Sunday, January 19, 2014

Fabric Flaws

Without fail, flawed portions of fabric manage to end up front and center on finished garments, but are not so easy to find on yardage lengths.  Why?!?  

Over the years, I have found a way to avoid this issue . . . most of the time.

Before cutting, I always press my yardage which gives me the opportunity to look at the fibers up close and personal.  Even minor snags or imperfections get "stitched" with a contrasting thread – if I can avoid those spots altogether, I will!  At worst, they will work for a facing or the underside of a collar, etc. if there is a fabric shortage.  This takes very little time (seconds, really) and makes the flaws easily visible from the right and wrong side of the fabric.    

I am embarrassed to admit that when I started garment sewing, I used the selvedge as the center back zipper opening because I knew it would not fray.  This would often come at a cost – most pieces are not cut with an edge exactly on grain.  It seemed a piddling thing to worry about at the time . . . but I do not do that any more! 

Tightly woven selvedge edges must be clipped so that the fabric will lay flat and on grain.  Not all selvedges will create a huge amount of distortion (laundering will often exacerbate the problem), but it is good to get in the habit of clipping when the pattern layout gets close to a selvedge edge.  Linear prints and designs make the issue quite obvious, but most woven fabrics will benefit by tending to the selvedge.

There is no earth shattering information here, but I thought someone might find it useful!

Happy sewing, everyone!


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  2. We all seem to learn from doing it wrong at one time or another, don't we? Tips like these would have prevented some of my own oversights - so are always welcome! Thanks again.

  3. Thanks, Laura! Using a finished (selvedge) edge seems like a good idea--until the garment is cleaned/washed. I do like the idea of clipping it to keep it from pulling. All the best . . .

  4. That's a great tip! I just made a slip out of bemberg, and only noticed after sewing that some fabric flaws were definitely front and center, why didn't I notice? I totally could have flipped the lining for the outside pieces! Admittedly, my "flaws" were caused after cutting by an over-excited cat, so maybe my lesson learned is to not lay out pieces on the floor...

  5. Great tip about clipping the selvedge!

  6. Definitely! I constantly learn so much about sewing from your blog.

    ♥ Jessica