Choosing the right fabric depends a lot on the type of project you’re about to embark on. This could be a small project or a large project like creating a large roof for Tensile Fabric Structures like the ones you see at sporting events or large evening comedy nights. Selecting a new project is the fun part and you can find inspiration from magazines, Pinterest or any other website. You can buy a pattern in a store or find an online tutorial to follow.
It’s important to do a little research for the garment you want to make. Have a look in clothes shops and see what’s in trend and what kind of fabrics are being used. You can get a good feel for how different fabrics hang and ensure that what you’re making is stylish and contemporary.
Understand what width you’ll need for your project. Fabrics come in a variety of widths and knowing what width you need determines how much of the fabric you’ll need to purchase.
Think about a swatch or sample before ordering the full amount of fabric. Sometimes the colour of a fabric can differ from how it appears on a screen to how it looks under natural light conditions. If you are making a garment for yourself, hold it ip against your skin to check that the colour suits your skin tone.
Get a feel for the stretch of the fabric. Pull it between your fingers and see how flexible it is. Sometimes sewing with a very stretchy material is hard work and not ideal for beginners. Lycra and jersey are particularly difficult to sew, unless you’re confident at stretch sewing.
Before you buy, check how the fabric needs to be cared for after you have completed your garment. Care instructions are important, especially if you’re not a fan of hand wash only fabrics. You also might not be too happy to find you’ve purchased dry clean only fabric.
Have an image in your mind of what the project will look like in a certain fabric. Will it look better in a light, flowing silk or a heavier linen for example? Bear in mind how flattering fabric will be for your body shape. Silks tend to be less forgiving than heavier fabric, particularly with simple or loose structure garments.
When it comes to buying your chosen fabric, make sure you have enough for your needs. It’s better to have a little too much and some flexibility than it is to realise you haven’t ordered enough.