Dresses from Shabby Apple

Sewing Tips {Prepping}

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My last installment about Sewing Tips discussed the importance of washing fabric prior to sewing. You can catch up with us here. I know we are starting out super basic here, but bear with me. We are just getting down the essentials and we will be digging into some harder stuff soon enough.

So now your fabric is washed, what do you do? This is the part that seems the MOST boring to me, but I have found in the long run, it really does make the end product better, plus it saves time. (which I am all about since I am usually trying to sneak in sewing here and there between meals, naps and tantrums from my sweet little crazies.) The next thing is to iron your fabric. I will confess that the most action my iron sees is from probably from ironing fabric, not clothing just fabric that I am starting a project with. I loathe ironing. Maybe that is too strong of a term. Hmmm, no actually I don't think it is. My place is too small to keep the iron upstairs so it usually consists of me going downstairs then making two trips, one to haul up the ironing board and one to haul up the iron, water bottle, and/or starch. Then finding a place for it is always tricky. Hot irons, unstable ironing boards and little kiddos just don't mix. Once it is all set up, I usually have lost all gumption to iron.

But once I actually start ironing, it can be relaxing until I start thinking about everything else I could be doing. So anyways, yeah, ironing is a drag most of the time. (I dream of the day to have the iron out and enjoy a Diet Dr Pepper on the rocks and watch a DVR'd show on the big screen while I get to work....one day though no big screens or DVR's up in this house.)

So I am rambling now. Iron the fabric, make sure to keep the settings low enough for your type of fabric so you don't scorch it or ruin it depending on what kind of fabric you are using.

**One other tip I would recommend, is to make sure you check the bolt of fabric before you buy it. This tells you what kind of fabric it is and usually gives you instructions on washing and drying it. If it doesn't tell you how to take care of the fabric, then at least you will know what kind of fabric it is and can search the internet to find out! I will admit, there have been times I have actually gone back to the fabric store to look at the bolt because I was too busy/distracted to remember doing this the first time around.

Once the fabric is all nice looking without wrinkles, I take a pair of scissors and cut those nasty stringy things off the edges that came about when you washed it. All of this is going to make cutting your fabric and piecing things together go more smoothly. Besides, I have tried to cut pieces out of fabric that weren't ironed and what do you know? They never seem to be cut just right.

Okay, let's recap. So we wash it (according to instructions on the bolt/online), iron it, and cut off the stringies. I had typed up a lot more to this post but I am thinking, it is getting a bit long winded now. So the next tip will be on straightening and cutting out the fabric. I will tell you all about the tools I use and how EXTREMELY helpful they are. I am sure you will all be sitting by your computers just dying to know what my next sewing tip is!!

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nateandcole February 9, 2010 at 10:16 AM  

I've never ironed my fabric before using it. Good idea though. When I quilt, I don't like to pre-wash my fabric. I like how after I machine quilt and wash it, it bunches up and looks old. So I guess that's the exception unless you want an old look.

Josh and Juli February 9, 2010 at 5:00 PM  

Thanks for the tips! Basic is good for me, since sewing is not my forte. I AM sitting on the edge of my seat for the next tip!!!

Bec February 9, 2010 at 6:02 PM  

Thanks for your sewing tips! I have just started sewing and I am just making it up as I go along. So little lessons like this are really helpful! Thank you for taking the time :)

Kirsten February 10, 2010 at 6:30 PM  

Great tips - looking forward to the next in the series!

Mom2fur February 11, 2010 at 9:39 AM  

I've got a little tip for you that I only learned recently. If you rub an ice cube over the area you are about to iron, the wrinkles disappear better and faster! I think the combination of super-cold ice plus steam is what does the trick. I tried it and it really works!

Jenny {Heavenly Blossoms} March 24, 2011 at 12:17 PM  

LOVE YOUR BLOG>>>>your sewing tips are REALLY helping me out!! So glad to have you!

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