Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sewing Tips for Tuesday: Vintage Pattern Refresh

I know, I know....so many other blogs do this too...But there are some things I do and haven't seen any postings out there about it. So to start, each week for a few weeks I am going to do some general tips to do with sewing. Now these tips are for sewing and how to help you with your sewing materials - like patterns.

I do buy things from all over. By "all over" I mean I will buy from thrift stores, yard sales, Etsy, Joanns, Quilt stores and estate sales. But when you buy used material or patters, you run the risk of a "funky" smell. It could be a "grandma's attic" type smell or even a musty smokey smell from years of tar attached to the pattern. (And sometimes we even debate whether to get the product because we don't want that smell in our sewing rooms.)

Sew here is today's tip: How to rid a vintage pattern of an old smell:

1. Look at the size of the pattern envelope and find a ziploc (or generic) resealable bag a little bigger than the pattern envelope. (I like to keep some generic dollar bags around just for this purpose.)
2. Look in your kitchen cabinets and take out your Baking Soda. (Not washing soda for those making homemade laundry soap) 3. Place sewing pattern in the plastic bag. Make sure you include ALL the pieces, even if they are loose or outside the envelope.

4. Pour your Baking Soda inside the plastic bag and a little even inside the pattern. (This will not hurt your pattern.)

5. Seal plastic bag. Shake the Soda around the pattern inside the bag. Let it get a good coat on it.

6. Let the bag sit overnight or longer. Open the bag the next day to check on odor. If there is a continued odor, place more Soda inside bag, shake and leave for another night. If the smell is mostly gone, then take the pattern out of the bag shaking all Soda into a trashcan. Toss the bag and keep your pattern. (It may leave some chalky residue, but over time this will wipe off and does not hurt the paper pattern.) You can also leave the pattern in the bag until the time you need to use it. I will sometimes store older patterns this way as it helps prevent an odor as much as getting rid of an older odor.

This tip is also good for older books either hardbound or paper! I use a 2.5 gallon hefty bag for those jobs. (sometimes Walmart carries these) Same directions, place book in bag with Soda and leave it until no smell exists.

I use this method quite often. In Florida, it also seems like the humidity makes the smell get worse over time. So I have been known to leave a pattern in the bag if I store it in the garage or another place.

I hope this helps some of you. Now maybe you will take a chance on buying that estate sale pattern even though it still smells! Happy Sewing and as always...come back...Sew Hungry for more!
Make It and Love It