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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > pre shrinking tips please? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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pre shrinking tips please?
to shrink... or not to shrink...
indomitable
indomitable
Beginner
USA
Member since 2/2/12
Posts: 3
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Date: 2/2/12 11:46 AM

im about to embark on my first, rather ambitious pattern sewing project!

ill be sewing simplicity 2065 - a rapunzel dress for my little one.

the fabrics ive procured are: satin and organza, all machine washable, along with assorted sheer ribbons and lace for trim.

now...

do i pre wash ALL the fabrics? im sort of afraid of this organza unraveling...

also... do i need to pre wash the ribbons and lace for the trim? again... im afraid the machine might unravel or "eat" them...

thanks!

------
imagination is the one weapon in the WAR against reality.

frame
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frame
USA
Member since 2/19/04
Posts: 2675
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Date: 2/2/12 12:10 PM

How are you going to clean this garment after it is made? If you are going to machine wash it after it's done, will it be ok if it shrinks after you've taken the time to make it?

There are ways to clean/preshrink fabric without using the washer and dryer. You can hand wash, you can dry clean, you can steam shrink. If you choose to use your washer and dryer to preshrink, you can finish (zigzag stitch or serge) the raw edges so they won't unravel.

Different people have different standards regarding this question so don't feel you have to answer it here on the message board for all the world to see. Do you let your daughter wear clothes off the rack from the store, or do you prewash them first? You see, I worked in a fabric store. I saw how the fabric was delivered, I saw how it was stored in the storage area, and I saw how many people fondled and abused the fabric before it was sold. Have you ever seen a 4-year old wandering around all those pretty fabrics draped so nicely just at their nose level? Needless to say, I prewash everything to avoid surprises and other disgusting things.

You can also cut off a small sample piece (4"x4" or 6"x6") and prewash it to see how it handles and check for shrinkage. Many fabrics change their drape or hand when washed. If could be the finishes being washed out, which they say helps to avoid skipped stitches when sewing.

So much to think about. I'm sure there will be other opinions, this is just mine. :)
Good luck.

------
"framed" was taken

jynclr
jynclr  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
TX USA
Member since 12/20/11
Posts: 853
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Date: 2/2/12 12:43 PM

One other thing you might do that I have seen suggested although I have not yet done so (I may start doing this) is to sew a real quick zig zag at the cut ends of the fabric before you pre-wash. This is to help prevent unraveling of the fabric in the washer.

Like frame suggested, cut a small piece and test.

------
Evelyn: Pfaff Creative Performance
Helen V: Babylock Companion BL1550

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
Intermediate
TX USA
Member since 4/1/08
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In reply to indomitable


Date: 2/2/12 12:56 PM

I also preshrink or prewash the findings that I will be using; zippers, seam tape, interfacing.

When the fabric can withstand it, I preshrink at one temperature higher than I expect to wash and dry after the garment is completed. If the fabric is delicate, I prepare at minimal washing and drying temperatures (or, hang to dry).

I don't know where you live, but I was reminded again last summer, with the extreme heat that we experienced, that setting my washing machine for cold doesn't necessarily mean washing in cold water as the city water comes out at an extremely warm, even hot, temperature when the outside temperatures are consistently above 100. It made me glad for my practice of pretreating up a temperature notch. (I don't really know what I'll do about this if next summer is extremely hot again, as predicted. Perhaps wash super early and hope for cooler water??)

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

indomitable
indomitable
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USA
Member since 2/2/12
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Date: 2/2/12 1:37 PM

oooh! thank you for the replies, i will definitely be machine washing the dress once its finished, so it makes sense that i should do the same beforehand. duh me! (i also cant believe it didnt occur to me how many unseen ickies could be hiding in that shiny pretty new fabric!)

the tips about stitching loosely around the raw edges are a great idea.

do you think for the ribbon handwashing and then putting them in the dryer with the other fabrics would "shrink" them the same as using a washing machine?

might mean less... untangling, as there are two kinds of lace and three kinds of ribbon!

oooh! and i never thought about whether zippers need to be prewashed as well....

hmmmmm.

well... i bought everything machine washable so it could withstand a romping kindergartener and repeated mashings... so i guess i might as well throw it all in and see how it comes out!

------
imagination is the one weapon in the WAR against reality.

EleanorSews
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EleanorSews  Friend of PR
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MI USA
Member since 7/26/07
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Date: 2/2/12 2:44 PM

I put all the trims in those mesh laundry bags and washed everything for the dress together. Dried it in the same dryer too.

------
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin

"Attitude is the difference between an adventure and an ordeal." unknown

Liz in Cville
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Liz in Cville  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
VA
Member since 5/28/11
Posts: 280
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Date: 2/2/12 2:50 PM

Ditto on the zippered mesh bags -- advertised for use with sweaters or delicates in the washing machine.

When I prewash ribbon, cording or zippers, I put them in those.

Also, don't forget your Color Catchers if you are washing things that could run. I was turned onto those by a saleswoman at a local fabric store and am in love.

------
Twitter: @SewKnitStash

SheBear0320
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SheBear0320  Friend of PR
Advanced
MB CANADA
Member since 4/8/08
Posts: 3546
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Date: 2/2/12 4:30 PM

Mesh bags & colour catchers -- two staples in my fabric prep cabinet.

------
Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
27.5 yards sewn (as of 04/17/14)
20.125 yards purchased (as of 04/17/14)

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
Intermediate
KS USA
Member since 12/13/08
Posts: 3071
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Date: 2/2/12 4:56 PM

If you don't have a mesh bag, you can use a pillowcase. I fold the top over a couple of times and secure it with 2-3 big safety pins.

For the organza, you might serge/zigzag the two cut ends *together,* to minimize twisting/raveling.

------
~Gem in the prairie

indomitable
indomitable
Beginner
USA
Member since 2/2/12
Posts: 3
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Date: 2/4/12 2:00 PM

well everything came out lovely from the wash, and im moving along slowly with the laying out and cutting!

thank you all for your replies, id never heard of a color catcher til i googled it, but luckily, nothing ran.

ill file that away for future reference though!

------
imagination is the one weapon in the WAR against reality.

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