When I first started sewing a few years ago, I read somewhere that you should always finish the raw edges of new fabric before tossing it in the wash. Of course, I totally ignored this and proceeded to deal with the huge tangles of thread that would form in the washer and strangle, mangle, and distort my precious fabric. WHY I ignored this very simple piece of advice is beyond me. What can I say? I’m hopelessly stubborn!
About six months ago, I finally decided to give this whole “finishing the edges” thing a try. I used a wide and long zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine to wrap up the edges of my wovens, tying the ends in knots to secure them. Once I got my serger, I switched to serging the edges but continue to knot the ends.
And you know what? IT WORKS BEAUTIFULLY. Who knew?? 🙂 No longer do I have to get out my scissors and surgically remove the huge knots of thread from my freshly washed fabrics, nor do I have to worry about the threads wrapping so tightly around the fabric in the wash that they actually hinder the washing process. It only takes a few minutes to zip the raw edges through the serger, and I save myself so much drama and aggravation. I am shaking my head at my former, stubborn self. 🙂
The fabrics you’re seeing are newly purchased from the semi-annual sidewalk sale at Gather Here, my local fabric shop. There’s something about a good sale that completely annihilates my usual discerning shopping habits – it’s quite amazing, actually! I surprise myself with the fabric choices I make when price is no longer an issue. Behold: I totally strayed from my color palette and bought a bunch of cheery springtime prints. The 4 on the left are cotton voiles and quilting cottons, and the deep print on the right is one of the new Art Gallery rayons. I’ve never worked with this rayon and am excited to give it a try. I’m picturing loose tops and floaty skirts for all 5 fabrics. Yay!
In other news, I have a finished floral Archer to show you, but due to various maladies that I’ve been dealing with this week, I’m not quite photoshoot-ready. Suffice it to say that this week hasn’t been the greatest, but at least I have a pretty new pile of fabric to enjoy, pre-washed and free of knots and tangles. 🙂
So tell me, do you finish the raw edges of your new fabrics before pre-washing, or do you happily deal with the thread tangles?