This last year, I’ve been working to improve my sewing, and I’ve learned a lot of new things. I taught myself to sew in the days before the internet, so I missed out on a lot of good tips, and I’m still catching up. However, my favorite sewing tip I discovered this year is something I actually came up with on my own.
So here’s the tip: Before you pre-wash your fabric, sew or serge the cut ends together. It’s such a simple thing, but it makes a big difference. You will have a lot less problems with the fabric twisting in the washer and dryer, and reduced permanent creasing and fading in fabrics like denim.
I was sewing jeans when I came up with this idea. It kept bothering me that every time I washed new denim, the ends got creased, with fade marks on the creases, ruining the ends of the fabric. At first I thought about sewing scrap fabric onto the ends of the denim, since creasing and fading mostly happens at the ends of the fabric. Finally it occurred to me that I don’t have this problem with pant legs, where there are no cut ends, and the fabric is sewn into a tube. If I sew my fabric into a tube, there are no ends! So I tried it with some fabric, and it worked great. There were no ruined ends, and the fabric did not get twisted up in the washer and dryer. I was amazed at the difference.
Then I had to do an internet search to see if everyone else had already figured this out. I only found a few references to sewing the cut ends of your fabric together before washing, most notably a brief mention in this Craftsy blog post, so it’s definitely a tip that needs to be spread around some more.
Happy sewing in the new year!