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One Pattern, Three Fabrics

How to pick the best fabric for the Tacara dress.

Posted in: Fabric & Textiles • September 30, 2018

Let’s be honest—picking fabric to accompany a pattern can be the most exciting and the most intimidating part of any sewing project. Fabric is a complicated beast. It determines technique, fit, and the final look of any piece of clothing.

The stand-out feature of the Tacara dress is the silhouette, so that’s where you’ll want to focus when you pick your fabric. Heavy knit fabrics will emphasize the cocoon shape, and lightweight knits will create a more flowing silhouette.

Below are three different fabrics that will achieve three different silhouettes, plus links to our favorite fabric resources across the world.

Merino Wool

Jersey used to be made exclusively from wool, but now cotton jerseys have become more popular, likely due to rises in cost and production levels. You might think wool jersey would be too scratchy or warm, but it's soft to the touch, boasts an ideal drape for knitwear, and is appropriate for all seasons.

Tip: Read this article to learn all about merino from merino-experts at The Fabric Store.

The Tacara dress sewn in merino wool.

1 | Merino Interlock in Dove Grey Stripe from The Fabric Store

2 | Premium Merino in Paprika from The Fabric Store

3 | Merino Jersey Stripe in Lemon/Ivory from The Fabric Store

International sources for wool jersey: The Drapery (AUS), Simplifi Fabrics (CA), Fabric Godmother (UK)

Sweater Knits

To add texture to your dress, or to fake a hand-knitted garment, pick a sweater knit. These knits range from chunky cable knits to feathery, loose-woven polyester blends.

They do require some special treatment, so be sure to study these tips for sewing with sweater knits.

TIP: For help picking the right sweater knit fabric online, read this article.

International sources for sweater knits: Pom Pon (CH), Pretty Mercerie (FR), Fabric Godmother (UK)

Rayon Knits

If you prefer a slinky cocoon dress, select a knit that contains rayon. Rayon (also called viscose) blends are lightweight, so they’ll give a sleeker appearance, and feel very soft against the skin. Since they tend to cling to your skin, they work well for a looser silhouette, like the Tacara dress.

TIP: Rayon knits are slinky, so be sure to stabilize the shoulder seams of your garment to prevent it from stretching over time. Use a piece of clear elastic or twill tape at the shoulder seams. For the hem, a bit of washaway stabilizer will make sewing easier.

The Tacara dress sewn in rayon knit.

1 | Dusty Rose Rayon Jersey from La Mercerie

2 | Rayon/Lycra Knit in Chai from The Confident Stitch

3 | Geometric Shapes in Grey Viscose Jersey from Guthrie & Ghani

International sources for rayon knits: Blackbird Fabrics (CA), Pretty Mercerie (FR), Fabric Godmother (UK), Guthrie & Ghani (UK)

Save up to 20% on fabric! If you’re a Premium Seamwork member, you get exclusive discounts at many of the fabric stores featured in this article. Check out the Member Deals page here for all the details.

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