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Forum > Fabrics and more... > Jacket made from upholstery fabric, blues. ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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Jacket made from upholstery fabric, blues.
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UNITED KINGDOM
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Date: 8/1/13 2:58 PM

Hi again

Since I last posted, I have now finished (except for the patch pockets) the summer jacket made from this, see as follows:

This was my first-ever post: "First time here. I hope I've put this in the right place.

I'm about to make a summer jacket, unlined, from reasonably-lightweight furnishing fabric 100% cotton."

Here: http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/sewingclasses/board.pl?t=79313

20th June that was dated, but I started it a bit later. Looks like a little over two weeks in construction, to my astonishment.

Anyway, now that it's nearly finished I'm thinking I made A Big Mistake. This (frankly, and not my own opinion) beautiful jacket is, alas, too stiff. I should have washed the fabric first, but I did not. :(

Question: Can I wash this jacket now (on a delicates cycle, perhaps) in the despairing hope of the fabric softening up? It does look great, but on the body (not the clothes hangar) it is simply too stiff.

All seams are finished excepting for the front bodice princess lines - which are unfinished because they hide behind the front facing. If I re-insert tailors tacks everywhere around the collar and lapels to hold the shape, would it be safe to wash it in the hope that it softens up enough to actually wear?

Help!
-- Edited on 8/1/13 2:59 PM --

patternaddict
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Date: 8/1/13 3:25 PM

I have occassionally made garments from upholstery fabric. But the catagoy is so broad that it's really impossible to say how your fabric will react to washing. There are many different types of upholstery fabrics. Most that I've used for garments are already reasonably soft -- which is why I used them.

I have a skirt which I've washed a few times, and aside from a bit of fading, it's held up very well. It was pretty soft to begin with (it's more like a curtain fabric), but did soften up some.
Another outfit (a dress) frayed horribly when I washed it, and within 2-3 washings, was unwearable.

You might try just handwashing it, to see if the stiffness is due to sizing/scotchgarding that will wash out .

If not -- I guess the question is, if the jacket is unwearable as is, what do you have to lose?

KathySews
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Date: 8/1/13 4:08 PM

I was going to say the same thing. If it is so stiff you will not wear it, you might as well wash it to see what happens. You now know how to make this jacket and can consider it your muslin if it does not soften

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Date: 8/1/13 4:11 PM

Quote: patternaddict
I have occassionally made garments from upholstery fabric. But the catagoy is so broad that it's really impossible to say how your fabric will react to washing. There are many different types of upholstery fabrics. Most that I've used for garments are already reasonably soft -- which is why I used them.



I have a skirt which I've washed a few times, and aside from a bit of fading, it's held up very well. It was pretty soft to begin with (it's more like a curtain fabric), but did soften up some.

Another outfit (a dress) frayed horribly when I washed it, and within 2-3 washings, was unwearable.



You might try just handwashing it, to see if the stiffness is due to sizing/scotchgarding that will wash out .



If not -- I guess the question is, if the jacket is unwearable as is, what do you have to lose?

what do I have to lose? Two entire weeks of my life making this jacket..........

I did search around here before posting: many people enthuse about using upholstery fabrics for clothes and positively recommend it.

patternaddict
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Date: 8/1/13 4:17 PM

Do you remember (or can you go back and look) what the care instructions were on the bolt?

Yeah, I can appreciate the frustration of losing 2 weeks of your life (and several yards of fabric) in making the jacket. But isn't that the chance we always take when we make something? That it won't turn out as well as we'd hoped?

stirwatersblue
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Date: 8/1/13 4:37 PM

I've said this before, but I have washed TONS of things They say not to--including a lot of upholstery fabric, which usually softens up *beautifully.* Pressing it can be trickier, but that's another place your scraps come in handy.

So. I say go for it, but BEFORE you toss your hard work into the wash just in the hopes it will soften up, I would scrounge up whatever scraps you have left, and wash THOSE. It's a lot less of a gamble.

Garments washed after the fact won't behave exactly like they would have if you'd washed the yardage--bulky seams, collars, etc, might crumple funny or you might end up with parts that don't hang right. But I would make the most of whatever scraps you have left, and see what happens when you treat them in various ways--machine wash/line dry; machine wash/machine dry; hand wash/line dry; steam in the dryer; etc. Practice pressing, and then BE BOLD!

You are the boss of your jacket. ;)
Good luck!

------
~Gem in the prairie

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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 8/1/13 5:26 PM

Quote: stirwatersblue
I've said this before, but I have washed TONS of things They say not to--including a lot of upholstery fabric, which usually softens up *beautifully.* Pressing it can be trickier, but that's another place your scraps come in handy.



So. I say go for it, but BEFORE you toss your hard work into the wash just in the hopes it will soften up, I would scrounge up whatever scraps you have left, and wash THOSE. It's a lot less of a gamble.



Garments washed after the fact won't behave exactly like they would have if you'd washed the yardage--bulky seams, collars, etc, might crumple funny or you might end up with parts that don't hang right. But I would make the most of whatever scraps you have left, and see what happens when you treat them in various ways--machine wash/line dry; machine wash/machine dry; hand wash/line dry; steam in the dryer; etc. Practice pressing, and then BE BOLD!



You are the boss of your jacket. ;)

Good luck!

Thanks stir......... I already put scraps into one of those zipped mesh bags and will wash it tomorrow.

Everyone else thinks it looks wonderful and so it does. But to put it on and wear it? Waaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

nancy2001
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Date: 8/1/13 5:40 PM

Try crumbling some of the scraps in your hand, too. That may soften the fabric enough for you.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

KathySews
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Date: 8/1/13 8:10 PM

If you do have scraps, cut a square 6in x 6in, trace the test piece and wash/dry it. That is a good test of how the fabric will change.

SandiMacD
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Date: 8/2/13 5:04 AM

You can try a good vinegar-water dip and soak, baking soda. Let it set in the tub or bucket, swish and rinse. Then hang dry. If sizing is the problem that will remove it without a lot of agitation that may disturb the fibers.

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