Archive for Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Aunt Norie’s Sewing Room

September 20, 2006

If there is a season for sewing, I've always thought it had to be this time of year.

The mad rush of summer is over, the kids are back in school, and now's the time for some serious wardrobe overhaul and planning.

It's fun in the summer to take the kids to the pattern books, get the patterns, then select the fabrics. Maybe make a few garments for the beginning of school. Now they are back in school and mom can get into it in earnest. Some fabrics will need to be preshrunk before cutting.

For most cottons, just launder and dry the fabrics as you will the finished garment. Polyester blends usually pose no problem with shrinking. Of course, check all of the fabric labels because some are preshrunk.

Woolens are another story. The easiest of course, it to just send it to the cleaners to be steamed and shrunken. Or you can steam and press. Use a steam iron or damp press cloth and press the fabric on the wrong side, of course.

Woolens also can be shrunk. Start by wetting a sheet thoroughly. Then place your fabric on the sheet and roll or fold it and let it sit for five hours. Remove and spread the cloth on a flat surface and allow it to dry, press if necessary.

Cottons also can be shrunk this way. But start by folding lengthwise. Pin the selvage edges together with safety pins. Fold the fabric several times, soak thoroughly in hot water for one hour. Remove and unfold. Do not unpin. Allow to hang over a shower rod, etc., to dry, Press if necessary. Knits also should be preshrunk. This can be done in the washing machine. However, if you plan to have the finished garment dry-cleaned, have it first steam-pressed by the cleaners to shrink it before cutting the garment.

We need to also cover straightening the fabric, but we'll do that later. For now, have a great week.

-- Aunt Norie, P.O. Box 265, Tonganoxie 66086; auntnorie@bdc.net.

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