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How to Pick a Fabric for a Sewing Project

Learn how to pick fabric for a sewing project from founder Cynthia Mann in this Howcast video.


Hi, I'm Cynthia Mann and we're here today at Birch Fabrics in Paso Robles, California. This is also the home of Hi, I'm Melissa Lunden; I'm the resident seamstress here at Birch Fabrics. I teach sewing lessons here, prepare blog tutorials and sew samples of Birch's line of organic cotton. And I am here today to talk to you about sewing. So, let's talk about choosing fabric. You have so many different options and if you're doing a specific project with a commercial sewing pattern, it'll often give you different recommendations but here are a couple just to get an idea. This is a regular quilting weight cotton. It has a nice woven texture. Pretty strong. It doesn't have a lot of stretch and nowadays, you can get all kinds of different prints and colors. They come in organic and it's just really versatile for all kinds of projects whether it's making pillows or clothing. Another type of fabric is linen. It's a little bit of a looser weave, has a little bit rougher texture but it's also really good for home dec projects and making clothes. Another type of fabric is jersey. It's a knit rather than a woven and it has a lot of great stretch. It's really good for clothes. It's a little bit trickier to sew with. Um, you can use an over lock machine. You can also use your regular sewing machine but it's great for kid's clothes or clothes that need a lot of movement and it drapes really well. Another type of fabric to consider is a decorator weight. A decorator weight means it's a little bit heavier. It doesn't drape as loosely, and it's usually wider. Regular bolts of cotton usually run about 44 inches wide. Decorator weights come at 54 inches so, they tend to be a little bit more expensive per yard but that's because you're getting more fabric and it's thicker. It's more durable. You can make home dec projects, pillows, curtains. You can make accessories. Also, make outerwear with it. Something like this would be so good for a coat.

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