UPDATE: Don’t miss this post on BUYING FABRIC ONLINE LIKE A PRO.
It’s taken me a-g-e-s to work out how to choose the right fabric for my sewing projects. Honestly, it’s been the single hardest thing I’ve had to learn as a sewer. Even harder than facings, drafting patterns or making my own leggings. True story.
I remember when I first started sewing I ran into all sorts of trouble. I’d be swayed by some bolt of beautiful fabric. Spend hours cutting and sewing away only to find I wasn’t terribly in love with the final product. For a long tome I had a wardrobe full of unloved bits of clothing (in lovely fabric). And that was just sad.
So, I’ve got better at thinking through my fabric choics. And I wanted to share those with you.
These are my top tips, but I’m still learning. If you’ve got any ideas, tips, or suggestions it’d be great if you could share it with me and everyone else in the comments. After all, sharing is caring!
p.s. Thanks you so much for your kind words and support after last friday’s post. You guys are the best. Fact.
5 Tips on choosing the right fabric for your project
1. Would you buy that design in that fabric if you saw it in a shop?
Guys, this is the key question I ask myself everytime I go to buy fabric for a project. Truth is, if you wouldn’t buy the design in the fabric you’ve chosen, are you ever going to wearty fabric beautiful).
2. What pattern are you using?
Your pattern is going to massively determine tour fabric choice and is probably the second most important thing to think about when picking your fabric. Floaty dresses are going to require totally different fabric than structured pencil skirts.
Luckily patterns have fabric suggestions right on the back to help you narrow down your choice. If they say cotton, stick with cotton. This is especially true of knit fabrics. Patterns for knits (like jersey) just won’t work with non-knit (also known as woven) fabric. Be warned!
Use the fabric suggestions on the back of your pattern. They know what they’re doing. Trust them.
3. What style are you looking for?
The finished style you want is going to have a massive influence on your fabric choice.
Let’s say you want to make a simple A-line skirt. A mediumweight cotton is going to give you a softer, floatier effect than say a heavyweight tweed. Both would be totally awesome, but maybe one is more the look you’re going for.
Spend some time on Pinterest (as if you need the encouragement, right?) looking at what style and fabrics you seem to like the most. Then pick your fabric to match those styles. It’s an easy way to get you making things you’ll wear forever.
4. Where will you wear it?
Another good idea is to think about where you plan on wearing your new duds.
Are you making something for Friday night drinks with the girls or date night? Then you might think about sequins, satin or silk (the 3 Ss of fun). But, if your making something for the office then maybe tweed or suiting would rock the work place (and if sequins are work appropriate than all I can say is: I’m jealous of your job).
Have a think about where you plan on wearing your new duds and try to pick fabric that will work. You’re much more likely to wear it if you already have an idea of when it can come out to play.
5. When will you wear it?
This is all about weather. You probably don’t want a summer dress made of heavy jaquard or wool any more than you’d want a winter skirt made in chiffon or cotton lawn (or maybe you do and I’m the weird one?).
Having a quick think about the weather and the season you’ll be wearing this bit of clothing the most will really help you narrow down your fabric choices.