Learning to sew: Lead me out of the cold, dark night, she pleaded. June 28, 2010 15:50 4 Comments
I'm confused. Remember the selvage issue I mentioned with the black cotton linen fabric? To be specific, the selvage unraveled. Puffs Girl suggested going to my sewing books. Like the good girl that I am, I followed her advice. Absolutely.
I didn't get
much help. I didn't. In fact, I didn't find anything that applied to my
problem: How to get the fabric on the straight of grain when the selvage turned
to loose threads in the washing machine. Loose threads. That is my selvage. I
did read over and over and over again the importance of getting the fabric on
the straight of grain. All right. I get it. I do. Really. But how do I
accomplish that task?
I could beat myself up for choosing a fabric I loved for this skirt. A fabric I've been saving for years for exactly the right garment. I could do that. I could. It would be so easy. But I'm not going to do that. I won't give in to insecurity. I won't give in to negativity. I won't go hide in the closet under the hems of my dresses. No. Absolutely not. I am going to plunge forward into the darkness. I'm going to do my very best to find a path that leads to the straight of grain.
Is it wrong to wash the fabric first? Should I simply put it in a tub filled with hot water to preshrink it? The sewing books – and there were many - I went to for a way out of the darkness advised this is the way to go. What do you do, dear readers? Do you wash the fabric first? I want to know. I do. I want to get it right next time. Advice, please. Please, she asked, with urgency.
puffs girl on May 20, 2015 11:17
Eureka! I have found an explaination of “pulling a thread.” Illustrated, even. Reader’s Digest, New Complete Guide to Sewing (ISBN0-7621-0420-1). I shall attempt to scan and email to you!
puffs girl on May 20, 2015 11:17
I’m with Gertie and Stitchywitchy: you pull the thread on the cut end or, SCAREY (the first time), rip (I always do this with wovens—no matter the fiber- that I buy at Jo-Ann’s b/c they NEVER cut anywhere near straight. I also always buy 1/4 yd more from there.). I once worked at a very nice fabric store and we always nipped and tore the linen, silk etc!
Gertie on May 20, 2015 11:17
You poor thing! It will be okay though. I’m with stitchywitch. You can even up your grain on the lengthwise grain just like you would crosswise. Either snip and tear, or you can pull a thread out and cut along that line. You have to keep pulling threads as you go. (This is harder, but better for fabrics that don’t tear well.) Does this make sense? E-mail me if I’m not explaining myself well. I can probably find you a link that explains this visually.
And yeah- so weird that your selvage raveled!
stitchywitch on May 20, 2015 11:17
Your selvage raveled? How strange! What you want to do is get your other (non selvage) ends lined up – you can pull a thread and cut in the path it makes or, depending on what kind of fabric you have, you can snip a corner and pull – it will tear on the straight grain (don’t try this with twill weave, it won’t work… ask me how I know.) It’s those ends you want lined up – don’t worry about the selvage, it’s often warped from the weaving process anyway, and won’t always line up. Just get close. Do your best with the cut ends, and make sure that your fold is lying straight – any twisting or wrinkling means you’re off grain.
I am not neurotic about grain – I just do my best following these methods and it works out. Good luck!