SEW YOU CAN BLOG
Why I love sewing with cotton.
What's so great about cotton?
There are so many options when it comes to dressmaking fabrics. Whilst it can be tempting to reach for beautiful viscose and stunning sateen don’t forget about good old cotton!
So, what exactly is cotton? Cotton is a natural fibre which is derived from the cotton plant. The cotton fibres are then spun into yarn and depending on how that yarn is woven will depend on the type of cotton produced, for example lawn, poplin, seersucker, chambray.
Unlike viscose cotton is a stable fabric, it won’t slip and slide as you sew with it and it is less like to stretch out if shape. When you are starting out and making your first items of clothing there’s enough to get your head around, the pattern, the instructions, what does grade the seam mean, will I ever manage to create a buttonhole or insert a zip! I think working with cotton is a fantastic way to build your confidence without giving yourself the added pressure of a challenging fabric. Cotton is stable, it is a reliable old friend that will do as you ask. It will iron beautifully when you are pressing your seams and give you a crisp and accurate finish.
Which cotton to choose?
Cotton is affordable. Ok, so we are not talking Liberty Tana Lawn Cotton here, but there’s a wide range of really affordable cotton fabrics out there. We have 100% cotton fabrics in our shop from as little as £3 per half metre. This gorgeous floral is one of my absolute favourites, perfect for summer dresses.
If florals are not for you, you’ll find cotton in such a wide variety of prints. Spots of all colours and sizes, stripes – personally I’ve never met a stripe I didn’t like! This stripe is a new one in the shop. It definitely reminds me of a certain designer stripe and I think it would look amazing as a shirt or shirt dress. There’s also a huge range of really fun novelty prints that come in cotton. Weather it is cherries or strawberries, cacti or candy skulls, starts of planets if it is a fun print you are after cotton won’t let you down.
If you are thinking you prefer a fabric with a little more drape than cotton, or a little more weight than cotton, it might surprise you to know that cotton can be light weight and floaty or heavy and structured. Cotton comes in a variety of weights. Think of ‘normal’ 100% cotton poplin fabric as mid range, Cotton Lawn fabric is lighter, softer and has more drape, and quilting cotton is heavier, so it will hold it’s shape better. I recently made a Nina Lee London Bakerloo blouse with Quilting Cotton, the weight of the fabric really helped the oversized sleeves to hold their shape beautifully, and of course because it is cotton, the fabric was so easy to work with, no stress required!
And don’t forget cotton isn’t just cotton as you might think for shirts or making tote bags fabric such as denim, corduroy, twill, and flannel all contain cotton fibres.
I really hope your feeling inspired to get sewing with cotton, take a look at the new cotton fabrics we have in the shop! I’d love to see you creations, so please share you makes with us on our Facebook group or send me a picture!
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