How Do I Prep My Fabric?

Does anyone else have this problem? I decided that I needed new cloth napkins for a holiday party Mr. Canada and I were hosting. Great! I excitedly stopped at the craft store on my way home from work.

Boom! It hits me. I suddenly have no idea what I want in life and walk aimlessly around the fabric section for many, many minutes. Up and down the holiday fabric isle I go debating different colors, prints, and if I should buy that cute (and unrelated) pupper print I saw.

Finally I figured it out and took my new treasures to the cutting counter in order to zoom out of the store without buying too many more things.

WHAT NEXT! You ask?

How to get your fabric ready for you to sew with it:

Step One: Sew along the sides of the fabric that were cut.

This step applies to fabrics that will fray (cotton is the most common for me). There will be two sides of the fabric that will fray – the sides of the fabric that were cut at the fabric counter. Nothing fancy here. I just use a small zig zag stitch. I normally don’t even bother to use a certain color thread because I’m probably not going to use the fabric ALL the way to the sides.

This step is totally optional and can be skipped if you are using a non-fray fabric (knits and the like) or just want to wash the fabric and trim off the frayed bits after it’s dry.

Step Two: Wash and Dry

Wash on warm or hot and dry on warm or hot to pre-shrink your fabric. It would be a bummer if you made a great new shirt and it shrunk the first time you washed it.

Step Three: Iron

I don’t iron any of my clothes. And for that matter, I don’t iron any of Mr. Canada’s shirts either. The only time when our iron gets used is when I’m sewing.

Once your fabric has been washed and dried, iron it on the most appropriate setting, as you see fit. It will get out the creases so the when you cut you get the exact measurement, not the measurement plus all the extra fabric that was hiding out in the wrinkles.

You are now ready to cut and sew!

PS: If you have some kind of fancy fabric or something you don’t normally use, do some research before preparing – make sure your special fabric doesn’t have any special care instructions!

This particular prepping process would have been way faster, but this handsome guy wanted to play fetch. Find more of his cute face on Instagram @mooseofthehoose

4 thoughts on “How Do I Prep My Fabric?

  1. Liz says:

    Ah! What a good idea to sew around the edges before washing! I always get such a tangled mess and feel like I am wasting fabric. I will definitely do this in the future!

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