So, how would you choose right fabric for your dress, while there lies a mountain of different type of fabrics. There are certain facts about different sorts of fabrics before we make our mind to make a dress or lay our hands on any particular fabric for the purpose of making a dress.

No dress looks exactly the same in different fabrics. That means that you would not get the same fall, feel, look and most importantly fitting in different fabrics, no matter how accurate you are in pattern cutting and stitching.

So, how to know the nuances of fabrics?

Get the feel of the fabric

Even if you know nothing about textures and threads, you can easily use your nature gifted senses to feel the fabric. The touch and feel of a fabric gives you an understanding to treat the fabric in dress making.

Soft fabrics need lesser ease allowance. Some of them in fact, need no ease allowance at all. These kind of fabrics drape around the body like second skin.

These fabrics are soft and thin and sometimes so adaptable that you may need to take extra care in handling them.

You have to not trust the seller alone while choosing a particular NAME of a fabric like crepe’, silk, linen or any other fabric in that matter as market is flooded with mix fabrics and I have come across people who deal in faux fabrics in the name of authentic ones.

So, make use of your feel and touch sense while choosing a fabric.

How to differentiate fabric if its soft or hard

Fabric is treated differently in both the cases – when it’s soft or when it’s thick.

The same drafting pattern you follow will need modifications if the fabric is thicker or thinner.

There are certain stereotypes in choosing a particular fabric material for a particular dress making. For example, it is assumed that you would take woolen for jackets or cottons for pajamas and based on this assumption, drafting instructions are given.

(Sometimes it is indicated in pattern/drafting instructions as which fabric is chosen for that particular project. This clarity makes things easier for the dress maker).

Take care of the ease allowance while sewing

The slight awareness that you need to keep extra ease allowance if you are using a thicker fabric for a dress which is made from a softer fabric and vice versa can save your time and fabric.

Though, online fabric shopping requires you to name the fabric you need. Like a sturdy fabric like linen or cottons, or softer fabrics like silk or crepe or satin, or to choose from denim, wool, flannel, kit or any other.

But, as a dress maker, you touch and feel the fabric first and name it later. This is how you learn to recognize the fabric or texture of a fabric.

One more thing. If you have slight doubt over the selection of your fabric, then keep extra seam allowance. In case of alteration, you’ll find it useful.

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