Clip the Selvages Before Laying Out Your Pattern

As I was cutting a length of shirting fabric for a customer yesterday, I was reminded of a tip I learned from Susan Khalje. Often, woven fabrics have a slight puckering close to the selvages, as a result of the weaving process.
This can cause slight distortion close to the selvage, but it's quite easy to fix. Simply make small cuts along the selvages about 1/4 inch deep (slightly deeper if your fabric is thick), and spaced about every 2-3 inches.You can cut right at a pucker if it seems tight tight. I cut on a diagonal, but you can cut perpendicular to the selvage if you prefer,. The results are pretty dramatic.

I didn't press or otherwise smooth out the fabric. This takes just a few minutes, and the results are very worthwhile.

HTH, and Happy Sewing!