sewing & needlework
blogtober day 17 // Tip Tuesday

blogtober day 17 // Tip Tuesday

After being on social media for a while, the same discussion topics start to crop up. “Tell us your toxic crafting trait” is a common one, and generally it’s the same kind of things that get mentioned each time. Knitters who don’t swatch. Sewists who don’t prewash.

And I get it, I really do. Both those things suck majorly. But also I’ve been burned badly but not doing both those things. So I do them when it makes sense to. I’ll swatch a jumper, but a cowl can take its chances with the gauge gods. Not a hope in heck I will prewash quilting fabric, but if I want a garment that will fit, yeah I’m washing the fabric for my shirt.

My “when it works” policy is on my mind today, after changing the sheets yesterday. My husband and I have our bedding set up European style – we share a base sheet, but our doonas are single size. He thinks August nights are too hot to sleep. I like being a toasty li’l blanket burrito until the end of November. We made the switch to individual bedding when we moved into the cabin to make bed-making easier, and it was so good we kept it for the new house.

As well as opposing blanket preferences, we also have different opinions on top sheets, which means on sheet changing day, one of us has our doona cover washed, and one of us doesn’t. After remaking the bed last night, our previously matching quilt covers caught my eye.

That is not forced perspective. The two doonas are laying on top of each other. On the left, the unwashed one, on the right, the washed. 100% cotton covers, on a 40 degree everyday cycle. When I counted the squares, nine rows of the original now lines up with ten of the washed cover. That’s a pretty significant amount of shrinkage!

It was also a really clear visual of WHY I muck around with washing and drying and pressing before cutting, when it comes to garments. When the fit matters, 10% shrinkage can be the difference between fitting and too-tight. It can be so tempting at times to skip the boring and fiddly prep steps. If it’s a loose garment, I might skip the washing. Knit fabric, skip the washing. But when fit matters – so does the washing.

If it’s worth doing; it’s worth wearing more than once!

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