Hi, I’m Jess from Sallie Tomato and I’m so glad you’re here for Day 11 of our 30 Day Learn to Sew Challenge. Are you feeling ready to sew? Hang in there! We're not ready yet! Today I want to talk about an essential part of the sewing process: how to prepare your fabrics. This step is often overlooked, but its important to ensure great results.
I've also outlined how to prepare your fabrics below if you don't want to watch the video.
The first step in preparing your fabrics is deciding on whether or not to pre-wash your fabrics. Do you plan to wash the finished project in the washing machine, such as a quilt, placemats, or a piece of apparel? Or, will the item hang on the wall, or just be spot cleaned, like a bag? Some fabrics will shrink after washing, so check the care instructions and decide if you want to wash and dry your fabric before starting to cut out your pieces.
Next, use an iron to press out any wrinkles or creases in your fabric. This step is essential for accurate cutting because if your fabric is buckled or wrinkled, your pieces might not be the correct size or shape.
After pressing, it's important to check if your grain line is distorted. To check to see if your fabric is distorted, fold the fabric in half, matching the selvage edges together and lay it on a flat surface. If there’s a bubble, the grain lines are distorted. To fix the distorted grainlines, Pull the fabric along the opposite diagonal to make it square again. Press the fabric with an iron. Leave it to lie flat and cool down. Then repeat the test above to make sure the bubble has gone.
Lastly, determine if you need extra stability to your fabric depending on the type of material and application. Often your pattern will guide you on how to interface and prepare your fabrics for sewing. However, it’s up to you to decide if more or less stability is needed depending on your fabric. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before applying any interfacing to your fabric. Also, test the interfacing on a scrap of fabric before using it for a project. If you want to learn more about interfacing and support materials, comment below and I can create a separate video for more information!
It’s important to take the extra time to prepare your fabrics so you’re happy with the final appearance of your project, and it will be more durable for years to come!
In the next video of this series, I’m going to explain how to Read Sewing Patterns. I look forward to seeing you then!
30 Day Sewing Challenge Schedule
Follow along each day, or watch the segments that interest you the most. Enjoy!
- Day 1: Learn to Sew Introduction
- Day 2: Basic Sewing Terminology
- Day 3: Sewing Supplies for Beginners
- Day 4: Sewing Machine Overview
- Day 5: How to Thread a Sewing Machine
- Day 6: How to Wind a Bobbin
- Day 7: How to Change Presser Feet
- Day 8: How to Change a Needle
- Day 9: How to Sew a Straight Stitch
- Day 10: How to Choose Fabrics
- Day 11: How to Prepare Fabrics
- Day 12: How to Read Sewing Patterns
- Day 13: How to Cut Fabric for Patterns
- Day 14: DIY Checkerboard Coasters
- Day 15: DIY Fabric Napkins
- Day 16: DIY Napkin Rings
- Day 17-20: Laptop or Tablet Sleeve
- Day 21-24: Drawstring Backpack
- Day 25-28: Hanging Closet Organizer