I know, I know, I know. Wash, dry and iron your fabrics and notions  BEFORE you use them. This is something I do sometimes… but should do every time. Sometimes I am so excited about the stuff I just brought home from the fabric store that I can’t wait to sew.

I bought the cutest black and white dotted fabric and paired it with dotted ribbon… precious!
I had a “dress in my head” and I had to sew it ASAP. It was for my little one, of course. It turned out perfect. (You’ll have to take my word on it because I have no before picture) Then I washed it. Ruined. The fabric faded terribly and half of the dots on the ribbon washed away. After one wash this outfit looked as if it was many years and many washes old, though it had never been worn. Sigh…..

You can see how the dye washed out of the wrinkles in the sleeves.

The dots washed away from the ribbon.

The fabric is now more of a fuzzy charcoal gray instead of black.

I’m not sure where I bought this fabric. I buy fabric from different places, in different towns. I can tell you that I’ve bought “junky” fabric at all price points. I can also tell you that I have bought some really cheap $1 and $2 a yard fabrics that washed up beautifully, time after time. I really don’t know the secret to buying perfect fabric. I just buy what speaks to me on that particular day. Win some, lose some! 🙂

I spent hours yesterday sorting through my fabric. I spent the day washing EVERY piece that had not been washed yet. This was a big job, but I knew it had to be done. I still have a basket full that needs to be pressed. With everything clean and ready, I can sew when I get the impulse to be creative! I will just have to be consistent with laundering the new stuff I bring home!

It is always a good idea to wash your fabrics and notions before you use them. Many shrink, bleed or fade.  It is better to know how the fabric will wash up before you sew. If you sew before you wash, you may end up with wasted time and money.

Consider this a lesson RE-learned for me!



I am a work at home mom. I have three great kids, Macie 18, Trent 15, and the newest addition to our family is Layna, who is a whole 6 months old! I love to stay home and take care or my kids, The Hubs and my home! I sew and craft and create to stay sane! My mind is a constant blur of a million projects!
This entry was posted in Baby, Laundry, Sewing, Tooksberry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Thank you for the good reminder! I’m sure you’ve saved MANY of us from having a similar disappointment. Maybe you can make the “good” parts of this cute dotted fabric into something that won’t require washing . . . good luck! 🙂

  2. ljr3 says:

    Do you hand wash it or throw it in the washing machine? I’m terrified straight cloth will fray apart if I put it in the machine. I’m terrible for for forgetting to pre wash. I’m like you, eager to start working on the fabric!

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