It’s all in the preparation – how many times have we heard that? Do the groundwork and get your fabric and pattern ready by following this short guide.
If your fabric has care instructions, follow them. These are normally printed on the edge of the fabric. If it states that it is washable, place in the washer and dryer as appropriate – if it’s a strong colour, make sure you don’t mix it with any whites!
For all other fabrics, fill a sink with hot water and soak. You don’t have to rigorously clean or scrub – this is not about cleaning but more about dunking and shrinking!
Air dry all fabrics on a radiator or in natural air then gently press to get rid of creases or wrinkles that distort the overall look and feel of the garment. Try and press out the manufacturer’s fold – the stubborn central crease. This can sometimes be a tricky business and one that might take some time. If you really cannot get rid of it by ironing, simply work around it when cutting out your pattern.
What does it mean? Basically it means that the horizontal and vertical threads should meet at right angles when you fold the fabric. Why does this matter? The answer is simple – get it right and your garment will hang beautifully. Get it wrong and you will be looking at a slightly twisted piece of work. Straightening the grain is an important part of the preparation ritual if you are making a fashion garment – after all, who wants a mangled skirt or skirt as their end result?
- Allow yourself enough space on the actual fabric – you must cut your pattern pieces generously; that means enough space around the tissue and always leave yourself some excess fabric in case you make a mistake.
- Use an iron – before you get sewing, press the pattern and tissue gently with a medium heat iron. This will make sure that you are using the right amount of fabric for the proportions you will be working with.