Note: When I initially posted this, I accidentally set the visibility to ‘private’. I have no idea how I managed to do that and not realise until nearly two weeks later! So here you have a(n accidentally) late Sewing Sunday post. Enjoy!
This is just a quick Sewing Sunday post today, simply because I’ve been so busy with revision lately I haven’t had time to make anything!
I love everything about making my own clothes, apart from putting them in the machine for their first wash – I get so nervous that all my stitching will come undone, or the fabric will go bobbly, or the colour will fade. Another concern is that they’ll accidentally get washed at the wrong temperature and shrink, which would be an easy mistake to make if they don’t have any labels. Therefore, I ordered some labels to alleviate these fears and this post will be a review of those labels, eventually. But first, a story…
A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend did a load of washing – not exactly the most exciting opener to an anecdote ever, but stick with me. He was washing a darks load, with a few stained items in there, so he boosted the temperature to 40 degrees. To save me a job, he threw a couple of my dresses in there too, one of which was my current favourite polka dot dress. My viscose, 30 degree wash dress.
The dress in question. I love this photo – it was taken for an OOTD post I never got around to writing six months ago (whoops! maybe I should write it now, or is it too late?) and I still can’t get over how am-dram I look.
Unbeknownst to him, the dress shrunk. A lot. When it was dry he hung it up in my wardrobe, completely unaware of what had happened. It was only a few days later when I came to wear it, after becoming exasperated that all my lovely clothes were now too big for me (the biggest downside of weight loss) that I noticed something was wrong. My modest, almost knee length polka dot dress now barely covered my arse. When I realised what had happened, I hit the roof. I know you shouldn’t get attached to clothing, but it was the one dress I could rely on to always look good and fit me right, ruined. I actually started crying, how pathetic is that?!
My boyfriend was so apologetic, I couldn’t stay annoyed for very long. We started to scour the internet for the dress, but to no avail. Then, he started to search for guides to unshrinking clothes. He found this blog post which suggested using shampoo or conditioner to relax the fibres, then stretching it back into shape. We gave it a go, and surprisingly it worked! We had to repeat the process twice, and it still isn’t quite as long as it used to be, but it’s definitely wearable now and it’s long enough to be worn to work, so we’re calling this a success!
The moral of the story is to always read the labels before you wash clothes – always. But what if you made your clothes, and they don’t have labels?
After the polka dot dress fiasco, I decided I never, ever wanted to run the risk of shrinking anything I’d made myself, so I started looking for 30 degree wash labels. eBay didn’t really have anything suitable and Etsy prices were through the roof, so I thought about ordering some of those woven name tapes, you know like parents have to sew into school uniforms and gym kits?
I found Woven Labels UK and became intrigued by their Narrow Woven Craft Labels. I played with the designer for a bit, before ordering 36 labels for £9.99, plus £0.99 delivery. The website estimated that they would take around ten days to arrive, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that they turned up less than a week after ordering.
I wasn’t sure about what colours to choose, but in the end I went for a black label with metallic gold writing. They look so good! They’re not the softest labels in existence so I was a bit worried they’d feel scratchy against the skin, but they don’t at all. I hand sew them into my makes right at the end, usually into the neckband or waistband.
When you can sit back and admire your works, complete with custom-made labels, you feel such a sense of pride. A piece of clothing made by you, just for you, with a label confirming it. There’s no greater feeling in the world, I swear.
These labels are practical, well-made and, considering the prices elsewhere on the net, really good value for money. If you’re looking for labels to compliment your handmade garments I highly recommend Woven Labels UK, and I’ll definitely order from them again when I run out.
Do you sew custom-made labels into your homemade garments? Let me know in the comments below!
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Until next time,