October 24, 2011

TIP: Preparing Fabric for Prewashing

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I never prewash regular fabric for quilts.  That would mean I'd have to iron it ... no thanks!  Flannel, when used as a quilt back and when the quilt top is not flannel, is the only type of fabric I prewash because it shrinks at a greater rate than regular cotton and will continue to shrink over several washings, whereas the quilt top typically will shrink only the first time it is washed.  A LQS owner shared this with me. 

Fabric for clothes, however, is another story.  I do prewash these fabrics because I want the garment to fit without worrying about shrinking later.  So here's my discovery. 

I just bought a large stack of fabric for skirts and dresses for Millie and did a little experiment.  I usually serge the raw edge before washing, but this time I serged the raw edge while it was still folded in half as it comes off the bolt rather than opening it up wide.  It was a fabulous discovery - the fabric was MUCH easier to fold after washing because the raw/serged ends were still lined up, and I didn't have to try to keep them together as I refolded the strip.  Several of the pieces were 5 yards long and were simple to fold up in preparation for ironing.  Yeah!

Here's a peek at what I'll be sewing up for Millie.

For Laura Ingalls Prairie Dresses.  Bottom check will be an apron to coordinate with the floral fabric above it.  Still looking for apron fabric for the top two fabrics.

Top fabric is for a skirt.  There is a coordinating fabric for a waist scarf which is not pictured.  The next five fabrics are for a multi-fabric skirt, likely matching skirts for her friends, too, if I can squeeze them out of the fabric.  The bottom two blue coordinating fabrics are for a dress or ? 

You can find really nice dress and skirt patterns at Marie Madeline Studio, which is also where I got these fabrics during a recent sale.  I'll be using the Kitty Mae and Emerson skirt patterns and the Torrance dress pattern.  Sew exciting!!

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