Welcome back to another post in our ongoing fabric series, this time all about helping you answer that age-old question: what fabric should I use to make…?
If you’ve been following along with the series, you’ll know that fabrics can make or break any sewing project, and choosing the right fabric project is essential to a project that you wear and wear. Because as we know, fabrics have a bunch of different properties that affect how they fall, how they breathe and how they drape, all of which affects whether they will suit various types of garments. Today I’ll be sharing some of the types of fabrics I like to use when I am sewing a particular item. These are my personal favourites and everyone differs in how they like their garments to fall, but after lots of experimentation, I have found these to be the best.
As you guys know I am such a big fan of making simple dresses… It’s an addiction! I generally like to choose fabrics with a heavy drape that create a beautiful fluid movement, and so I generally avoid fabrics that are toe stiff. Linen and cotton are two of my favourite fabrics for making dresses, and I always make sure to test the fabric by seeing how it flows off the roll before I buy it.
I only recently started to master the rounded arm opening shape, and since then have been making a lot more tops – that arm opening can be a little daunting at first! For tops, I think there is more flexibility in terms of the weight and structure of the fabric, and light drapes with a soft fall are great for simple and minimalist DIY projects, while fabrics that are stiffer will provide more structure and shape.
Pants & Shorts
Shorts were a staple for me in the past, they’re really an item you can make easily particularly if you choose a gathered waist. When it comes to garments on the bottom half of my body (like pants, shorts and skirts), I like to go for heavier fabrics because they provide more structure for my tummy and backside, and (thus) make me a feel a little more confident and put together. Fabrics like heavy cotton, rayon and linen are a great place to start.
Skirts were my first love when it come to DIYing, I’m pretty sure my first 10 DIYs were skirts and the love lives on. The same as pants, I like to reach for heavier fabrics when I can so that they have more structure, although I have started experimenting with some lighter fabrics and have found that if you gather then well you get a great drape and shape.
Infographic by Natalie Ong.