are basically two kinds of fabrics, knit (jerseys, fleeces,
interlocks, terrys) and woven (twills, cottons, dobbys). These can be
made from either natural or synthetic fibers or a blend of both.
Combining synthetic and natural fibers gives an almost unlimited
variety. In purchasing fabric for your sewing projects, examine the
fabric to see how it feels, drapes, does it wrinkle easily, or does it
important to choose fabrics that will compliment the pattern design,
look attractive on the person wearing the garment and perform
according to your expectations. To determine if the fabric is suitable
for the pattern, be sure to check the suggested fabrics. It is
important to know if the pattern is designed for knit or woven fabric
and if it is for light, medium, heavy, soft or crisp fabric.
purchasing fabric, take note if the fabric should be cut in one
direction. If the fabric has to be cut this way, it sometimes requires
more fabric. All fabric with nap such as velvet, corduroy, velour, and
terry should be cut one way. Fabrics with a one-way design and all
knits should be cut one way.
to allow extra fabric for shrinkage. Usually all fabric with cotton
will shrink to some degree. Extra fabric should be allowed for
matching stripes, plaids and large designs.
you are using patterns designed for stretch fabric, it is important to
use fabric with the degree of stretch the pattern recommends. Most
patterns have stretch chart on the back of the envelope.
the fabric for the degree of stretch, fold over the crosswise edge of
the fabric 3" (8 cm). Mark 4" (10 cm) with pins. Hold the 4" (1 0 cm)
strip of the folded fabric against the chart and stretch gently to the
outside line. If the fabric stretches easily, without excessive
rolling, to this line or slightly farther, the fabric has the correct
amount of stretch for the pattern.
use a fabric that stretches more than recommended, your garment will
have a looser fit. If the fabric stretches less, it will have a closer
fit. You should not substitute woven fabric for knit fabric or use a
knit fabric when the pattern recommends a woven fabric. Some patterns
are designed for both woven and knits, but these knits should be
stable and have a very small degree of stretch.
also a good time to check the fabric for recovery, if the fabric does
not return to its original shape, it will probably mean that the
fabric will sag and stretch out of shape when the garment is worn.