How to Choose the Perfect Fabric for Your Next Project

After a lot of guys suggested it, I thought it was time to talk to you more about fabrics. Although I touched upon it 5 years ago, my expertise and knowledge have grown. I have learned a lot of experiences and talented women who have worked alongside my studio. Many of them have superior sewing skills from their pattern-making course. I quickly found myself overflowing with the information I have been saving for a while. We will explore ways to choose the perfect fabric for your next project.

Choose the Perfect Fabric

How to choose the right fabric?

Select your project

There are lots of ways to find fabrics for your next project. You can take inspiration from Pinterest and work out how to make your design the most simple. It is often a bit of a trial-and-error approach but it works for me. Another option is using tutorials like the one you find here using a pattern. You can also find an item in the shop you like or something you already own and use your idea as a basis.

Do your research

Before heading to your fabric store, it is advisable to research the garment you want to make. I find it helpful to do some window shopping to see what types of fabrics are popular in the current market. You will find different cheap materials which can be suitable for your next sewing project. You can touch, and check the qualities of the fabric according to your project. This also provides insight into fabrics that can give a modern touch to your project.

Consider the drape

When selecting fabric, it is important to check the drape and how it hangs. Unrolling a few yards of fabric and observing how it falls in determining how the finished garments will look. Silk for example drapes softly while linen has a heavier weight and tends to stick out when pleated or gathered. In my experience, the fabric is the most critical factor in choosing one that looks awesome and complements the project.

Assess the width

Fabrics usually come in two or three different widths like 45 inches or 60 inches. By determining the width of the fabric, you will come to know how much you need to purchase.

Double-check the color

Make sure to check the color

It’s important to double-check the color of the fabric before purchasing, as the lighting in a store can alter its appearance. Take the fabric near a window or into natural light to see its true color. If you’re making something for yourself, hold the fabric against your skin to check how it complements your complexion. If the color is too similar to your skin tone, it may not stand out when made into a garment.

Test the Stretch

To check the fabric stretch, hold it between your fingers and pull. Most fabrics have some degree of stretch and especially diagonally against the grain. Understand the stretch level and choose it according to your project. It is important to tell you that some sewers work well with less stretchable fabrics and some work with more stretchy such as lycra or jersey. An important thing to remember is that the more your fabric is stretchy, the more it will be difficult and challenging for you.

Visualize your project

Take the time to envision how your project will look in a particular fabric. Consider factors such as the color and drape – will the dress you want to make look better in light silk or heavy linen? Also, think about your body shape – heavier fabrics may be more forgiving than light silks, especially in simple sewing projects with limited structure.

Decision Time

When you’ve found the fabric that you want to use for your project, it’s time to buy it. Make sure that you purchase enough fabric to complete your item. If you’re unsure about how much fabric you’ll need, buying around 2-3 meters (2.5 yards) of fabric is a good starting point. Of course, the amount you purchase will depend on the price of the fabric and the project you’re working on. Having a bit of extra fabric can be helpful, especially if you need to make adjustments or want to add some extra details to your project.

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