Planning your perfect Avid Seamstress pattern and daydreaming about how lovely it’s going to look on you? There’s just one thing standing in your way – choosing the perfect fabric. For many of us this is the best part! The part where our imaginations can run wild and we can put our own creative stamp on our garment.
For some of us, however, this is an extremely daunting task. There are just so many options out there, and even though the patterns will always give you suggestions that doesn’t mean the decision is made any easier.
Do you need a lightweight fabric, or would it be better in heavyweight? Does it need to drape or do you need some rigidity to it? Do you want it to breathe or hold in the heat? Do you want to go more for pattern or more for texture? How will it feel against your skin? All these questions and many more run through your head and that’s before you’ve even started the search.
There are many fabrics suitable for each of The Avid Seamstress dress patterns but don’t panic, we’d like to help make that decision a little easier. We’ve put together a little guide to fabrics we’d choose for each of our adult dresses and where to get them. We’re not suggesting these are the only types you can use, it’s just to give you a bit of guidance and inspiration. We’re hoping to help with the indecision and get you to the fun part; making your beautiful new dress.
Just click on the fabric images and they will take you straight to the product page at our favourite fabric shops!
The Day Dress
The Day Dress has such an adaptable style. With its fitted bodice, gathered skirt and inner pockets this could easily be something comfy yet smart for a lazy Sunday brunch with friends or team it with heels and the right accessories and you could be on your way to the theatre. We are firm believers that you can make this dress out of almost anything—except stripes, diagonals or plaids—but we do like to recommend light to medium weight fabrics. Do remember that if you are using a one-way design, you’ll need to allow extra fabric. Being able to make this dress out of pretty much anything can make choosing a fabric a pretty lengthy process. However, here are two we found we think would look great.
As it’s February and it’s cold in many places right now we think fun indigo cotton chambray with a tiny anchor print from Fabric Godmother would be lovely teamed with tights and boots. As is is slightly stiffer than some chambray’s this would give the Day Dress skirt a lovely shape. 100% cotton and 158cm wide it’s perfect for The Day Dress.
Perhaps you are the kind of person who dreams of the summer and likes to be prepared for it well in advance. Or perhaps you are lucky enough to be off on a trip to get some winter sun. If that’s the case, then we recommend this double gauze chambray in marine by Robert Kaufman from Metermeter (a gorgeous shop in Denmark with outstanding customer service – you’ll have your fabric so quickly!). It’s 100% cotton so it’s breathable and light on the skin; perfect for those warm summer evenings and just look at that colour!
Once you’ve got your fabric and are ready to go, feel free to visit our Day Dress Tutorial for help with the making process!
The Raglan Dress – have you ever seen anything look more comfortable? This simple yet elegant dress is cut in an A-line silhouette and can have short or long sleeves. We’re of the opinion that plain fabrics work better with this dress due to the sleeves. Don’t worry though, all weights will work well with its playful fit so you still have a number of options.
To keep you warm but still looking your best this winter we think this charcoal grey viscose/wool mix from Metermeter is just perfect. The fabric has a slight sheen to it, almost reminiscent of snake skin. The viscose will give it a silky feel against your skin while the wool will help retain the heat.
With the right fabric choice, we think the shape of this dress lends itself to the perfect garment for hot summer days; you want to look good but need to still feel comfortable. That’s why we’re suggesting this beautiful Robert Kaufman yarn dyed Essex linen in Steel from The Draper’s Daughter. The light grey colour still suggests summer or spring but without being too bright. The mixing of linen and cotton gives you the breath-ability of both fabrics, while the cotton means it is less inclined to wrinkle; perfect for packing in your suitcase.
If you think you might need a little assistance when making this or simply want to see how we do it here at The Avid Seamstress, you are welcome to take a look at our Raglan Dress – Adult – Tutorial
Much like the Day Dress the Sheath Dress is tremendously adaptable. It features an optional elasticated waist, a flattering round neckline, the option for inner or outer pockets, plus short or long sleeves. You can really make this dress your own. Again, like the Day Dress, this pattern isn’t suitable for stripes, diagonals or plaids but we believe this can be made from pretty much anything. This gives you endless opportunities to make this dress a multitude of times.
If you want a dress to wear now that will keep you looking great but warm at the same time we’d suggest this wonderful jersey dress fabric made with a mix of wool and viscose from Fabric Godmother. This fabric has a lovely subtle marl effect and would feel incredible against your skin. It also comes in a wide range of gorgeous colours and it’s 170cm wide!
For a summer option, we think this black on beige viscose crepe from Metermeter is just fantastic. Its lightweight feel and excellent drape will sit very well with this dress. The breath-ability of the fabric will allow you to stay cool and the graphic print is just something a little different, helping you to stand out from the crowd.
Want a bit of colour? This soft cotton cambric dress fabric in Terracotta has small origami birds on it. It is such a fun print and comes in other colours. This is a lightweight cotton similar to a lawn with a slight sheen finish to it. This bye bye birdie dressmaking fabric is 140cm wide making it perfect for The Sheath Dress.
As with all our patterns, we offer a tutorial for you to follow as you sew for some extra support. You can find the Sheath Dress Tutorial here.
One key thing to remember when shopping online is to check the measurements of the piece being sold. Some websites will list prices per metre, some half metre and some by fat quarters. They will always give you instructions on how to order longer pieces to get the length you need so don’t worry.
Oh and last of all, just have fun!
The Avid Seamstress