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Choosing a Directional or Non-Directional Print

Hi guys! So over the next few weeks, we will be working on putting together a pair of leggings and a matching sheer top to show how easily you can take the same print & use them across multiple fabrics to create almost ANYTHING! This week we will be talking about creating a print that will work for BOTH projects as certain prints may be more appropriate for certain sewing patterns than others.

You can see below the two garments we will be working on over the next two weeks!! SOOO CUUTEE!!!!

Take a minute to look at the Cutting Layout, this is where things can get a bit interesting as both our garments are cut out VERY differently. As you can see in the diagram below, the cupcakes illustrate the direction of a One-Way print and how our pattern is instructing us to cut out our garments. If we were to use anything besides a Tossed or 4-Way Print then one of our garments would end up cut and sewn with a sideways print! 🤣🤣

You can decide to turn your pattern pieces to be in line with your print but you may not have enough fabric now and will have to order more.


Cupcakes are a reference to how the garment will be cut out using the Cutting layout & a one-way directional print.

Directional Prints


One-way Designs can only be cut in one direction so that they remain in their appropriate up-right orientation.

Example: Notice the problems that can occur if not cut according to the orientation of the print. 


Two-Way Designs can be cut up or down without it affecting the orientation of the print. Notice how we have cut two shirt panels out in opposite directions and still maintain the orientation of the print.




Non-Directional Prints

Tossed Print is when the objects that make-up your print are “tossed” about your canvas so they have seemingly no direction at all. These types of prints are great for beginner designers as they are EASY to create and very easy to use. They can also be cut at any angle and the print will not appear to have changed orientation.


NOTE: This is the type of print we have chosen to use for our Leggings and Matching Sheer Top as both projects are cut out VERY differently and we needed a single print that could be used on both!  To recreate this look you can check out the “Creating the Design” section of A Tale of Three Fabrics.



Four-Way prints can be cut at a 0°, 90°, 180°, or 270° angle, while still maintaining the orientation of the print. You can see below how we have a shirt panel at 0° and 90° and their print still appears to match up well to each other.



Come back next week for a tutorial on assembling our leggings with our “Tossed” Kawaii Desserts print fabric!



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