Important Tips for Preparing Your Fabric to Be Cut

Important Tips for Preparing Your Fabric to Be Cut

As a novice sewist,  I am still learning OH SO much, and each project definitely has its own set of challenges. My completed pieces are not always perfect, but there are lessons and ginormous accomplishments found in each one.

My last project was an adorable dress for my 2-year-old (which I will share with you soon). I made the mistake of cutting out the bodice lining all wrong. As a result, it was not matching up to the main bodice. Also, it didn’t have as must give as the main fabric. It was not my best work, however; it got me thinking about how important it is to prep your fabric before you even cut your pattern pieces out. In this post, I will share with you all those essential tips so that you cut out your fabric correctly every time!

My polka dot bodice lining did not match up to my main bodice.

Disclosure: Keep in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission. I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The choice is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

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Searching for projects, tips, and tutorials is one of my favorite things to do.  Therefore, I just love Pinterest so much! So, I put together this list of tips and tutorials to help you fully understand the importance of prepping your woven fabric before you even think about cutting out your pattern pieces.

Preparing Your Fabric

When You Get Your Fabric Home…

1. Wash, Dry, and Iron Your Fabric!

Yep, don’t be lazy here.  It is so vital to preshrink your wovens.  When you are at the fabric store, take a look at the end of the bolt, because it will have information as to how to wash it.  You will most likely have your cellphone with you. So, snap a quick photo of this information. That way you will have it handy for when you need it.

Why?  Well, because…

  1. Preshrinking fabric allows you to get the shrinking out of the way (of course).
  2. It allows you to test the durability of your fabric because they are not all created equal.
  3. Some fabrics may fade or bleed once washed, and you wouldn’t want fabrics staining your finished project after you have worked so hard on them.
  4. A cotton fabric may be pretreated with starch. Pre-washing will remove it.
  5. Who knows what could be on the fabric.  I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel better washing out all of the existing or nonexistent gunk that may be on it.

Want more info on washing fabric?  Check out this great article from Blueprint:

How to Wash Fabric Before Sewing

2. Get a Great Pair of Fabric Scissors

First and foremost, use fabric scissors and cutting tools such as a rotary cutter and a self-healing mat to cut fabric (check out this post for options).  Also, please use your scissors for cutting fabric only. You do not want to make them dull by using them on other things.

Here are some great options:


3. Make Sure Your Fabric is Straight: Cut on the Correct Grain

Wait, what? Shouldn’t it be straight when I bring it home from the store? Nope, it might not be perfect! I learned this the hard way. You don’t have to worry, because I have all the tips you need to get it done correctly.

Why is it so important? Well, for starters it will make your project last longer. It will also help your fabric to hang better when cut correctly.

So, what is the grain anyway?

Check out these videos to learn a whole bunch of relevant vocabulary and strategies that will have you prepping your fabric correctly every time!

  1. Fabric Grainline: Making Fabric Thread Perfect 

  2. What is Fabric Grain 

  3. Sewing Secrets: How to Cut Fabric for Sewing

  4. Three Things You Need To Do Before You Cut Your Fabric

Once you have followed these tips, your fabric should be entirely ready for you to cut out your pattern pieces.

Need more help? I have Sew Many Tips saved to this Pinterest board. HERE!

I have to tell you; I love learning how to sew because it is such a creative outlet for me.  I’m here to test things out and search for the best tutorials, and I want this to be a place that has a collection of all the things you need for a smooth beginning. I am not an expert, but I hope to be someday.  For now, join me on my journey to learn how to create SEW MANY wonderful things!

Want to know where to find the fabrics found in this post?

All of the fabric found in this post was purchased in the Spun Honey Facebook Group (which by the way.. you should totally join if you aren’t a member already. She has some wonderful discounts available to members)?  They also have an online shop. Click here to visit it! 

You can also click on the photos to find another wonderful site where you will find these beautiful fabrics!

Thanks for stopping by!


Important Tips for Preparing Your Fabric to Be Cut


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