is.

Lindsay ask the BIG WHY;
Birgitte, I have a cardboard fold-up cutting board that has grainlines on it. It's not as wonderful as what you made, of course, but wouldn't you get the same result from both? Can you enlighten me here? Thanks!

Thank you, Lindsay. It most certainly needs- no, deserves!, a better explanation than I provided.

Let me start of with this:
I've been sewing for longer than I care to remember- on and off, but still... And I never knew I needed a grainboard. I was doing just fine, a few hits and misses, but generally my garments were wearable.
Then, some time ago, and I know my loyal readers were part of that discovery, couture became my passion. Since then my viewpoint on all things sewing related has changed dramatically, and that, of course, includes all the tools.

Couture is detail. Every detail counts.
This is how I see the grainboard becoming my best friend :))

You can lie out the fabric and it will STAY THERE. No more slipping and sliding, distorting the grain.

You can pin the pattern VERTICALLY so you get accurate markings and cutting.

You can PRESS THE FABRIC RIGHT THERE and cut, no need to move it from one place to another. Perfect for fusing interfacing.

BIAS will be much easier to handle with accuracy.

There will most likely be other uses I discover along the way. If any of you have additional things to add to that list, please post it, or leave a comment, and I'll do an update.

Here is a photo with a quote from Roberta Carr:

That was the long explanation. The short one: You don't need a grainboard like you need scissors, needle and thread. You need it like you need that PERFECT BUTTON to go with your jacket :))
It's all in the details!


  1. Very insightful. Thanks!
    Btw, the link to Baby it's You isn't working.

  2. Ok, that explains it perfectly. When I have my own sewing room I too will have a grainboard!

  3. I have Roberta Carr's book. Wonderful isn't it? I may ask the husband to help me make a grainboard in the spring (if and when it arrives in Michigan)!

  4. I get it after reading all your information and referencing RC's book. But where to store it? On top of the cutting table? On top of the cutting mat that sits on the cutting table? No accidental cuts on the grain muslin? It looks wonderful,so professional. You now have me thinking.........

  5. Can you use rotary cutters on the grainboard?

  6. Good followup. There have been so many times where I have needed to press something that needed to be exactly straight and I couldn't eyeball it. I have actually taken my cardboard cutting mat over to the ironing board to fuse/press something, praying I don't burn the board. I'm definitely looking forward to having one of these one day soon!

  7. Very interesting! It would be nice to have a large surface for pressing.

  8. Your grainboard looks wonderful. You did a great job. I have a spaceboard (51"x33")which I bought years ago. I love mine too and always use it.
    I also use mine to draft patterns on, and to trace patterns. If you use a tracing wheel to trace, it perforates the paper underneath nicely and you just follow this to cut out your pattern pieces.
    Found a picture here:

  9. Thanks for the information on the grainboard. I posted an award for you today, see my blog for details.
    Thanks for sharing so much information

  10. I left you an award on my blog post today.

    Two wonderful posts about the grainboard. I'll must read the book again on that subject, won't have space for one I think.

  11. I left you an award on my blog too :)
    I see Sigrid did too :)))

  12. ahem! Roberta can thank you. Until this post I was curious about the book but I'm convinced now (this grainboard is a genius idea) and just ordered it.

  13. After your explanation, I can't imagine not having one!

  14. You've got to stop going on about Roberta Carr's book. I sold mine at a garage sale about four years ago before my "sewing renaissance". It probably went for a dollar - ouch!

    I nominated you for the Sisterhood Award (but just realized I forgot to put the picture on my site - will fix that soon).

  15. Thanks for this post. It is very inspiring to see how much you learn from Roberta Carr's book. I bought it last summer, but while I was very occupied with the book and learned a lot from it, I never put so much in to practice as you have done.