It can be exciting starting a new sewing project, but as a beginner, it pays to know how to buy the right kinds of fabric.
The beauty of fabrics is that they come in a wide range of styles, so you’ve got great flexibility when making different sewing projects.
Get to know what different fabrics are available. Generally, fabrics are man-made or synthetic (such as nylon), or natural, coming from animal fibers (like wool or silk), or plant fibers (including cotton or linen).
Familiarise yourself with the attributes and properties of each fabric type, so you can decide which is the best one to choose for your particular project.
To start yourself off, buy fabrics that are easy to work with. Cotton fabric, such as from http://www.higgsandhiggs.com/fabrics/plain-cotton-fabric.html, is a recommended option, as woven fabrics such as cotton won’t stretch or slip when you sew them.
Choose fabrics that are lightweight, for easy sewing manipulation. Denim or corduroy are best avoided for first attempts.
Beginner sewers also find fabrics in plain colors or small prints are easier to lay out than those with large patterns, stripes or checks.
Of course, if you are following a particular pattern, it will stipulate the fabric you need on the instructions.
As a beginner, it makes sense to choose the fabric that is affordable rather than expensive, in case you make mistakes. According to Sew Now Magazine, if you do need expensive fabric, before cutting into it, sew up a test garment in an inexpensive fabric to check that you’re cutting the correct pattern size.
Look at the pattern guide to see how much fabric you will need to buy. It’s always a good idea to get more than you actually require, to allow for any potential errors you might make. This is especially important if the fabric might be hard to get hold of at a later date.
You’ve got lots of options for buying fabric, but as a new seamstress, get to know how different materials feel first, before making any purchases. You can visit shops in person, but don’t ignore the burgeoning number of online stores that now stock fabrics, often with more choice than in brick-and-mortar shops. Often, you might be able to request a sample before making a full purchase.