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From The Workroom

when fabric is being a jerk

So have you ever bought a piece of fabric that was insistent on being a complete jerk? There are lots of fabric jerks – but i think the worst are fabrics that have production errors. And i have become a victim to one of them (was that all together too dramatic?)

I just hate it when things aren’t ironed properly – i’m kind of a freak about it. But honestly, I am fighting a losing battle with this denim. You may recognise this version of the Kelly skirt – its from my most recent collection, Country Roads. I love this skirt. I love this denim – the weight and the colour are so perfect. There is one problem.

Can you see the horizontal crease right through the middle of the skirt? Now perhaps i am super picky and no-one else can see it, but it’s making me insane. I am a stickler for ironing, and no matter what i do this crease remains. I have steamed it to death, washed it a million times – and nothing. It is being a real jerk.

The thing is with a damaged fabric, it can be tempting to use it and hope the production errors can either be ignored or solved through wearing. Unfortunately, i feel this one may just make me insane.

I’ve been reading up and the ever amazing Claire Schaeffer recommends an interesting method for fixing permanent crease issues. She recommends soaking a brown paper bag in a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar and pressing on top of the crease until it’s dry. I’m intrigued – but admittedly the idea of steaming vinegar onto my skirt freaks the daylights out of me. I imagine smelling forever like vinegar after that…

Which leads me to this question – has anyone tried this method? or perhaps know of a good fix?

Or am i the only person who will ever notice this and i’m making a mountain out of a molehill?

Top: Madewell
Skirt: Megan Nielsen, Kelly skirt – get the pattern here
Belt: Target
Boots: Dolce Vita
Necklace: Vintage family heirloom
Blazer: Cue 

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Crystal
Crystal
9 years ago

Vinegar is often used as a cleaning agent – not just for cooking. So while it has a very pungent odor when concentrated, that smell will evaporate from your fabric, especially after washings.

Cirque Du Bebe
9 years ago

So not noticeable. I had to squint and even then it was hard to see. But I know what how you feel, when you go around wearing something that feels ‘flawed’. But honesty, you and the skirt look lovely together. The styling is really cool too.

Kim
Kim
9 years ago

Oh no, i would not be able to steam vinegar onto my clothes. Even if it worked! i am a bit scared of vinegar. i think working in a fish and chip shop and diluting it every week, made me go off it a lot. lol
I know what you mean about those creases though. But i think you are the only one that will see them! :)

Marty
9 years ago

My personal fabric jerks are always plaids. I have yet to purchase one that is straight or can be made straight. Grrr.

I keep a solution of 1:4 vinegar to water in a spray bottle next to my ironing board. It is wonderful for removing stubborn wrinkles, and you can’t smell it beyond putting the hot iron on it. You should really try it.

Emily
Emily
9 years ago

I have worked with woolens a lot, and when I do, I keep a bottle of vinegar/water mix next to my iron. I squirt it on my pressing cloth to press out any accidental crease lines from ironing. Works like a charm! And–even on a spongy wool–no vinegar smell.

Mono
9 years ago

I have washed clothes with vinegar & also used it to set the color when I tea stain fabrics and it always rinses out clean & smell free!
I’m intrigued by this brown paper & vinegar thing: let us know how it unfolds! (or, un-creases! ;)

margherita
9 years ago

I think Crystal and co are right…the smell will go away. I’m glad to know vinegar can wark whit crease.What about your crease…is so thin!! Don warry, >Your skirt looks beautiful!!

Siri
Siri
9 years ago

Like others have already said, the smell goes away as soon as the fabric dries. I use vinegar instead of fabric softener (as it doesn’t harm the environment) and also add it to the final rinse when blocking garments I’ve knitted, I’ve even rinsed my hair with it instead of using conditioner. Not to mention using it for cleaning… Vinegar is AWESOME (and I’m one of those who really dislike the smell and taste of it)!
I don’t iron very often but maybe I should try the method above next time – thanks for the tip! :)

Maureen
Maureen
9 years ago

You have to use white vinegar, not malt, apple, or balsamic. I have had it leave a lingering odor occasaionally but a little baking soda in the wash water takes care of that.

maddie
9 years ago

I just love your description of hard to work with fabrics. THOSE JERKS! I haven’t tried Claire’s suggestion of vigenar, water, and brown bag for the same reason as you. I’d be curious to see if it works though!

Christy
Christy
9 years ago

I use vinegar all the time when washing clothes and have never had any hint of a smell left behind. It’s worth a shot, if it is bothering you that much. But definitely use white vinegar. =) Good luck

Miranda
9 years ago

I would never have noticed that, but now that you mentioned it, it would drive me crazy, too! Sometimes it’s the smallest details that cause the largest impact–bad and good, right?

As far as the vinegar, I use it in the washing machine as well, and notice that my laundry is actually fresher smelling after it’s use. Of course, that’s different from ironing with it, but I would guess that after a wash it will be great. Now, whether or not it will actually remove the crease is what I wonder.

I guess there’s nothing to lose? You are annoyed by the wrinkle, so maybe a faint vinegar smell would be a better option?

And you look lovely, as always.

Ginger
9 years ago

Oh, this skirt is so cute! I NEVER would have noticed the line without you mentioning it– it’s really minor. I say go ahead and try the vinegar idea– hey, what’s the worst that could happen? If you’re not crazy about the skirt as is, it can only help to try to fix it. :)

Roxy
9 years ago

I always use vinegar as “fabric softener” when I wash my towels. It makes them come out nice and fluffy and there is no smell at all. If anything it helps to prevent any odour during winter when its hard to get them to dry completely. I also dilute it with water and use that to clean the inside of my car. The subtle vinegar smell disappears after a short drive with the window down. It cleans the car wonderfully without damaging the surfaces.

Do you have a fabric scrap you can test it on? Then you will be confident it works.

katherine landreneau
katherine landreneau
9 years ago

Yes, I see the crease and it would drive me crazy, too!
I recommend the vinegar, heard it works to make creases so maybe it will remove them, too!
Worth a try.

Amanda
Amanda
9 years ago

As others have said, vinegar is great in the washing machine. I use it to wash my husband’s really stinky sports clothes – the acid in the vinegar kills the bacteria that makes them smell. Also great for washing shoes. It washes away pretty cleanly most of the time, but you can wash them again with a scoop of baking soda instead of soap if they still smell vinegar-y.

Rachel
Rachel
9 years ago

Mum always kept a spray bottle of 50: 50 solution white vinegar and water to spray whilst ironing to get the wrinkles out. The cooking vinegars smell so strong but the white vinegar is quite mild! We used it to wash woollens as well. The brown paper application idea sounds quite fascinating too.

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[…] my friends, as promised, after our chat about my permanent skirt crease – i tested out this whole ironing with vinegar thing. And i have to say, i am pleasantly […]