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Thread: Fabric question

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Fabric question

    I am not a seamstress at all but once in a while I like to try. I favor that all-cotton calico fabric from Walmart. Are you supposed to wash the fabric before cutting out the pattern or do you just sew it as is? I ask because of shrinkage but then again, when I have washed it, it comes out a wrinkled mess with loose threads hanging off it. Do you iron it? Do you just make the pattern pieces bigger counting for shrinkage?


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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    I definitely wash and dry, no fabric softener (it makes it too soft for me to handle properly). This way, if there is significant shrinkage, you can decide if it's worth using that fabric. Also it determines how I edge my projects because I don't have a serger and if it's going to go thread-crazy, I like to know.

    Ironing is a must for something wrinkled, and my high school teacher even recommended ironing the pattern on low to get rid of those wrinkles, but I never have. What are you making?

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Thank you for your help. I'm planning to make some sleeveless blouses for the summer.

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    skamokawa, WA
    You have to wash it or else it will shrink after you make the garment, and you cannot neccessarily predict how it will shrink.
    Ironing is normal, and all those ravelled threads are telling you that you have to be sure to finish the seams somehow, zigzag, serge, overhand stitch, pinking, whatever, or else eventually your garment will ravel through the seams.


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