I’ve listed two “new” vintage fabrics in the shop, but wondering if anyone can help with giving more information about them. I love second hand materials, but not having all the details is a bit frustrating. They are:
I’ve burn tested them, and they tend to burn quickly. The burned edge seems more melted than ashy, which leads me to believe they are a synthetic or a synthetic blend. Here’s a video of the beige burn test:
The violet fabric burns in the same way.
I’m also not sure if there is a name for that type of tiny stripe pattern. Up close you can see the lines, but from a distance it almost looks solid.
I’ve been spending a lot of time reorganizing my craft room lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion I have way too much stuff. So, I’m destashing some of my supplies. Today I listed four different fabrics that all would be cute for summer, picnic or, if you’re in the USA, July 4th decor.
Let me know if you have any questions, are looking for a particular vintage quilting cotton, or need buttons. I have a lot of quilting cotton, but it’s nothing compared to my button stash. I’ll get them all listed eventually, but if you don’t see what you need, please ask. I just may have it. Especially if it’s buttons. Seriously. I have ALL. THE. BUTTONS.
That’s just the vintage, multicolor loose buttons, so maybe 1/4 of my button collection. 😀
In order to have high quality finished products, it’s best to prewash your fabric. Without this step, your finished product can shrink and look uneven or lumpy when it is eventually washed. It’s not a good idea to just toss your fabric into the wash, though, as it comes out a stringy, tangled mess. Luckily, there’s a few different ways to make prewashing your fabric painless.
Overlock the cut edges
If you have a serger or overlock machine, serge the cut edges before washing. You shouldn’t have to worry about the selvedges as they won’t unravel. This is my favorite method. I usually just leave the thread tails long and they don’t unravel enough to be annoying.
Use your Sewing Machine
With a sewing machine, you can sew a quick zig-zag or similar stitch along the cut edges to prevent fraying. Even a straight stitch would probably work, although I haven’t tried it. You will probably need to back-tack or knot the ends to keep it secure through the wash.
Pink the edges for a painless prewash
If you have pinking shears, cut the fabric with the pinking shears along the cut edges. The edges will still get fuzzy, but shouldn’t unravel.
One bonus of using one of these methods is it’s easy to know at a glance which fabric from my stash was prewashed.
I know probably 90% of the people reading this are thinking “Duh!” because it’s such an obvious fix. The other 10% are wondering why they didn’t think of that, much like myself when I first learned the trick.
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I’ve been working on some summer sewing and refashions lately. Here’s a quick video showing a few of them. The first is a backless halter top made with quilting cotton and ribbon. The second refashion is a halter tube top with a matching loose kimono/beach coverup. They were made from an old maxi dress that wasn’t getting much love. The beach coverup is my favorite. I love how it turned out, especially the print.
I hope you find these inspiring for your own projects. If you like these kinds of videos, follow me on TikTok. I also post on Instagram and YouTube. I tend to prefer the length options on TikTok, so that’s where most of my complete videos are located.
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This isn’t going to be a full tutorial because I didn’t do a great job of documenting the process. If you’d like a full tutorial, please let me know. I will link to the page I learned it from here.
I saw this really cool way to make a bunch of fabric scraps into new, usable fabric that is really textured and cool. First, you need a backing piece of fabric. I used an upholstery sample square that I hadn’t found a use for yet. Then, you cover it in fabric scraps. I went with all pieces from my “blue” sorter bin and let them fall all over randomly. I did try to keep it all in one or two layers and moved pieces around to cover all the empty spots. I left some upside down to add more variety in the colors, and I didn’t worry about ironing the pieces first.
Once I had everything in place, I pressed it with my iron to smooth it down. Then I pinned water soluble stabilizer on top to help hold everything in place for the sewing machine. To sew, I lowered the feed dogs on my machine and crazy free motion quilted everything together. You can see that in the first video below.
That’s it. Now I have this really cool piece of fabric. I can’t decide what to do with it. It almost looks like it could hang on the wall like that as art. I also thought about making a couple of zipper pouches or sets of coasters out of it. It would also be fun to use as patches for clothing.
What would you make with it? Leave your suggestions below. 🙂
Even if you love sewing, there’s some parts that can be a chore. Ignoring those tasks or leaving them for later can result in wasted sewing time and money. Here’s a list of chores I try to tackle when I have a few minutes so that my real sewing time is spent actually sewing.
If you have a Side Winder, bobbin thread running out mid-project might not be a big hassle. If you rely on your machine to wind bobbins, though, running out means stopping your work, re-threading your machine to wind a bobbin and then setting it back up to sew. To prevent this headache, when you have a few spare moments, wind a few bobbins in your most commonly used colors. If you have a project in mind, wind a couple of bobbins in the needed colors. Keep extra bobbins on hand and wind at least one for every different thread color you have.
Pre-winding extra bobbins makes this notice less annoying.
Clean your machine
Lint, threads and dust build up over time and can cause poor stitch quality or even damage your machine. It’s a good idea to make a habit of brushing the debris out at the end of each project, or during projects with linty fabrics.
If the inside of your machine looks like this, you should probably clean it more often.
Periodically you’ll want to vacuum out your machine to really clean it. Vacuum attachments made for cleaning computers work well for this. Some people use canned air, but that’s not recommended. It pushes some of the debris deeper into your machine.
Oil your machine
Once your machine is thoroughly clean, take a moment to oil it according to your manual. This will keep it running smoothly and reduce the need for costly repairs. If you don’t have the manual, you can usually find one online.
After oiling, always sew a few rows on scrap fabric to soak up excess oil. That way, you won’t risk ruining a project with oil spots.
The best practice is to put away tools and excess fabric as you go. It’s easy to get distracted and forget, though. Taking a moment here and there to run through your sewing area to tidy up when you aren’t working on a project can save sewing time later.
Keep a shopping list
Nothing is more annoying than having to stop work because you ran out of a necessary supply. Make note of supplies that are low or that have run out on a notepad to take on your next shopping trip.
Unless you know your final project will never be washed, you should always prewash your fabric. One way to make sure this happens is to wash it as soon as you bring it home from the store. You could also work it into your usual laundry schedule. Having a prewashing routine prevents delaying a project or worse, giving in to the temptation to make something and have your final product ruined in the wash.
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