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The 5 Best Summer Fabrics

Episode 193: You can trust these fabrics to keep you cool and stylish all summer long.

Posted in: Seamwork Radio Podcast, Style & Wardrobe, Patterns • May 20, 2024 • Episode 193

Dressing comfortably in the sun-soaked days of summer is a challenge, but choosing the right fabric can make all the difference.

The ideal fabrics for your summer sewing projects will keep you cool, ensure your garments are breathable (even in the season's sticky heat), and they’ll be stylish and available in your favorite colors and prints.

In this episode, Sarai and Haley share their 5 favorite fabrics to sew and wear in the summer. They’ll tell you why each fabric is great for summer and give you a list of garments that work well with each fiber.

Below are all the fabrics and ideas for projects, followed by a full podcast transcript.

The 5 Best Fabrics for Summer

1. Linen

Here’s why linen is ideal for the summer:

  • It feels cool in hot weather because it’s breathable

  • It comes in a bunch of different weights

  • It’s easy to launder (if you pre-wash it correctly)

  • Linen wears well over time because it gets softer with each wear

  • It’s the most versatile of all the summer fabrics on this list! Look at everything you can sew with it below.

Here’s what to sew with linen:

From left to right, Roan button-up, Porter shirtdress, Joss, pants, Effie shorts, Jenna skirt, Kari romper, and the Del jumpsuit.

  • Button-down shirts

  • Shirtdresses

  • Elastic-waist pants

  • Shorts

  • Skirts

  • Rompers

  • Jumpsuits

  • Trousers

2. Gauze

Here’s why gauze is ideal for the summer:

  • It gives you a cozy, soft feeling while maintaining a comfortable body temperature

  • You can find really fun prints

  • It comes in single and double-layered varieties

  • Gauze has body while still being lightweight and breathable

Here’s what to sew with it:

From left to right: Dara blouse, Leighanne dress, Fifer tank, Almada robe, Quince jacket.

Gauze is delicate, so make things with ample ease, like:

  • Peasant blouses

  • Smock dresses

  • Loose tank tops

  • Summer PJs and loungewear

  • A day robe

3. Gingham


Here’s why gingham is ideal for the summer:

  • It’s a classic print that never goes out of style

  • You can find it in a lot of colors outside of the basic white with black or blue

  • It comes in a lot of different fiber contents, though usually it’s cotton

  • You can make a lot of different kinds of garments

Here’s what to sew with it:

From left to right: Romie shirt, Sloan dress, Patsy skirt, Reggie dress, Kimmy dress, Fifer tank top, and the Max pants.

In general gingham is a little crisp, so you can use it for things with more body or more of a tailored shape.

  • Shorts

  • Skirts

  • Dresses

  • Add extra drama to an oversized boxy garment

  • It’s really fun for pants and trousers

4. Seersucker

Here’s why seersucker is ideal for the summer:

  • It makes any garment look like a summer garment

  • Making a suit? It’s a summer suit now.

  • Its tight weave lends itself to crisp, tailored looks

  • It’s breathable, usually made from cotton

  • Easy to launder

  • Natural wrinkles make it good for travel

Here’s what to sew with it:

From left to right: Keaton blazer, Otto vest, Max pants, Sloan dress.

  • Blazers

  • Vests

  • Trousers

  • Fitted summer dresses

5. Eyelet

Here’s why eyelet is ideal for the summer:

  • The eyelets give it built-in air conditioning!!

  • It adds so much design to a simple garment

  • It’s textured and pretty

  • You’ll sometimes find decorative border designs, like scallops, along the selvages

  • It comes in sparse and dense varieties

  • You can layer it over a solid-colored fabric (or let it peek-a-boo)

Here’s what to sew with it:

From left to right: The Amber dress bonus, Wynn tie-front crop, Emma dress, and the Kemper blouse.

  • Dresses

  • Skirts

  • Something easy to line

  • Garments with sleeves or yokes that can be left unlined

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