So many fabrics to choose from

For a few years I have enjoyed making items of clothing for myself. They are often basic in their design. My particular favourite is a circular skirt pattern I created that can be easily sew in an afternoon. I have made a few of this skirt using lots of different patterned material.

One of the parts of sewing for myself that I enjoy the most is choosing the dressmaking fabrics. I am a bit like a child in a sweet shop when I stat browsing through all the options available. It can be a little overwhelming at times.

So here is a handy guide to the different dressmaking fabricsavailable:

  • Knits – this is a large category of fabrics which ranges from light weight options through to medium weighs. This fabric is perfect for items that need to have an element of stretch. It is worth checking the back of your pattern to see how much stretch is needed, you can then select a woven or knitted fabric as required.
  • Cotton Voile – a light weight fabric with a semi-sheer look. This particular type of fabric is great for draping and so is often used as a dress or shirt/blouse material option.
  • Silk – another light weight option with excellent draping qualities. Silk is good as a main fabric or as a lining fabric. It can be more difficult to work with than other options due to its slippery surface.
  • Denim – a heavy weight fabric with excellent durability but little stretch capacity. This fabric is often used for jacket and trouser patterns.

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  • Linen – a medium weight fabric which wrinkles easily due to its low elasticity. It is very effective at conducting heat and so has become a popular choice of fabric for summer clothing.
  • Rayon Challis – similar to cotton voile this is a smooth light weight, semi-sheer fabric that is great for draping.
  • Satin – you can find this fabric in light weight through to heavy weight options. It is similar to silk in its glossy appearance.

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  • Wool – there are over 200 different types of wool fabric and the weighting depends on the breed of sheep the wool comes from. It is an extremely hard-wearing fabric and very versatile in its uses. As a warm fabric it is often used in the colder winter months.
  • Chambray – is another light weight fabric that has a smooth appearance. It is not as good for draping as cotton voile or rayon challis.