Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday Tips - Best Fabrics to Sew with if you are a Newbie

I constantly tell new students, "Don't make things harder or more frustrating for yourself, just use what fabrics your project calls for".  Many new students before they hear me say this show up to one of my Intro to Sew classes with the wrong fabric and wrong thread.  What could I do to make them understand? How could the description be more clear?  For example:
1.5 yards of light to medium weight cotton woven fabric  
Many students, I should say most students do bring correct fabric, but some bring in knit, polyester, heavy wool, or the worst, a loose weave linen or canvas. 

I feel terrible because then students get so frustrated with trying to sew and it isn't them, it's the fabric.  So if you are just starting out here are some good basic fabrics you should use and accomplish some simple projects first like napkins!

broadcloth- densely woven, medium weight
canvas or duck - heavy duty, strong, durable, comes in lots of colors!
chambray - soft, plain weave, light to medium weight
denim - washed or light weight, no stretch
lawn - light weight, can be a  little challenging because of the high count of thread it is very soft and slick
moleskin - very soft, twill 
muslin - boring but stable, light weight
poplin - medium to heavy weight, similar to broadcloth but has a slight cross ribbed weave
quilting cotton- light to medium weight, fabric holds up well over time

Also a great book to buy is Fabrics A to Z, this covers almost every possible fabric out there, the properties of the fabric,  how to sew it, what needle to use, stitch length, and care instructions.

Do you  have any fabrics you love to sew with? Any beginner challenges you are facing?

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