If you want to sew a garment, you’ll need some fabric. There are lots of different types of fabric and they all have their own quirks. To help prepare your fabrics for sewing we’ve come up with 7 tips that should help you along the way:
#1 – Wash the Fabric First!
It might seem obvious but make sure you wash any new fabric can be vital to how it behaves when sewing and wearing later on. Some fabrics can shrink or fade in cleaning so make sure to read the label first.
If it’s safe to was at 30°C then do so as this can kill any bugs or dust mites kept inside from manufacturing as well as remove any excess dyes from the surface fibres.
#2 – Use the Right Needle
Some fabrics are very demanding when it comes to the type of needle you use. Synthetic fabrics can shred so using a ballpoint needle is essential, especially for knits or anything with spandex in.
If your fabric has frayed edges then maybe try a sharp point needle as this will help pierce through stubborn fibres more easily rather than risk causing excessive damage by pushing rather than piercing through them.
#3 – Test on a Small Seam First
Trying to undo many stitches later can be frustrating if you make big mistakes with thread or tension at this early stage. We always advise starting off with something small first before moving on to bigger projects! Either make yourself a quick pincushion or practice sewing the seam on scrap fabric before moving on to your main project.
#4 – Take your time!
Rushing can make sewing easy tasks harder than they need to be. When sewing, take it slow and steady by easing off or even stopping for a few seconds frequently to check how you are doing. We all start out as complete beginners at some point so there is no shame in slowing down, take pride in every stitch!
#5 – Use Different Tension Settings
If you’re just starting out then playing around with different tension settings will help give you more control over your machine. Too much ease will mean stitches are too loose, not enough will mean them being too tight. The easiest way to check this is to look at the edge of the fabric. You want to see very little puckering or gathering on the right side, if there are any pleats then you are using the wrong tension settings!
#6 – Wash Again!
Once your garment is complete it’s worth washing again before you wear it. If your machine has an anti-shrink program then use that too. Washing will help remove any loose fibres or debris from the final seams and stitch invisibly rather than having them shed all over your nice new top!
#7 – Hang to Dry!
With some fabrics at least, this is a must. Most man-made fibres can be weakened by exposure to direct sunlight so hang your clothes out in shady areas instead to avoid making them brittle.
And there you have it! 7 simple tips to help prepare your fabric for sewing. If you’re having any problems with the above then do drop us a message or comment below!