by Cora Gold August 12, 2021 3 min read

Are you starting a new sewing project?

One of your most essential considerations after deciding what to make is the fabric. The fabric you choose can make or break your project. If your design or pattern is supposed to be flowy, and you choose a structured fabric, it won’t come out the way you wanted. Additionally, if you pick a heavy material for a summer dress, the dress may be too hot to wear in the summer temperatures.

Choosing a fabric based on color or design may be your initial instinct, but it’s not the best method. Here’s how to choose the right fabric for your project to make your project dreams come true.

Know the Common Fabric Types

First, it’s good to get acquainted with the different types of fabrics and their properties. Below is a list of some of the most common fabric types used for garments:

  • Cotton:Cotton is the easiest fabric to work with since it has some structure but is easy to maneuver when sewing.
  • Silk: Silk is a more advanced sewing fabric, but it’s breathable and comfortable. It’s also very fluid, making it great for skirts and dresses.
  • Wool:Wool is an intermediate fabric, breathable and relatively comfortable, perfect for winter garments.
  • Linen:Linen is another beginner fabric with high breathability and comfort.
  • Rayon:Rayon is relatively easy to work with and super comfortable.

There are so many other fabric options available, but these are some of the most used.

Consider Your Pattern

If you’re a beginner sewer, you probably have a pattern you’re working on rather than something from your head. Some patterns will tell you which fabrics work best for the design. That makes your job easier when choosing your material. If you want to stray from the recommended fabrics, try to select a similar weight and structure.

Understand Your Skill Level

Choose a fabric based on your sewing skill level. Some materials are challenging, like satin, silk, denim and knits. Even some more advanced seamstresses find these difficult. For beginners, cotton is your friend. It’s easy to cut, sew and work with overall. Until you get more experience, stick with fabrics similar to cotton.

Determine the Fabric’s Strength

The fabric’s strength depends on your project type. If you’re making something that will experience a lot of wear, you want to choose a fabric that can hold up after many washes or uses. You can choose a lighter, less durable fabric for projects that won’t get much use or wear, like for statement pieces.

Consider What Your Project Is For

What kind of garment are you making? Does it need to be breathable or waterproof for an outdoor activity? Are you creating a winter sweater to keep you warm? Is your project a quilt or an upholstery item? Determine what your project is for before choosing the fabric. Make sure the material matches what you’re creating.

Pick a Color or Print

Once you’ve determined your pattern, skill level, fabric strength and project use, you can choose a color or print. The above considerations should help you narrow down your choices for your project. You should still have a wide range of options available, whether you shop online or in-store. From there, you have the freedom to pick your favorite color or print. If you’re creating something for someone else, give them the option of choosing their own!

Start Sewing

Once you have your fabric, you can start cutting and sewing. Do your research, and you’ll choose the best material!