I didn’t plan to be doing laundry on the day I’d be writing about laundry, but that’s what happened today.  I was doing just the normal family laundry, but I wanted to write about how laundry relates to sewing.

ALWAYS wash washable fabric before you use it!  Even if you think the color won’t bleed.  Even if you think the fabric won’t shrink.

I recall a dress I made several years ago.  Some fabric had been donated by a clothing company to…well, I don’t know exactly who it was donated to…but I ended up with some of it, because I knew somebody who knew somebody…you know how that goes.  Anyway, I was so excited to make this dress, I just started cutting out my pattern without washing the fabric first.  The dress turned out perfect!  It fit me like it was made for me (because it was!), and I loved it.

After the first time I wore it, I put it in the laundry.  It washed and dried nicely, and I hung it in my closet.  The next time I wore it, it was a different dress!  It didn’t fit me any more.  It was too short.  It was tight under the arms.  The neckline was different.  I ended up giving it to a friend who wore a smaller size.

Since that incident, I have never used fabric without washing it first!