Sewing Tip #1: Brocades are a Bitch
A friend commissioned a cloak to be made, which is great. He needs it by Friday, and he messaged me about a week ago. No worries! I am Wonder Woman; I can do this. The colors he wants are red and black, and when I went to Jo-Anns, I found this really pretty red and black brocade with a just-as-pretty backside so I can do some cool negative work. The friend with me really pushed me to buy it, and I knew it would look gorgeous as a flowing cloak, so I grabbed it.
Apparently, I had forgotten that I HATE WORKING WITH BROCADES. They slide and they fray and they never, ever stay where you pin them. Nothing I’ve ever made with brocade has stayed together properly and it’s always been a weird, misshapen accident because the fabric moved during pinning and cutting. However, I had just bought five yards of this, and god damnit, I was determined to use it.
A tip for any crafty lads or ladies out there: sergers are your best friends. However, the fiance and I don’t have more money than God, so we don’t have one, and the one we have access to is 45 minutes south from here at his grandmother’s shop. This grandmother, however, is genius and taught me a tip which I plan to share with you all because it’s awesome and because I need a break from sewing.
The zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine will save your life.
I’ve been using the zigzag stitch to edge my garments when they aren’t lined so they don’t fray and fall apart. While staring at the pile of brocade today, it hit me – use the stitch! It should stop the edges from fraying just like on other garments!
I quickly wiped my tears of desperation and got to work. And the zigzag stitch has worked better on the brocade than it ever did on my muslin.
To recap: zigzag stitches are better than all the other stitches. They’re the stitches that get full rides to Harvard and drive the fancy cars and laugh at the other stitches from their thrones made of gold. Seriously. Use them all the time.
(Note: it won’t stop the fabric from sliding and not staying where the fuck I pin it though. At it’s heart, brocades are still all bitches.)