Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What to Do BEFORE You Begin a Sewing Project

Sewing is a pretty easy skill to learn. There are so many tutorials, classes, articles, etc geared toward sewing and I love it! Where was the internet when when I was learning to sew?? {Actually, it was just becoming popular when I was in college....yikes!} And because the resources were not always at my fingertips, I learned from the textbooks - yes, literal textbooks - how to sew. In fact, I learned all the rules of sewing and had to do it all exactly by the book because I wanted to get a good grade. But all that learning from the textbooks and rigid rules of sewing were kind of intimidating to this average seamstress. I really didn't even know I could sew something without following every rule to a tee. However, once I realized that there are lots of ways to sew things and you don't really have to follow every.single.rule. it was like a whole new world opened up for me. It was a revelation, people! My love for sewing and creating really took off. That's one reason I wanted to start this blog. I want you to be inspired to create something and not be scared of breaking the rules! No sewing professors breathing down your neck here and making sure you finished those seams that no one will see on the inside of that skirt. Just make stuff. And have fun!

That being said, there are a few things {not rules really, just smart suggestions} that you might want to consider before sewing a project. There is a science behind this skill and sometimes shortcuts can produce a less-than-desirable outcome. Here are a few:

  1. Wash your fabric before cutting.
    I have to admit that I do not do this very often. I typically use fabrics that do not tend to shrink much like poly/cotton blends, but there are certain fabrics that will have quite a bit of shrinkage. Fabrics like 100% cotton, some terry cloths, wool, etc. Natural fibers tend to have more shrinkage if too much moisture is pulled out during the drying process. You might consider washing and air drying these before you cut them for your projects. Then, don't forget to iron it!
  2. Check to see if your fabric is evenly cut.
    Most of the time, my fabric is not cut perfectly straight at the fabric store. To check yours, line up the selvage edge with a straight line like a fabric cutting board or a yard stick. The fabric cutting board is perfect because it is marked at every inch and helps you see how your fabric is shaped. If the cut edges are not lined up on a straight line, you'll need to trim them.
  3. Check your grainline.
    I rarely do this unless I'm making a project like a dress or a pencil skirt, etc. If you're a perfectionist, you will want to do this. If you're like me, you will only do this when you have to. Here's some great information on grainlines.
 These are a few of the basics. Do you follow any guidelines for fabric before you start your sewing projects? Which ones?

Thanks for stopping by!
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  1. My tips would be the same as yours. I always wash and iron my fabrics anymore-unless I am using them for a drapery material. I do love to sew. xo Diana

  2. love it I to learned to sew by textbook . You brought back a lot of fond memories.


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