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Topic: Blocking Fabric. Help!  (Read 591 times)
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« on: December 03, 2006 08:18:10 PM »

I have decided I want to learn to sew. So I bought Sew U by Wendy Mullin and she suggests that you block it. For my first project I chose to make pajama bottoms, but to get practice I was going to start with a muslin version first. I have not washed the muslin but then she talks about ripping or threading, so I went to try it and it didn't work. I did get it to rip but it made the edges kind of ruffle. Then I tried the threading method and the thread would break after about and inch or so. Do you have an suggestions or is this a necessary step? This is probably just a newbie question but I could use all the help and suggestions on anything about first projects.
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2006 05:43:57 AM »

I know fine fabric stores that rip their fabrics instead of cutting them apart.  They do it to always get a straight cut.   

When working with woven fabric you always want your fabric to be on the grain.  I usually eye it and do not go to all the trouble to thread or rip it.  It is not a bad habit but in many cases, if you eye it and watch the grain to make sure that you are cutting on-grain that is all that is necessary.  It is VERY important that your fabric be square and on-grain. 

There was a time when fabric had to be blocked and squared and it was rarely on-grain.  Now-a-days it is not all that frequent that it is not.  When buying fabrics that are discounted, like the Wal Mart value bin or Hancocks bargain table or anyplace that has a spectacular sale, you need to watch those fabrics for flaws and one of them can well be that they are off-grain.  If you catch it in the store, don't buy it.  Now fabric is usually heat set and treated.  If it is off-grain it can be hard to straighten.
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2006 01:56:44 PM »

I've noticed that often really cheap fabric is off-grain - for some things it really doesn't matter (I don't think it'd matter too much for pjs unless it was REALLY bad, and for really small or fully fused interfaced things I don't think it really matters either) but for other things like dresses, skirts or pants etc. where you need them to drape properly it could turn into a nightmare.

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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2006 07:50:40 PM »

I did get it to rip but it made the edges kind of ruffle.

muslin will ruffle along the edge a bit if you use the rip method, since it has such a loose weave.  i remember this from my mom's quilting days.  as long as when you match up the selvedge edges, it still basically matches, you should be fine. =]

just a city boy, born & raised in south detroit
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