So you now you need to buy fabric for your awesome garment pattern! All patterns will tell you what works best for the specific pattern, but it is helpful to also know exactly what each fabric is. Quilting cotton is readily available and comes in tons of different prints. However, quilting cotton is not the best for sewing garments. We will talk more about fabric drape tomorrow, but for now I want to talk about some great fabric options for sewing clothes. There are two main categories of fabric, woven and knit. Woven fabric doesn’t stretch, where knit fabric stretches.
Chambray: This is a light-weight to medium weight fabric. This fabric is made by weaving colored threads and white threads to create a slightly white-washed appearance. Chambray’s are most common as blue, but also come in other solid colors and some prints. This is machine washable and can be tumble dried.
Double Gauze: Two layers of gauze stitched together with tiny stitches. This is a light weight fabric and has great drape. It is very breathable and oh so soft. It is a very comfy fabric to wear. A tiny downside to double gauze is it is a little tricky to work with due to the loose weave. It also can wrinkle easily. This is also machine washable and tumble dry.
Voile/Lawn- Two different types of fabric, with many of the same characteristics. Voile/Lawn is a light-medium weight fabric with a high thread count. It is very soft, almost silky making it a very comfy fabric for clothing. It is a great fabric to sew for beginners, it is easy to work with. It is lightweight, so lining or wearing something underneath is usually needed. Again, machine wash and tumble dry to care for it!
Challis- This is a lightweight fabric that can be made from wool, cotton, or rayon. Rayon Challis mix is a great fabric for clothing. It is lightweight and breathable, drapes well and hardly wrinkles! It is easy to care for, pretty much a dream fabric! This fabric is also easy to sew with making it great for beginners!
Interlock- Very common, light to medium weight stable knit with limited 2 way stretch. It is a double knit fabric, so it does not have a wrong side. This is a great choice for beginners wanting to sew with knits. Due to its stability, it is a easy knit to sew with. Interlock can be made from wool, cotton, silk, polyester, and nylon. The most common is cotton and polyester. Cotton and polyester interlock can be machine washed and tumble dried, whereas wool and silk need to be dry cleaned.
Jersey Knit- Another very common knit. This light-medium weight knit is a single knit fabric with moderate stretch. The edges usually curl to the right side, making it easy to differentiate right and wrong sides. Jersey knit is most commonly made from cotton. It can come in either two way stretch or four way stretch. Machine wash and tumble dry jersey knit made from cotton or polyester.
French Terry- This fabric is typically a medium weight fabric with looping on one side, flat on one side. It is super comfy and can be used to make comfy sweatshirts, dresses, or shirts. Machine wash and tumble dry!
This is a basic list of fabrics to start with. There is many more fabrics great for sewing clothes, but this will give you a great start!
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