Saturday, May 15

Choices, choices...

pre-washed, ironed and ready to cut

There are so many fabrics (wovens, knits, quilting, decorator etc) out there it's sometimes hard to determine what type of fabric to choose for a sewing project. Not to mention all the colours and prints available these days. No wonder sourcing fabric takes up a big chunk of my time!
Believe me, the fabric one chooses to construct a bag, a garment or anything else for that matter, can absolutely determine whether it's a success or a failure. As a general rule I use light-weight (about 160 gr) quilting fabrics for my cosmetic pouches and sleep masks. They come in endless prints and plenty of colours from muted to vibrant. By interfacing them they have just the right thickness and stability to keep their shape without becoming too stiff or bulky. A thicker fabric would make sewing in the zipper awkward.
On the other hand, decorator weight or even upholstery-weight (about 240 - 380gr) fabrics work well with my purses and shoulder-bags. Since these bags are meant for heavy-duty use it's important that the fabric is a tight weave. Under no circumstances should it have 'stretch' , often found in denim fabrics - great for a pair of jeans, awful for bags! Almost all the fabrics I use are 100% cotton. I pre-wash them to get rid of the excess dye and any remaining industrial odour, as well as accounting for the loathsome 'shrinkage'. They are also easier to sew afterwards.
The pink and lilac polka dot fabric you see up there in my stash is a wonderful thick cotton with about 25% linen blended in. I am going to make cute shopping totes with these. Stay tuned :)


  1. Hallo liebe Duni , ein schönes Wochenende wünschen
    Bruno,Nero und ich
    kuschelige Grüße an Sammy =^.^=

  2. So colorful and pretty. Excellent info too.

  3. I love your little stash pile there, you've got some very pretty prints. I've always been so overwhelmed when I walk in to a fabric shop. So much to choose from.

  4. mmmm...fabric :) I will sometimes be looking for one kind, but have to get another & just find something to do with it b/c I love the print so much :) I have made some bags in the "wrong" fabric on the outside & just used something sturdier inside to hold up the shape just b/c I loved that fabric so much :)

  5. Have a Happy Weekend
    I hope the sun will shine !!!!!

    Hugs from Kareltje
    for Sammy & Duni

  6. Sewing sounds so complicated! I don't know how to sew but I do love to look at fabric and I absolutely love bags!

    Hugs to Sammy!

  7. Love your fabrics, and you're so knowledgable! But you know what I noticed-- your pink scissors! So cute! :)

  8. Did you make some other equipment from cotton fabric? Or you are a tailor?

  9. if picking out the fabric takes a good chunk of time, well, then, clearly it is worth it.. because what you find is always so perfect and cute and darling..

  10. I do not like ironing the fabric after the wash. But then, I do not like ironing:)

  11. AnonymousMay 16, 2010

    Can't wait to see what you come up with using these fabrics!

  12. I know from experience how much work is shown in that above photo!!! They look great - one of the reasons your finished products are so wonderful :)

  13. That is so true! When I was younger, I bought some yards of cloths that had prints I liked--for dresses. When I got to the seamstress, she told me all the stuff I bought aren't for dresses but for pillowcases and even curtains! I had no idea!

    Now I'm more knowledgeable about cloth! Even when I'm buying clothes, I'm always feeling the texture and weight of the dress, the collar, the sleeves. They really do matter!


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