Preparing to Sew – What you need to know

images of bolts of fabric

It is January a new year, I am sure you have lots of sewing projects planned for 2016.  Before you sew here are a few tips of preparation.

When shopping and you fall in love with a fabric but you are not exactly sure what you will create.  Here is a general guideline that several of our members use when buying fabric for misses sizing (especially for coordinates) :   3 yards for 1 garment; 5 yards for 2 garments  and 7 yards for 3 garments.

If it is expensive material,  you like being more precise, or you sew for other than misses – check out these reference cards from GwynHug.  Her website link is here   They are available in Womens, Plus, Mens, Babies, and Children’s in both US and Metric measurements. ** Get 15 % off all products during the month of February by using the code “PLANO” And the winner of our random drawing for a GwynHug reference card is Judi J. !!

Now that you have purchased your fabric take note of the fiber content and the cleaning instructions.  One idea is to snap a picture of the end bolt with your smart phone if the store does not give you printed instructions.

Pretreating fabric is very important – and you need to clean the yardage in what ever method you will use for the finished garment.

For dry clean only fabrics – take the yardage to a full service cleaners.  Many of our members love Pepper Square Cleaners • 14902 Preston Rd. • Dallas, TX 75254.  Be sure to specify that you do not want the center fold.   Some of our members use this home method for wool, described here in Off The Cuff’s blog post

For washable fabrics – serge, pink or zig zag cut ends to control fraying.  Open the fabric up so that center fold marks are reduced.  A great product for catching excess dye can be found on the laundry isle.  Color Catchers by Shout.  While the package says these are not reusable, many of our members find success with saving and reusing the individual sheets.

Be cautious in using dryer softener sheets.  I have have had issues with these products leaving an oily residue.   Wool dryer balls are an option to commercial sheets.

For some specific treatments of specific fibers refer to this great info on the Colette blog.  For everything you wanted to know about fabric and fibers I love Claire Schaeffer’s Guide to Fabric, it is a great reference for your library.

And I believe in having some sort of system to keep track of your fabrics, the fiber content, the value (of course priceless) and what method of pre treatment you have done to the yardage.  To view my analytical method.  Check out the organizing blog posts.

Happy Sewing 2016 !




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2 thoughts on “Preparing to Sew – What you need to know”

  1. Thanks for including our “How Much Fabric?” Reference cards in your post! Best wishes for a wonderful 2016 – full of beautiful fabric and the mastering of new sewing skills – to all!

  2. Useful info!! Sometimes you don’t want to pass up a good fabric you don’t quite have a use for yet, but want to make sure you have enough.

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