Every dressmaker will have their own favourite fabrics for the craft, and these may change depending on the project and experience level. Here are five that craftspeople say they always enjoy working with, and which always fly off the shelves!
This is a gorgeous fabric which uses a double gauze layer that is secured together using the tiniest of stitches, so that the layers remain in place and don’t slide. It breathes well and has a relaxed weave, so is ideal for summer clothing. It’s also incredibly soft and comfortable to wear – but bear in mind that the loose weave may make it more suitable for intermediate and advanced dressmakers.
Fun to use and great for tshirts! Knits are colourful, easy, flexible and allow you to create fantastic everyday clothing for all the family, even if you’re only a beginner. Look for fun colours and different weights – these are well priced and easy to work with. You’ll also find that they are very widely available.
This is a classic fabric made from 100pc cotton and it works for all types of dressmaking. The fabric holds its shape well and is easy to work with, and there are a huge variety of patterns and colours to enjoy. It’s also cost-effective and a great choice if you are relatively new to dressmaking and want an easier fabric to work with, or if you are having fun with day clothes, home accessories or other projects. You can find a fantastic range of cotton poplins at http://www.higgsandhiggs.com/fabrics/cotton-poplins-112cm.html.
Lawn and Voile
Both similar in their behavour and weight, these are sheer, beautiful and have the added advantage of being easy to work with as they are stable and don’t wobble like knits or silks. You’ll love the lightweight and floaty finishes, but remember to line clothing as these materials are very sheer.
This was a big hit in the 90s and now everyone seems to want it again! Look out for rayon challis – it is silky, drapey, doesn’t overly fray and is easy to sew. It also has the excellent washing properties of cotton, although the ranges are still quite limited and prints tend to be on the larger size. Expect to see more coming out soon.