Thursday, August 15, 2013

Crafty Tip #2

With just over two weeks until the market’s third birthday celebrations I’m here bringing you crafty tip #2.

As many of us use fabric in our market creations you will know that sometimes cutting fabric up can cause all sorts of problems – fraying, warping, and an assortment of puckering and pulling.

So this week’s tips are a few ways to help avoid creating these problems.

Firstly accurate cutting is essential for whatever style of sewing you are doing – for patchwork you need to ensure you allow your 1/4in seam allowance, for dressmaking it’s a half inch seam allowance and you also need to check the bias of your fabric – this is done to allow your clothes to drape properly depending on the fabric you’ve chosen. The best way to make sure that you are cutting fabric properly is to use the right equipment for the job and that those tools are kept in good working order (new blades for rotary cutters, sharpened scissors etc.).

Secondly as fabrics have been treated with various chemicals for transport and presentation in shops you may need to wash them (this is personal preference, I don't judge :) ). This washing will remove the crispness of the fabric, which may attribute to cutting issues. You can remedy this by re-starching your fabrics.  There are several spray starches on the market that you can use depending on the fabric you are starching.

Crisp – Aerosol spray starch available from the supermarket.
PROS: Cheap, smells good, excellent starching qualities, washes out well.
CONS: Can leave white marks on fabrics, can burn easily, if sprayed and residue lands on tiled/lino floor can be slippery.

Mary Ellen’s Best Press – Liquid spray starch available from all good craft stores.
PROS: Smells lovely (four fragrances available – fragrance free, lavender fields, rose garden and Caribbean), excellent starching qualities – does not burn or leave residue on fabrics, no aerosol propellant chemicals, and is a refillable bottle.
CONS: More expensive than most starches.

The third way to prevent any problems with fabrics when cutting them would be to use interfacing. Using an iron-on interfacing suitable to your type of fabric can stabilize the warp and weft threads in a fabric enabling you to cut neatly without fear of massive amounts of fraying or the fabric stretching in odd ways. Interfacings are sold by the metre and vary in price according to the grade of interfacing that you are buying. Iron-on interfacings come in lightweight, medium weight; heavy weight and then you go into a grade that is more suited for bags and other more rigid items.
Interfacings can be purchased from your local craft store.

If you enjoyed this week’s tip stay tuned for more crafting goodness next week!

No comments:

Post a Comment