Preparing fabric for cutting and sewing

So, you are ready to start sewing! You have gotten your basic sewing basket together and you have bought a pattern! You’ve even cut out the pattern like I explained in another article and now you are ready to pin the pattern, cut the fabric and start sewing. But no, you cannot do this just yet. Did you know that all fabric needs preparing for cutting and sewing?

That’s right, before you can start cutting fabric and sewing it, you need to look at preparing the fabric for cutting and sewing purposes. This is a process you need to start at least a day before you start sewing. In colder countries, if you are not using a dryer, you will have to start a couple of days before.

The first thing you do in preparing fabric for cutting and sewing is to test for color fastness and shrinking. You do this by ironing a corner of the fabric with a hot iron. What is happening to the fabric? Is it shrinking?

The next thing you do in preparing fabric for cutting and sewing is to give it a wash through the washing machine. I personally never do this but I highly recommend that you do it. Washing fabric can shrink certain materials so you want to make sure that the garment you are making won’t shrink in it’s first wash. There is nothing worse than wearing a new garment once, washing it and then finding that it does not fit you anymore.

Once you have washed the fabric you are preparing to cut and sew, you need to run it through a dryer (if that’s the way you plan on drying your garment in the future). Otherwise you can just hang the fabric up in the sun.

There we go, you are almost done preparing the fabric for cutting and sewing. The last thing you need to do is fold it neatly in half, length wise. Length wise because most patterns lay out length wise. Make sure that the edges of the fabric you are preparing for cutting and sewing matches each other well. They must not overlap. Now lay the length wise folded in half fabric out on a table where you can pin your sewing pattern onto it and do the cutting. After the cutting you will then proceed to the pattern markings and sewing of the garment!

It’s easy to prepare a piece of fabric for cutting and sewing. Wash, dry and there we go!

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