Sewing is one of the most practical and fun hobbies that you can enjoy right at home. By learning to sew you can begin to easily create a multitude of handy items for around the house. And of course you can learn to make clothing for yourself, your children and even gifts for friends.
Sewing will allow you to save money and also have exactly the sewing projects you want, in the fabrics and colors that you want, styled just like you want. However, choosing the right sewing fabric for your sewing project makes all the difference in whether or not your project will be a success or a failure.
Here are some tips and tricks to get you on the road to choosing the appropriate fabric for any sewing project:
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Read Your Pattern Instructions
Read the back of the package the pattern came in to see what fabric the pattern maker suggests, if you will be sewing from a pattern. While you can ultimately use any fabric you choose, the pattern maker gives you an idea of the fabric choices the pattern was ideally made for. If you stick to fabrics similar to those listed on the pattern, you will generally have the best end result.
Examine the Fabric
Spend some time touching and feeling the fabric when you go to your local fabric or craft store to purchase your fabric. Look it over very well. Look for things like excessive fraying at the edges. You can be assured that if the fabric is showing excessive fraying on the bolt, then it will be fraying as you get into making your project. Similarly, if the fabric is rolling up onto itself on the bolt, then it will do the same to you once you get it home and try to work with it. Both situations can be remedied fairly easily, but it is still something you should look at.
Does the fabric wrinkle easily? If the result is a wrinkled mess, and you can’t easily smooth it out with your hands, then you can be assured it will wrinkle once your project is completed. If you don’t mind ironing, then it’s not really a big deal (I don’t like ironing)
For everyday items and casual clothing, try to stick to fabrics which are machine washable and dry-able.
Working with Satin and T-Shirt Knit
Two of the hardest fabrics to work with are satin and t-shirt knit. The satin is so slick that it wants to fall off of your sewing table while you are cutting it. Once it is cut, it doesn’t want to stay together for you to sew it. The best thing you can do to work with satin is to buy special, very small, pins called “silk pins.” These pins will help your fabric stay together for sewing and will not leave holes in your finished product.
T-shirt knits tend to want to roll up constantly. This means that when you are sewing with it you will have to be unrolling it and holding it in place to sew your seams. While t-shirt knits can make some wonderful items, they are a bit of a bear to sew with. If you are new to sewing you might want to avoid satin and t-shirt knits until you get a bit more sewing experience under your belt.
One of the easiest fabrics to sew with is cotton. The first thing you will need to do with cotton is to wash and dry it before you ever cut out your pattern. If you will be sewing with cotton, or a fabric such as wool or linen, know that it will shrink when washed and dried.
And Now Get Ready to Sew!
The most important thing you will need to do is to find the right fabric for your project. Carefully read the instructions for the fabric so that when you get your fabric home, you know how to care for it and prepare it for use.
Of course there are many other recommendations when it comes to fabrics, but this should get you started if you’re new to choosing sewing fabrics. Once you have followed the recommendations above you can ensure a wonderful finished project which will last for years.