All about Fabric

Ready to have some fun with fabrics? Let’s explore how to choose the best materials for your seasonal wardrobe! 

Hi everyone, and welcome to the 8th episode of my series on Planning and Sewing a Seasonal Wardrobe. I’m here to help you create a wardrobe that’s stylish and sustainable! One piece at a time. 

If you’ve missed any of the earlier episodes, don’t worry! You can catch up by watching the playlist linked below. Today, we’re talking all about fabric. From deadstock to organics, refashions, vintage textiles, and the importance of texture and color. 

Plan & Sew a Seasonal Wardrobe Playlist:

Create a wardrobe that’s stylish & sustainable! Before you shop think about your lifestyle, the season, your personal style and your budget. Focus on quality over quantity and a mix of textures and colors. I like to have a selection of neutral fabrics to form the base of my seasonal wardrobe and add fun pos of color and prints to add some contrast and detail.

Here are a few things I check before I buy:

Texture

Structure

Color

Drape/ Hand

Weight

Care

Scale

Once you’ve decided on your found your inspiration, decided on a color palette, and created your mood board shopping is a breeze! Whether you’re shopping locally or online taking these factors into consideration will help you narrow down your selections and choose the fabric that will make your dream wardrobe come to life!

Choosing Fabric

The fabrics you choose will have a big impact on the look and feel of your garment. It’s important to choose fabrics that are right for the season, your personal style, and your budget. The goal here is to create a garment that is both stylish and functional. The right fabrics can make a garment look and feel great.  I always like to focus on sustainability. By choosing sustainable fabrics, you can reduce your environmental impact.  

I like to know the sourcing and country of origin for my textiles. Ideally companies that are eco certified, fair trade and treat their employees well. Look for Deadstock and recycled fabrics as well as materials and textiles you can reuse, mend or repair.

You can also choose natural and sustainable fibers like Flax, Hemp and Bamboo or Organic fabrics (made without herbicides or pesticides) that are better for the environment and your health. Of course there are always pros and cons to these materials, like water usage. I’m not perfect by any means but I try to source my fabric responsibly and make my clothing long lasting and timeless.

Types of Fabrics

Deadstock fabrics  

Deadstock fabrics are fabrics that have been previously manufactured but never used. They are often a great choice for sustainable sewing, as they reduce the demand for new fabrics. Deadstock fabrics can be found at deadstock fabric stores, online retailers, and garment swaps.   

Organic fabrics  

Organic fabrics are made from fibers that have been grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides. They are a great way to make your sewing more sustainable, as they are better for the environment and for your health. Organic fabrics can be found at fabric stores, online retailers, and specialty stores.   

Refashions  

Refashioning is the process of transforming old clothes into new garments. It is a great way to save money and to reduce your environmental impact. When refashioning, you can use any type of fabric, including deadstock fabrics, organic fabrics, and vintage textiles.   

Vintage textiles  

Vintage textiles are fabrics that were manufactured decades ago. They are often unique and interesting, and they can add a touch of history to your garments. Vintage textiles can be found at vintage stores, online retailers, and estate sales.   

My Favorite Books on Fabric:

  • The Mood Guide to Fabric and Fashion: The Essential Guide from the World’s Most Famous Fabric Store by Mood Designer Fabrics
  • All New Fabric Savvy: How to Choose & Use Fabrics by Sandra Betzina
  • The Fashion Designer’s Textile Directory: A Guide to Fabrics’ Properties, Characteristics, and Garment-Design Potential by Gail Baugh
  • Sewing with Knits: Classic, Stylish Garments from Swimsuits to Eveningwear (Focus on Fabric) by Connie Long
  • Sew Your Own Wardrobe: More Than 80 Techniques by Alison Smith

Online Fabric Shops I Love!

Texture and colors  

When choosing fabrics, it is important to consider the texture and colors of the fabric. The texture of the fabric can affect the drape and feel of the garment, while the colors of the fabric can affect the overall look of the garment. Experiment with different textures and colors to find fabrics that you love. 

There are so many different places where you can find fabrics. Here are a few suggestions:  

  • Fabric stores. Start local. See what stores near you have to offer. Do they offer organic and deadstock choices? Many stores sell fabrics that have been previously manufactured but never used. 
  • Online fabric retailers. There are many online fabric retailers that sell a wide variety of fabrics. I shop almost entirely online, since it’s quite a drive for me to find good quality fashion fabrics. I’ll list a few of my favorite stores in the description.  
  • Vintage & Thrift stores. Vintage stores often have a variety of unique and interesting fabrics. You can also find great deals on fabrics at estate sales. 

When choosing fabrics, here are a few things to keep in mind:  

  • The season. Some fabrics are more appropriate for certain seasons than others. For example, linen is fantastic for summer, while wool is a perfect choice for winter.  
  • Your personal style. Choose fabrics that you love and that make you feel confident.  
  • Your budget. Fabrics can range in price from very affordable to very expensive. I personally spend quite a bit more on my fabrics than I did when I first started out.  I feel like they are a better investment in the time I’m spending sewing and for length of wear. Choose fabrics that fit your budget.  
  • The sustainability of the fabric. Consider the environmental impact of the fabric when making your choice.  

Now let me show you what I’m working with this season.  I start by looking at my mood board for color choices and texture and build from there.  I start with what I have in my stash before I shop for the season.  Right now, I’m in the process of revamping my wardrobe for my new style so I have purchased quite a bit more than I usually do.  I’m thinking by next year I’ll have a pretty cohesive wardrobe and will slow down my process and focus a bit more on slow sewing.  

Fabrics Shown above:

  • Row 1: Japanese Designer Deadstock Viscose Crepe Suiting (SMD), Famous NYC Designer Red, Orange, and Navy Floral Stripes Polyester Georgette (MOOD), Amour Vert – Tencel/Spandex Luxe Jersey – Plum (SMD), Tencel Modal Spandex Ribbed Knit- Pecan (CORE)
  • Row 2: Monaco Linen Black, Stratton Sweet Potato Solid Organic Cotton Twill (MOOD),Designer Habotai Silk Deadstock – Sea Green (CORE), Deadstock Silk Charmeuse, Lavender (SMD)
  • Row 3: Small-Scale Floral Viscose Knit Print Designer Deadstock – Teal + Copper , Striped Cotton Boucle Deadstock True Blue, Black & Cream, Viscose Ponte Knit Fawn, Organic Cotton Stripe Baby Rib Knit Navy/Cream (All from CORE)
  • Row 4: Boiled Wool Viscose- Navy (SMD), Sandwashed Textured Tencel Viscose- Teal (CORE), Hi-tech stretch crepe ‘matte hybrid’ – optic white and Italian ‘unfurled’ lightweight viscose knit ( both EOS)
  • Bamboo Cotton Stretch Fleece & 2×2 Ribbing in Hot Chocolate (Core)
  • Silk Tweed in Cream (GF)
  • Lady McElroy – Cruise Washed Linen – Sage (SMD)

Choosing the right fabrics is a crucial step in the journey of creating your own garments. With the insights shared in this episode, you’re well on your way to selecting materials that are not only stylish but also sustainable, aligning with your personal style and the season’s demands. 

I’m curious- where do you source your fabrics? Do you have any favorite types of fabrics you swear by? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Stay tuned for our next episode where we’ll be talking about simplifying our ideas and making our sewing plans. 

Until next time, Happy Sewing! 

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