Tag Archives: prepping

Tutorial: Prepping shifty fabrics in gelatine/ Dünne Stoffe im Gelatinebad vorbereiten

In one of the Facebook groups that I visit there was a discussion recently as to how to tame shifty fabrics when cutting and sewing them and I mentioned that I prep my fabrics in a gelatine bath, a trick that I heard from first from Lizzy and that has become a firm favourite ever since.
As this way of taming new shifty fabrics seemed new to most readers in the group I though I could make a quick tutorial. As the group communicates in German, this tutorial is bilingual – a first for this blog ! 🙂

In der Facebook-Gruppe Burda Schnittmuster Nähhilfe wurde kürzlich diskutiert, wie man sich die Arbeit mit dünnen, fliegenden Stoffen erleichtern kann. Ich habe damals von meiner Gelatine-Methode erzählt und weil viele diese Methode nicht zu kennen schienen, habe ich mir gedacht, ich mache ein schnelles Tutorial. Ich blogge ja normalerweise auf Englisch, aber hier habe ich mal einen Versuch zur Zweisprachigkeit gemacht 🙂

THE AIM: The aim of the whole process is to make shifty fabrics go a little bit rigid so that cutting and sewing is easier. I would’t use this method if I needed to see the drape of the fabric during construction, because the whole point of the method is to “un-drape” the fabric.

DAS ZIEL: Ziel der ganzen Methode ist es, rutschige, dünne Stoffe ein bisschen fester zu machen, damit das Zuschneiden und Vernähen leichter geht. Deswegen würde ich die Methode nicht verwenden, wenn ich während des Nähens sehen möchte, wie der Stoff fällt, denn die Methode will ja gerade das Drapieren des Stoffes verhindern.

1.

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I use standard gelatine for baking and cooking. I pack is good for 500ml of liquids.
Please note that this gelatine is made from pig by-products. If you are vegan or don’t want to use pig-based products for religious reasons then I assume you might use plant based gelatine instead. But please be aware that I have never tested that and I don’t know if it’s going to work the same way.

Ich benutze ein Paket der normale Gelatine zum Kochen und Backen. Ein Paket nimmt man normalerweise für 500ml Flüssigkeit, oder ihr könnt 6 Blatt der Blattgelatine nehmen.
Achtung: Diese Gelatine ist vom Schwein. Wer vegan ist oder aus religiösen Gründen keine Schweinegelatine verwenden möchte, kann vermutliche auch pflanzliche Gelatine nehmen. Ich kann mir vorstellen, dass das genauso funktioniert wie hier beschrieben, aber ich habe es nie getestet.

2.

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You couldn’t tell from this picture, but what I do is sprinkle the gelatine on top of about 4 – 5 litres of hot water, straight in my sink. Leave it to soak for about 10 minutes and then mix it well with the water.

Alles geht ganz normal weiter, auch wenn man auf diesem Bild eigentlich gar nichts sieht: Man verteilt die Gelatine auf ca 4 -5 Liter heißem Wasser. Ich mache das direkt im Spülbecken. Dann 10 Minuten quellen lassen und gut mit dem Wasser vermischen.

3.

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Then I add the prewashed and dried fabrics. This amount of water will comfortable prep 3 2-lenths of fabric. Leave the fabrics to soak for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Dann kommen die Stoffe in das Wasser. Ich hatte hier 3 Stücke zu je 2 Meter und das Wasser hat dafür dicke gereicht. Lasst die Stoffe ca. 10 Minuten im Wasser. Gelegentliches Umrühren kann nicht schaden.

4.

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The next step is optional: drip-drying the fabrics. I only do this during the winter months because I don’t want gelatine water everywhere. In the summer, I hang my fabrics in the garden and go straight to step 5.
Den nächsten Schritt mache ich nur im Winter: die Stoffe abtropfen lassen, ich mache das in der Dusche, denn ich mag nicht überall im Haus Gelatine-Wasserspuren haben, die ich dann mühevoll wegputzen muss. Im Sommer hänge ich meine Stoffe im Garten auf und gehe direkt zu Schritt 5.

5.

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This is the most difficult part of the process: Hanging the fabrics to dry. It is important that you try to avoid any creases, because creases you get at this point will get set in gelatine. They are very easy to iron out, but the heat of the iron will make the fabrics go soft and shifty again and thus it defeats the process of making them rigid in the first place. So: Try and hang them up as straight as possible and as on grain as possible so that you can use the fabrics for cutting without any changes. It really is worth your while to take a little bit of trouble over this.

Dieser Schritt ist der schwierigste: Man muss die Stoffe so aufhängen, dass sie keine Knitter und Falten haben. Zwar kann man diese Falten leicht ausbügeln, aber die Hitze des Bügeleisens macht, dass der Stoff wieder weich wird (und er wird auch nach dem Abkühlen nicht mehr hart), und dann hätte man sich den ganzen Gelatine-Prozess ja auch gleich sparen können. Also: Stoffe knitterfrei aufhängen und auch den Fadenlauf gerade ausrichten, so, wie man die Stoffe später auch zuschneiden möchte. Es zahlt sich wirklich aus, sich hier ein bisschen Mühe zu geben.

6. Ta-da! Ready. You can now fold and store your fabrics. They are now papery, a bit like a soft pattern cutting paper. I have stored fabrics for several years and the gelatine effect does deteriorate a little over time, but it’s still better than untreated fabrics.
Don’t forget: Ironing will undo the effect, so you have to cut the unironed fabrics and sew as much as possible with as little pressing as possible.
When the garment is finished you can simple wash out the gelatine using your normal washing method. I have never had any negative effects on the fabrics from the gelatine treatment.
Ta-da! Fertig! Ihr könnte die Stoffe jetzt verwenden oder für später aufbewahren. Sie sind jetzt in etwa wie das Seidenpapier, das man zum Durchzeichnen von Schnitten verwendet. Ich habe so verbereitete Stoffe für meherere Jahre aufgehoben – der Gelatine -Effekt wird mit der Zeit etwas schwächer, aber es ist immer noch besser, als die Stoffe gar nicht vorzubereiten.
Bitte denkt daran: Bügeln macht die Stoffe wieder weich! Das Ziel ist also, die Stoffe ungebügelt zuzuschneiden und soviel wie möglich zu nähen ohne bügeln. Wenn das Projekt dann fertig ist, kann man die Gelatine ganz normal herauswaschen – ich mache das zusammen mit der normalen Wäsche. Ich habe es noch nie erlebt, dass die Gelatine-Behandlung einem Stoff geschadet hätte.

 

So there! I hope this was useful for you. If you have different ways of taming shifty fabrics, why don’t you spread the word in the comments.

Ich hoffe, diese Methode ist nützlich für euch. Wenn ihr noch andere Arten kennt, wie man den fliegenden Stoffen beikommen kann, dann erzählt doch davon in den Kommentaren.

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What I am Working On: Winter Trench Coat (Burda 2/2008 #114)

For my latest project I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone a little. Normally, my makes are quite fast and simple and go hand in hand with the “not a lot of patience” side of my personality. But now that I managed to lay my hands on a rather delicious cream coloured wool coating fabric I decided to make a trench coat jacket with all the bits and pieces.

Having gone through three years worth of Burdastyle magazines I then decided on a pattern in my oldest issue, 2/2008 – and the last magazine that I looked through, as is so often the way. In true Burda fashion you wouldn’t look twice when you see the model picture:

20131115_123728Honestly, is she obscuring the garment on purpose? Wait, that is still too clear, you can glean some detail on that photo, the Burda people thought. Let’s make a photo that is even less clear and let’s show the coat in black shiny fabric:

20131115_123652I really don’t know what they are thinking (if anything…) when deciding on those pictures. Don’t get me wrong, I love Burda, all the garments I sew are from Burda magazines, and I have only ever made two things from envelope patterns, but the photo choices they make are ridiculous.

Anyway, rant over. I had to get really creative when cutting out, as I had only 2,20 x 135cm instead of the 2,45x 150cms specified.

20131115_123317Not a lot of extra left! The sleeves in the original are 3/4 length, so obviously I had to lengthen those for a winter coat. So the bottom seam allowance on the front and back parts had to go, so the jacket will end up a little bit shorter than normal. I even had to double all the flaps and epaulettes and whatnots that go with a trench coat in lining fabric. That might even be a good thing, as the fashion fabric is very heavy and doubling everything in it might make it too heavy. And my stash has just the right lining anyway.

20131115_173650Still: this is the rest of my fabric after cutting – nothing can go wrong on this make, at least not anything that involves recutting a part!

After hours spent fiddling (but happy fiddling, not stressful fiddling) I made my first ever bound button holes and some very credible welt pockets:

20131116_210404Excuse the horrible pictures – smart phone alert…

There is one thing that always happens and I never know why. There must be some detail I am doing wrong when inserting the inside pockets. When I want to sew them together they never quite match, One is always a little bit higher than the other. You can see on this picture how the top pocket is out of line with the bottom pocket for about 1cm.

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Obviously that is not a massive detail and I can simple cut the pocket a little bit smaller after sewing both parts together. But still: Do you know what I am doing wrong? There must be something fundamental about this type of pockets that I am not getting, because it happens every single time.

Hopefully I will be able to get the coat ready for a first fit. I still need to decide on the lining, so this coat won’t be worn for a little while.

Prepping my Chiffons

I give you my latest sewing accessory:

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No, I am not sewing with cake (not even using a Cake pattern ;-)), nor am I eating cakes whilst sewing (although that sounds like a thoroughly commendable if a little messy option). No, I am going baby steps towards sewing the chiffons that have been in my stash for some time and that I have always been to scared to sew.

Ever since Sewbusylizzy wrote about taming the fabric beast with the use of some gelatine I have wanted to bathe my chiffons in diluted gelatine. Then life happened, but now I have finally done it:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAApparently, the gelatine makes the fabrics less slippery, easier to cut, less frayable (is that even a word?) and generally better behaved. I just hope it works, because my last attempt at sewing chiffon many years ago ended in tears and tantrums.

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At least I am going some way towards sewing a season-appropriate wardrobe – see how well I am coordinating my fabrics with the surrounding environment. Now you see them, now you don’t ;-).

One thing I have been wondering about: What happens if I don’t manage to complete these projects soon? Can I put the gelatined fabrics back in my stash? Or will the gelatine somehow “go off” and so I have to wash it out of any unused fabrics? Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated!

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