Working with Pre-Cut Fabrics

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Very Helpful Tips, and Not Just for Newbies!

Are you a bit unsure about how best to work with pre-cut fabric? Those pinked edges and lint can be a bit daunting until you know how best to deal with them.

Pre-cuts come in several sizes, the most common of which are:

  • Jelly rolls, which are typically 2.5″ strips about 45″ long.
  • Charms packs made up of 5″ x 5″ squares.
  • Layer Cakes containing 10″ x 10″ squares.

(Learn more about pre-cuts and sizes here.)

Usually, the edges of pre-cut fabrics are pinked (using pinking shears) so that the fabric pieces don’t ravel. That presents a few challenges when trying to work with them.

This video covers everything you need to know about working with pre-cut fabrics, including:

  • Whether or not to pre-wash (don’t).
  • Whether or not to trim those pinked edges (don’t).
  • Whether to measure from the peaks or the valleys of the pinked edges (the peaks).
  • Whether or not you can combine different sizes of pre-cuts (yes!).

You’ll find many other helpful tips as well, including this gem about dealing with the lint:

When you open something like a strip set, run your lint roller over that cut edge, it’s really going to help alleviate the lint as you’re working on your project. In addition, because sometimes I’m sewing in little short increments of time, when I’m working with pre-cuts, I want to make sure I have a satin robe or something like that in my sewing room that I can just slip on over whatever I’m wearing, sew a few seams of my pre-cut project, and then slip that robe off, all the lint is on the floor and not on my outfit.

Pre-cuts can save a lot of time, and with a bit of care you’ll get great results with them!

precuts video


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