Follow us


April 5, 2024 by
River Harrison

At, we’re lucky that we get to use such a wide variety of fabric designs on our bags... Of course, a number of these fabric designs feature prominent directional prints which can be difficult to work with if we aren’t prepared. In the above video, Annie gives some helpful advice on how to work with directional fabrics for bag making. She also talks about joining pieces of pre-quilted Soft and Stable and fabric pieces.

What is ‘directional fabric?’

Let's start with a quick definition of ‘directional fabric.’ When we call a fabric ‘directional’ we mean that there is a distinct top and bottom to the design on the fabric. Below are some examples of directional and non-directional fabrics.

What’s the big deal?

If you’re sewing with directional fabrics on some of our patterns, the fabric design may look okay on one side of the project but turn out upside-down on the back of the project.

For example, our Open Wide 2.0 bags use one main piece of fabric to make the bag. It is joined in the middle at the top by attaching a zipper to the end of each piece.

Unless we take a few special steps to address and deal with the directionality of the fabric (as we did in the moving images shown here), the design will be upside down on either the front or back of the bag.

But, have no fear! You can still use those directional fabrics with Open Wide 2.0! It just takes a few of the extra steps that Annie explains in the above video.

What ByAnnie patterns should I pay attention to when using directional fabric?

Please note that any ByAnnie patterns will include complete instructions for cutting pieces and many are appropriate for non-directional or directional fabrics.

For patterns where a directional fabric could be problematic, the pattern will either give instructions for working with the directional fabric or it will state that you should avoid using directional fabric unless you understand the process. The video above talks in general about how you can modify your pattern to use those directional fabrics… it only takes a couple extra steps!

A few ByAnnie patterns that require special consideration when using directional fabrics are:

What if my fabric is already quilted? And/or how can I join pre-quilted Soft and Stable?

We get a lot of questions about how to join pre-quilted fabric and Soft and Stable pieces. Whether it’s for managing directional fabrics or just for using up bits and pieces of smaller Soft and Stable project scraps for something else, we have a solution for you.

We learned this great method from Suellen at Linda Zs in Arlington Heights, IL. Suellen teaches many of the ByAnnie bag classes at Linda Zs and she showed us this method in a video tutorial. It’s quick, easy, and results in little added bulk.

The above video at the top of this blog post will teach you this technique at minute 8:14. Thank you, Suellen!

Tell us about it!

Do you have any handy tips and tricks when it comes to using directional fabrics to joining pieces of Soft and Stable?

Or maybe you know a great project for using those bits and pieces of leftover quilted Soft and Stable (we're looking at you, Call Me!).

Let us know in the comments below!

Share this post

Sign in to leave a comment