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Monday, January 27, 2014

Sewing Snippets...

Sometimes it is not always a good day for sewing.  I've had a few of those recently, although I make sure I spend 15 minutes a day working on my sewing projects.  And sometimes, on those sorts of days I also do some preparation, either for the next stage of the garment I am working on, or for a future project.  I thought I would share some of these activities with you in case you find something of use in them to help with your sewing projects.

The first little job was a burn test on some fabric I purchased from Spotlight that was just marked "fabric/textiles".  I suspected one was polyester from the handle and feel of it, but the other felt that it might have a natural fibre (cotton or viscose - probably soft cotton/mix).

 I just do burn tests now  without too much thought, but if you want to find out what to do, just google "fabric burn test"and you will find lots of information on what to do.




White - Probably polyester. Fused quickly, melted away from flame, and  hard edge afterwards

Purple - a natural fibre in this fabric - much softer ash residue, crumbles.  Feels soft at the burn edge. Has not melted as it burnt (you can see that it was burning in and not melting away - compare with the white edge).

The next little test: I will be making a dress soon out of four different colours.  When I mix colours in a garment, I always test for colour fastness first.

To do this, I snip a strip of fabric. I then put it in a little container and immerse it in boiling water and watch to see if it bleeds colour. Then I lay the strip out on a paper towel (or two, as the strips are a bit wet!).


If the colour is running at all, you will find evidence under the fabric strips. I have turned these over, and they are not running - the black has left a slight trace, but as these colours will not really be affected much by a tiny bit of black, this garment will be safe to wash with four colours.  And I will be washing it in much cooler water than boiling water :)

And my third test -  checking that  poly cotton bias binding that I want to use  is pre-shrunk


It's the boiling water trick again.  Mark the edges of your bias tape on a piece of paper, remove the strips, dunk them in boiling water for a few minutes, blot out water and replace on the paper.  If they match the marks without any shrinking - then you can assume that the binding will not shrink with normal washing.

Have a great week everyone,

Sarah Liz

16 comments:

  1. Very interesting information - I have never heard of the fabric test with burning, although I sometimes do the shrinkage test. I like your idea of 15 minutes of sewing a day - I think I'll try that as I tend to search for a window of several hours to sew, and rarely find it!

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  2. Hoping your sewing time and mojo return soon.

    Burn tests brings back memories! I used to do them too, and for the same reasons.

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  3. I've never done any of these tests, although I've heard of the burn test. I'll definitely remember these for future use!

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  4. All great information and I have done the burn test and do pre shrink bias, piping and twill tape as soon as it comes home. So far I haven't made a multi fabric garment so your tip here is great.

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  5. Very useful post SarahLiz!

    I usually take my burn rest further by running infrared on the ashes if I find a quiet moment at work :) it excited me! LOL!

    I didn't think about testing for colorfastness though for items to be colorblocked. Putting that in my back pocket!

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  6. These tips were most helpful! I'm good about pre-shrinking my fabric, but need to work on checking for shrinkage of binding and piping. Interesting how the different fibers 'burn'. I buy a lot of 'unknown fabric content' fabric, and the burn test would be most helpful in determining exactly what I'm working with.

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  7. I always love your tidbits of imformation, I was just thinking of doia wn a scrap of the fabric of the jacket I'm working on eue it's like a soft leather so not sure whether to wash, wipe or dry clean lol! I guess a good lesson to learn & remember is to look at the end of the bolt see what it says is in the fabric! I confess, I just grabbed it up cause I loved it lol!
    Helen

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    1. ok need an edit button lol!2nd sentence where it starts I was just thinking.......... says or should say.......of doing that with a scrap .......lot of words missing out of that little space lol!

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  8. What a great idea to check for color fastness. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. I always do burn tests and run tests but your easy run test is great advice as is the bias test... I would never have thought to do a bias test so thanks.

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    1. I test most things otherwise I worry too much about what will happen after washing :)

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  10. Thanks for all that handy info. Sewing mostly with cotton I have not worried about burn tests before but can that now they will be handy for me. Cheers, karen

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    1. Yes, it's handy to know what to do if you need to.

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