Choosing The Fabric

       By: Barbara Evans
Posted: 2008-01-12 02:46:50
Do you sometimes purchase a length of gorgeous fabric and find yourself disappointed on getting home and having a good look at it?Don't worry, we have all done this at one time or another.How do you decide if that length of gorgeous fabric you have fallen in love with will suit you?Well, it is quite easy.-Ask to unroll a couple of metres off the roll -Drape it around your shoulders and hold it against your face -Take a good look in a full-length mirror -Appreciate the colour, pattern, texture and weight of the fabric. -Does the colour drain your complexion of its natural colour -Does it enhance your natural beauty and give your face a "lift." -Imagine it hemmed - does the fabric fold under easily and sit straight. -Check the label. Is it dry-clean only? This can be expensive over time. Did you know that many of the cotton-polyester blends require very little or no ironing. -Check the weave. A great weave is when the weft or crosswise threads meet at right angles at the selvage and the closer the weave the stronger the fabric -Be wary of a loose weave, it may require a lining to stop seating or stretching when we sit and it can be tricky to stitch and hem. -Prints. Does the design printed on the fabric meet the selvage at right angles? If it doesn't then the seams may not match up and the garment may sit crooked when worn. When the fabric is your favourite colour and design pattern, step away and choose another. -A tag attached in the selvage indicates a flaw in the fabric. Do not accept the flaw, you may not be able to avoid or cut around it. Ask for a new cut length. -Check for Creases. Crumple some of the fabric in your hand. Does it slowly recover or does it stay creased? If it stays creased, it will also do so when you wear it. Not a "great look", as it will always crease in the places we do not want to emphasise. Avoid purchasing creased pieces at the end of the roll as the creases may be permanent.-Check the Remnant Bin. You may purchase some great end of the roll pieces. Unfold and check for flaws, creases and that the colour suits you. Is there enough fabric for your pattern? Just because it is 'cheap' does not necessarily make a it good purchase. However, some really good bargains have been found in the remnant bins, so by all means, check it out. Copy and print out this little list and take it with you when shopping for fabric so you can check that you are getting the best value for your money.Happy Sewing and Enjoy your Day.Barbara EvansI have been sewing for nearly 40 years and have a NZ Diploma in Fashion Design and Pattern Drafting with Merit, have worked as a pattern maker, clothing cutter, a tailoress, taught sewing in a training intuition, helped many friends with the sewing problems and fixed their machines... and have stitched countless garments.I have written an e-book called 'Sewing Easy' which is a valuable sewing course crammed full of easy, practical methods with loads of diagrams. In it I take you by the hand and show you how to sew, create your own clothes and make your own gifts in a Sewing Easy way.For more information please visit where you will also find a free monthly Sewing Easy Ideas Bulletin for you to download, which is full of great ideas and sewing hints.
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