Personalise Your Wardrobe | How To Choose Fabrics

How To Choose FabricsWhen sewing your own clothes, you’ll want to choose fabrics that work well together and reflect your personality. Combining fabrics and getting the right balance for your garments can be tricky, but we’ve found some great advice in new book How To Choose Fabrics

There are lots of guidelines to take into account when selecting fabrics for dressmaking. So, before you start sewing your next pattern, take at look at these tips from How To Choose Fabrics:

Useful tips

  • Choose the correct type of fabric for the purpose for which it will be used. Lawn is an extremely thin material and therefore relatively transparent, so take that into account! Liberty velvet is exceptionally fine and supple but is nevertheless a type of velvet that is wonderfully opaque and very soft.
  • Personalise your creations by making your own motifs from those on the selected fabrics, enlarging them by hand or using a photocopier. Then make stamps so that you can co-ordinate your solid-colour fabrics with patterned ones or scan in the motifs and print them out onto tracing paper. You could also use these enlargements as stencils for making appliqué shapes out of scraps of material.
  • Always use a single motif, for example a stylised flower, that will become a kind of signature mark for your creative ‘look’. It will always be the same colour, e.g. white with a coral centre, to create a mark of identity for your collection. On the other hand, the technique that is used may vary, e.g. the flower could be printed on the dress and stitched on as an appliqué on the notebook cover.
  • Avoid using a large number of fabrics if you are to wear them together. Play on the collection aspect instead, using all of the options of a design combination.


How To Choose FabricsPrinted dress
Sew a long, slightly A-line summer dress with thin straps, the same width as bias tape, out of fandango pink lawn. Use an invisible zip fastener under one arm. Print flowers and scatter them on the bottom 30cm (12in) of the dress, close together at the bottom, and further apart higher up. In order to achieve a pretty layout, test it out first by cutting out paper circles the same diameter as the flowers and pinning them on before transferring the flowers.

Make a pretty scarf using grey Liberty velvet on the front and steel grey lawn on the reverse. Look through your scarves to find the most suitable one and use that as a template for getting the right size! Add a label embroidered with your initials.

Notebook cover
Cover a treasured notebook, journal or diary with a cover made from steel grey lawn and decorate it with an appliqué flower. You could also add an embroidered label to personalise it.

For more great advice on combining fabrics for the best effect, pick up a copy of How To Choose Fabrics today. Inside you’ll find a handy directory of 300 fabric swatches and 20 practical, simple sewing projects. Choose the right type of fabric for your design and learn how to embellish your projects with co-ordinating (or contrasting) threads, trims, buttons and motifs.

*Images and text taken from How To Choose Fabrics

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