Top Tips & Techniques

Here we explain our top tips & handy techniques of the trade,

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Matching Threads

Sewing  machine threads if you can't always find an exact match go for a shade that's slightly darker.

Overlocking machine threads, you don't always need to match all 3/4 threads to the fabric. As long as your needle thread is matched as close as possible that's the one you will see at the seam. So left needle if sewing with all 4 threads or right needle if just using 3 threads. All other threads can be whatever you want, matching, tonal or even a contrast!

Washing Fabrics

It's always good to pre-wash fabrics if possible to prevent any colour loss or shrinkage. If you are unsure of how something will wash just cut a small test square first rather than throwing the whole lot in at once that way you know whether you can machine wash or hand wash, tumble dry or air dry etc

Overlock/finish the edge of your small test squares with zig zag to prevent any fraying if the fabric easily frays. Measure your square to see how big it is before washing. You could do a few squares so you can test different temperatures or even if you want to try drying as well, or testing with certain interfacings. Let one air-dry and put one in the tumble dryer after washing. Then once washed and dryed measure again to see if it has shrunk or been affected in any way.

If there's hardly any change at all and there's no need to worry about shrinkage too much and it may even be possible to go ahead and make without washing first, then wash as a finished garment. But to be on the safe side after doing your small test piece, it may be best to throw the whole lot in anyway and wash it.

If the fabric shrinks alot, or it's possible there may be some colour run its probably best to prewash otherwise you need to work out the percentage that it shrinks and work that allowance back into the pattern to allow for shrinkage if washing after making. There may be some continuous colour loss in darker/stronger colours, so wash with care each time and on its own or with similar colours.


Lisa Gilbert trading as Yorkshire Born & Thread