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September 2009
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Tips For Fabric Useage

There are so many types of fabrics, that it would be very difficult to put together a list of “how to’s” that cover every fabric and fabric blend that’s on the market.

Today I’m going to just put together a few tips that we’ve accumulated from our customers, and things that we’ve found to work, and pass them along as interesting tid-bits.

* If you will preshrink your fabric as soon as you purchase it, you will never have to wonder if it has been done or not.

* When storing fabric for any length of time, write out a small “care” label to place with the fabric.

*  Tricot and other fabrics that have a tendency to curl will do better if you spray a little starch along the edges and press before sewing the seams.

* Knit fabrics don’t ned to be pinked, neither do the facings need to have the turned under hemming, as knits don’t ravel.

* When cutting large prints or plaids, lay all the pattern pieces the SAME DIRECTION, and shift them along the grainline until the plaids match.

* You can judge corduroy quality by the backing’s construction and density of the pile.  The back should be tightly woven and resist shifting when stretched in various directions.

* Shiny satin type fabrics may have a nap – always check before laying out your pattern pieces.

* If in doubt of how pressing will affect the fabric you’re working with, always press it on the wrong side.

* It is much easier to finish seam edges if you do it BEFORE you begin to sew the garment.

* Before beginning any sewing project, examine the fabric for flaws – small holes, etc, so  you can position the pattern pieces correctly to avoid the flawed areas.

* Sheer fabrics can be difficult to cut because they tend to cling to a cloth-covered cutting table and slip on a smooth one.  Try using cellophane tape to tape the cloth to the table.  Or, probably best, is to purchase a heavy cardboard cutting board and place straight pins around to hold the pattern and fabric in place.

If you have any additional fabric related tips that you’d like to share, just email us or comment on this post.  I’m sure our readers would love to hear about your tips.

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About The Author

Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author


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