A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Right Fabric
By Jan H Roos
It’s one of the most important things a sewer must learn to do. What, you ask? Choosing the right fabrics for your sewing projects.
For many beginning sewers, choosing fabric doesn’t seem like a big deal. In fact, ask any experienced sewer about it, and you’ll hear the same story. For one of their early sewing projects, they chose an awesome pattern to work with, carefully read the fabric recommendations on the back of the pattern… and then completely ignored those fabric recommendations because they found a beautiful fabric they just couldn’t pass up, even though it wasn’t the type recommended. After all, what difference would it really make?
The result? Well, usually those projects ended up total disasters. When all was said and done, the pattern went to waste, the fabric went to waste, and the hours spent on something that couldn’t be worn or used also went to waste.
To avoid all of that waste, it’s important to learn which fabrics you should avoid, especially when just starting out. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Fabrics That Are Hard to Work With
Sometimes, when you see a fabric in just the right color, with a pattern that you’ve instantly fallen in love with, it can be hard not to buy it and try to figure out what to do with it later. But the truth is that some fabrics are so hard to work with, only the most experienced sewers stand a chance of turning out something worthwhile with them. And here are three of the fabrics beginning sewers should stay away from.
– Satin Fabrics. Satin fabric is beautiful. It’s so silky, shiny, and rich-looking. Who can resist it, right? Well, you probably should. As beautiful as it is, satin is extremely difficult to work with because it’s so slick. Satin likes to slip through your fingers and slide across flat surfaces. Getting it to “sit still” long enough to cut it properly can be a real challenge. And getting two pieces of satin to stay together long enough for you to sew them can be just as tough.
– Knit Fabrics. The best thing about knit fabric is that it’s stretchy. That makes it an excellent fabric choice for many sewing project. But that same stretchiness is what makes knit fabric so hard to work with. You need to stretch knit fabric a little as you sew it to keep it from puckering up. But stretching it too much can cause gathers, which is also bad. And you shouldn’t stretch it at all when laying out your pattern. Knit will also snag and run, which can turn a gorgeous, and possibly costly, piece of fabric into a mess.
– Denim. The world loves denim, so of course you’ll be inspired to make something with denim fabric. The problem with denim is its thickness. Just cutting it can be hard, especially if your cutting tools aren’t as sharp enough. You can’t sew denim with any old needle, unless you like broken needles and sewing machine jams. No, you have to use a needle especially made for denim. You also have to outfit your sewing machine with special accessories, which means extra expense. But, even when using the right needles and accessories, you’ll probably run into trouble when sewing with denim.
It’s not that you should never work with difficult fabrics. But learning to work with them properly can be frustrating, and will take a bit of time. For a beginner, it’s much easier to start with fabrics that are easier to work with. Experience with “easy” fabrics can give you skills that will make working with more difficult fabrics much easier.
The Best Fabric for Beginners
The absolute best fabric for beginners is 100% cotton fabric that is closely woven. This type of fabric is extremely easy to work with, it’s one of the easiest fabrics to cut, and you won’t run into many problems while sewing with it.
Cotton is also extremely versatile. You can use it to make just about anything. And projects made with cotton are comfortable, durable, and easy to maintain.
Still, cotton isn’t perfect. The biggest drawback of using cotton fabric is that it shrinks, especially when it’s washed for the first time. So, when buying cotton fabric, you have to buy more than you think you’ll need. You also have to pre-shrink it, running it through the washing machine before using it in your sewing project. If you don’t pre-shrink cotton before using it, the project you make it will shrink the first time you wash it. So that dress you spent hours making will end up being too small for you to actually wear.
Despite a few drawbacks, which are minor compared to other fabrics, cotton fabric is the way to go for the beginning sewer.
Learning how much trouble choosing the wrong fabric can cause can be an expensive lesson. But, by keeping these guidelines in mind, it’s a lesson you can learn without wasting a lot of time, energy, or effort.
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The calendar year is filled with different holidays, and most of those holidays are considered to be gift-giving occasions. Unfortunately your daily life may keep you from being able to find the time to shop for the perfect holiday gift. However, just because you are busy does not mean that you need to forgo giving a gift all together. Thankfully holiday baskets make finding that perfect holiday gift easy and affordable.
Holiday baskets are wonderful because they are themed to the holiday that you are celebrating. This will give your gift a truly festive feel. Additionally, holiday gift baskets have a variety of items in the basket itself, which makes it a continuing surprise as your recipient explores the contents.
Of all of the holidays that you give gifts for, Christmas has to be the most popular one. Christmas gift baskets are the perfect thing to give to just about anyone. They are especially ideal for those people you are just not sure what to give. One of the best Christmas Gift Baskets out there is the Holiday Celebrations basket. The Holiday Celebrations basket can be ordered in either a medium, large, or extra large size. Of course the price increases with the size of the basket, but the value of the basket is truly incredible. The Holiday Celebrations basket is jam packed with festive snacks like butter toffee pretzels, white cheddar popcorn, holiday confetti corn, coconut delights, stone wheat crackers, Port Salut cheese, holiday snack mix, and many other delicious treats.
For a truly affordable gift you will want to check out the Basket Full of Holiday Cheer. This is one of the most affordable holiday gift baskets, but it does not sacrifice quality for a smaller price point. The basket is created in a functioning red wicker tray. On top of the tray you will see assorted chocolates, holiday petite mints, delicious butter cookies, holiday caramel corn, stone wheat crackers, gourmet coffee, and a Holiday Santa Decoration. At under $40 this can be the perfect gift for just about anyone.
Another one of the great Christmas baskets available is the Holiday Fanfare Holiday Basket, a rich green basket is filled to the brim with delicious holiday treats. Your eyes will delight at the sight of the basket overflowing with holiday snack mix, Fairwinds holiday coffee, English almond toffee, Brent Sams Chocolate Chip Cookies, Honey Treasures coffee flavoring syrup, and many other tasty treats.
Remember, despite the fact that Christmas is a popular gift giving holiday it is not the only type of holiday gift baskets that you can find. When summer is right around the bend you may want to think about sending a Father’s Day basket. Generally we try to honor Dad in early June and the Fathers Are Forever Gift Chest is the perfect way to let your dad know just how special he is to you. This solid wood and antique brass chest is filled with treats for your dad. Your dad will love the summer sausage, gourmet coffee, port salut cheese, “Fathers are Forever” book, and so much more!
When it comes to holiday gift baskets you do not want to forget about celebrating your mom. The Hugs for Mom Gift Basket is perfect for that fantastic mom of yours. The goodies are secured in a wooden picket fence planter. Inside the planter your mom will be thrilled to find Hemmingway green tea, a poured glass votive candle, bath sachet and bath salts, ceramic picture frame, wildflower honey, and a few other surprises!
You may be busy with your day to day life, but that doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice being thoughtful around the holidays. Thankfully, holiday gift baskets make gift giving easy. There is a something for every holiday, and a gift basket for every recipient. The only trouble that you are going to run into is which one you are going to choose!
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Home is home as long as family is there. And, Friday nights are all about the next episode of ‘What If..’ or replay of ‘WandaVision.’ If you and your family have any favorites, then you’ll love to hear from Focus on the Family in this article. Get your popcorn and your favorite mug ready for #familytime.
#marvel #comics #movies #multiverse #ironman #wandavision #blackwidow #blackpanther #captainamerica #captainmarvel #nickfury #focusonthefamily #comfortsofhomeFamily in Marvel: Top 5 Movies about Family in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe — Focus on the Family