I love to shop for fabric. It is actually therapy for me, as it is for so many others.
I used to work a regular 40 hour per week job. It was a stressful job full of deadlines and grumpy coworkers and even more grumpy bosses. When I left work, I went home to a houseful of rambunctious children. And I was taking night classes at the community college a couple of nights per week. Yes, I lived a stressful life!
I started seeking out places that I could escape to. Just for a lunch hour. Where I could feel at peace and do a little day dreaming. At first I tried a walk around the block. It really wasn’t relaxing as there were only a few sidewalks and lots of cement mixer trucks or gasoline tankers flying up the road.
Eventually, I found a nearby fabric store. It was full of beautiful fabrics and it was full of smiling, laughing, creative people. I would just go and browse and feel the fabric and dream of dresses and skirts. Of course, I found many pieces that I just had to purchase. Just a yard or two. And so my stash began to grow….
Once I have gotten my fabric home, how did I care for it? I used to just fold it up and put it on a shelf until I was inspired by a perfect pattern. Then I would have to wash and dry the fabric before I could begin working on my project. Wait! You do know to wash your fabric first to minimize potential shrinking, right? I usually lost my momentum after this because if I was going to wash my fabric, I really should wash a load or two of the household laundry that was piling up (my mother’s voice in my head). After all that I was no longer inspired to start working on my project.
Now, I wash my fabric as soon as I get home, or very shortly after. I always wash and dry my fabric as I intend to care for my finished garment. I am referring to fabric for garments here. Once it’s washed and dried, I iron it.
I love to iron. There I’ve said it. I always have. What is it about ironing that so many people hate? I just don’t understand. Anyway, I digress.
When I pull my fabric from the washer the cut ends are usually a bit tangled but, after it comes out of the dryer it is usually ten times worse and needed to have all those tangled threads trimmed as I am ironing.
I saw on the internet some people who had mention in a few places about running a zigzag stitch along those cut edges before washing it. Or if you have a serger then you could just zip it through before washing. So, I tried it.
And you know what? It’s a miracle. There is no “it’s better”. It’s simply “perfect”. I had wasted so much time in the past. I have learned this lesson well. Every piece of fabric that comes into my home now has it’s cut edges serged first and then it’s washed and dried and yes, ironed.