Sewing A Round Ball ~ On Grain V’s Bias Grain

Sewing a round ball - on grain v's bias grain

Late 2014 I list my Bowling Pin & Ball pattern.  Like all patterns, it went through a series of prototypes as I tweaked things to get the shape just right.  But to my surprise, the thing I struggles with the most was the ball.  I wanted a nice round ball, but no matter how I tweaked the template – I ended up with something that looked like it had been smooshed. There was a secret – a key I was missing and I need to find out what it was.  The key was ...

Grain!Fabric grain

Fabric has a straight grain – runs parallel to the selvage, cross grain – runs from selvage to selvage and the bias which runs at a 45* angle the other 2.

Click here for a more detailed explanation.
2 pieces - 1 cut on grain and 1 cut on the bias grain

I used this ruler fabric to make up 2 balls, 1 cut on the straight grain, the other on the bias. Here’s what each segment of the ball looks like when it’s first cut.  Each ball was constructed in exactly the seam way , but as you can see in the next few images, the results are quite different.

straight grain cut ball

This ball is the straight grain ball.  It is flat on the top and bottom and there is a scooping-in shape on the top and bottom edges.  It’s shaping in the opposite direction to what I want.

straight grain cut ball - top view

When you look at this balls profile, you can see that the sides are flat rather than rounded — defiantly not a nice round ball shape 😦

Bias cut ball

And finally – the bias cut ball.  Remember, the only difference here is the angle I placed the template on when I cut it out and yet that 1 small change has resulted in a perfectly round ball 🙂

I hope this short tutorial will help you make nice, perfectly round fabric balls 😀

Happy sewing 🙂





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