Am I using the right fabric for my garment sewing project?
Let's determine if you're using the right fabric for your sewing project!
1. Fabric Properties
To start, you'll want to consider what kind of garment you're making and what qualities are important for that type of garment. This will help you figure out the fabric properties you need to look for.
- Fabric weight and drape: The weight and drape of the fabric will affect how the garment hangs and moves on the body. Lighter weight fabrics like chiffon or voile will have more drape, while heavier fabrics like denim or wool will be stiffer.
- Fiber content: The type of fiber used in the fabric will affect its properties, such as how breathable it is, how it drapes, and how it reacts to washing and wear.
For example, if you're making a structured garment like a blazer or coat, you'll want a fabric with some stiffness and weight to hold its shape.
If you're making a flowy, lightweight garment like a summer dress, you'll want a fabric that drapes well and has some breathability.
2. Fabric Care Requirements
You'll also want to consider the care instructions for the fabric.
- Durability and care: You'll want to consider how durable the fabric is and how it should be cared for, especially if you plan to wear the garment frequently or for a long time.
3. Level of Difficulty
Another important consideration is the level of difficulty in working with a fabric. For example, if you're new to sewing, you may want to avoid fabrics that are slippery, stretchy, or extremely thin.
Download my FREE guide "How to Select the Right Fabric for Your Garments" so you can feel confident selecting the best fabrics for your next project:
When it comes to design, the first thing people notice is color!
- Color: The color of the fabric can also affect the overall look of the garment, and you'll want to consider the season, occasion, and your personal style when selecting a color.
Print or pattern: The print or pattern on the fabric can affect the overall look of the garment. You'll want to consider the scale of the print or pattern in relation to the size of the garment and the style you're going for.
Below, large scale print dress vs small scale print:
- Cost: Some fabrics can be quite expensive, especially if you're purchasing at retail prices (as opposed to wholesale). You'll want to consider your budget and the overall cost of the project when selecting a fabric.
- Are you making one garment for yourself, or planning to make multiple garments? Cost and availability of fabric is a major factor determining if a fabric is right for your project or not.
By taking these factors into account, you'll be able to select a fabric that works well for your specific sewing project and meets your needs and preferences.
Here are just a few common fabric fiber types and their characteristics, to get you thinking:
- Cotton: versatile, easy to work with, and breathable
- Linen: lightweight and breathable, but wrinkles easily
- Silk: luxurious, drapes well, but can be expensive and delicate
- Wool: warm and durable, but can be itchy and may require special care
- Polyester: easy to care for and durable, but not as breathable as natural fibers
- Rayon: lightweight and drapes well, but can shrink or stretch when washed
Ultimately, the best way to determine if you're using the right fabric is to do a test garment or swatch to see how the fabric behaves when sewn and worn.
You can also consult with a sewing or fashion design expert for additional guidance.
Now let's get designing, sewing, and making!
I offer Fashion Mentoring 1:1 sessions for any question you may have about your personal projects or fashion & sewing goals! More info and booking here.