Choosing the right fabric

This week, the first inventory of answers to: “What is the number one question you ask yourself in sewing?”. (Thanks to those who took the time to ask their questions.)

I still found a lot of questions about the choice of fabric. Will this fabric fit this model? Which fabric should I choose? Which fabric will sublimate the
model or the person who wears the garment?

Since we are lucky enough to have a great guide, I invite you to print it and keep it beside you while reading this article. And if you have not done it yet, you can still register via the menu at the top of this page “get the guide”.
In this article, we will focus on the fallen fabric. The choice of colors and patterns can also bring questions but this is a much more subjective aspect of the subject …

Ready? Let’s go for a salve of advice

Observe the model

You chose a model. You see on the pictures, technical drawings and descriptive text if the model is large, comfortable or bent. If it is short or long. If it is shirred or with folds. If it is for summer or winter. Etc … Take the time to observe the model as it was drawn and make the link with your desires.

Examples: I do not like pants with folds in stiff fabrics. I think it swelled the bidou. If I see a pattern of pants with a chino cut, I will choose a soft fabric type pancake. I do not like transparent dresses … If I want to sew a dress, I will make sure that the weight of the fabric is enough to be certain that the fabric is not transparent. I like skirts (no, actually, I hate skirts …) marked at the waist with very rigid folds that form a balloon effect. I will choose a cotton gabardine because its thickness and rigidity will give me the desired effect. Do you understand the link between the model and your desires?

So even if you do not know the name of each fabric yet, it’s important that you know what type of hair you want.

Ask yourself the key questions.

Are you a human? OK. A priori, in everyday life, you do not go out naked to run behind your bus … So you wear clothes! So, somewhere, you know! You know if you like frilly blouses made of stiff or soft fabric. You know if you like wide pants made of thick or thin fabric. You know if you like dresses with long sleeves in transparent or opaque fabric. Somehow, you know what you like and what you want.

And that’s the first step towards choosing the right fabric. Ask yourself the key questions that may lead you to choose one fabric over another.
Do you want a fabric …?

  • hot or spawning
  • flexible and fluid or has a little stiffness and hold
  • transparent or opaque
  • extensible or not
  • thin or thick
  • light or heavy

Learn the vocabulary

There is nothing to do, to talk about a subject, you must know the vocabulary … Imagine that you explain me how to make a good mash. If I do not know what cinnamon or nutmeg is, I’m very likely to screw it up … So, despite the size of the subject, you’ll have to learn the textile vocabulary. And it takes time and practice …

So, go to the lexicon pages of the guide. Going through it quickly will not be enough. You will have to try to understand the subject or you will miss the thing.

When you go to the store, ask questions! It’s true, you’re likely to come across someone who does not know much about it. At the same time, never asking questions is also never receiving valuable information. The questions arise therefore having tried to understand before history to have a little perspective on the answer after. As far as I’m concerned, I now know in which store I can ask questions and to whom.

Make samples

A few days ago, a student found that all the fabric scraps remaining after the cut of the pieces, it was a famous waste. Well, good news! One of these little pieces will not go to the trash! Keep a square of fabric of your past projects. List them in a notebook or cards indicating, if you know it, what it is like weaving, material and weight. If you bought your fabric on the internet, you will certainly have information. If you bought your fabric at the store, ask what it is and analyze the answer with your guide to see if it’s plausible.
Little by little, you will have a reference sample bank. By dint of seeing and touching them, you will begin to memorize the fall of these tissues, their name and integrate the vocabulary.

Take part in the answer

All the advice of the world will be useless if you do not wet your shirt. No book or article or person will understand and remember in your place … If the choice of fabric seems a complicated subject, it is probably that there are still many areas of darkness for you. It is therefore time to move from this impression of textile drowning to: do what you can to, little by little, clarify the subject. Read, discover, touch, ask AND take part in the answers to be active in what you discover. This information must not slip through you but you invest in it. At least, if you want to progress in the choice of your fabrics. It is practice makes perfect.

Learn from your mistakes

I know, I have a lot of hyper smart tips today. And yet … We do not always think about applying what we learn to our children, huh? Me, I keep saying to my daughter, “It’s nothing that you’ve been wrong. What’s important is that you do your best and that you understand the mistake you made. “And yet, often, when I’m wrong myself, I’m just upset or disappointed …

An error will be an opportunity to observe and analyze it to no longer do it again. You sewed a blouse smocked in the collar in poplin and you have the impression of being in your 7th month of pregnancy? Well now, now you know that cotton poplin is not the girlfriend of the collar gathers for women’s clothes …

One difficulty at a time

There are fabrics more capricious than others … If you are beginners, go to the last page of the guide. You will see what you should avoid as tissues.
In the lexicon, fabrics suitable for beginners are marked with an “*”.

Open your wardrobe

Try to tell you that you buy a garment and not fabric. For example: you would like to hide some curves. So, you avoid clothes that showcase them. The tight dress satin, it’s not your thing. The reflections of satin only mark the shadows of your curves molded by the cut of the dress. Well, there is no reason for you to buy “satin” fabric to sew a fitted dress …

Open your closet and look at the cut and fabrics of the clothes you feel good in and note your observations to make your next choice of models and fabrics. If you do not like anything in your wardrobe … you’re in shit! No, I’m laughing It’s my usual humor … rotten but usual … It may be time in this case to think about the idea of ​​a personal session with a coach in “style” to feel good in what you doors and what you sew. Christmas is coming … It’s time to make your list of gift ideas

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