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Episode 98

Our Top 10 Favorite Fabrics and Where to Find Them

In this episode, Sarai and Haley talk about their favorite go-to fabrics for sewing clothes, what makes them so versatile and useful, and their favorite manufacturers and shops to go to when they need them.

Do you have a favorite fabric? Something you reach for over and over because it’s so comfortable, or it works perfectly for the weather where you live?

Here at Seamwork, we have a bunch of go-to fabrics for our sample garments. Haley is the one on the Seamwork team who shops for fabric for the samples each month. So in this episode, she’ll share all her secrets.

Podcast Transcript

Sarai
Welcome back to Seamwork Radio. Today we’re talking about our favorite go-to fabrics and where we source them. So we’re going to cover our favorite woven and knit fabrics, what makes them so versatile and useful, and our favorite manufacturers and shops to go to when we need them.

Alright, we’ll start with our ice breaker. And today’s ice breaker comes from Seamwork member Natalie. Natalie says, “I’m curious if you have some very good or very bad experiences with estimating yardage when casually purchasing a fabric that attracts you, and then being very disappointed or feeling very lucky when you can or can’t match a project with that yardage.” So have you ever had a time where maybe you didn’t buy the amount of yards you need or you felt really lucky because you had exactly what you needed?

Haley
I think that I used to be really bad at buying too little fabric, so I was always having to make little design concessions. Like, I guess this is going to be short sleeves, short sleeves now. No pockets on this one or things like that. So I used to be really bad at it, not because I didn’t know how much fabric something would take, but because I think I was being like I was buying too much fabric, like buying fabric too often, buying too much of it, and then cheaping out when it came to the yardage. And I have a little bit different strategy now. I’ve gotten a lot better at it, so usually I get the right amount. Now I know typically what I would like to make out of it, even if I don’t know the exact pattern, I know, oh, this would be great for a coat or a pair of pants or a blouse. And when you’ve been sewing for long enough, you kind of know for your size how much fabric those things are going to take. I think three yards is kind of my magic number, unless I’m going to be making some elaborate coat or something out of it.

Haley
But I think the thing is, I have a lot of vintage fabrics or fabrics that I got. I used to be, like, really into buying remnants, so I have all of these little itty bitty pieces of fabric that I don’t really know what I’m going to do with. 1 vintage silk. I just don’t know things like that. What about you?

Sarai
Three yards is also my magic number. If I don’t know what I’m going to do with something, I’ll just buy three yards of it because that’s usually enough for most projects. I definitely have some fabrics that I did not buy enough of, and it’s often because I thought I would use it for one thing, and then I ended up falling out of love with that idea and then wanting to use it for something else. Like, I have a bunch of these not a bunch. I have a couple these really pretty brocade fabrics that I bought, thinking I was going to make, like, mini skirts with them. Not mini skirts, but, you know, shorter, like straight skirts. Now I don’t really wear short skirts like I used to. It’s just not my style anymore. I prefer longer skirts. And so I’m just kind of like, what do I do with this now? As I only have like a yard or a yard and a half and just kind of have to figure something else out. So I often have had that issue, and then I have other vintage fabrics where I have a ton of yardage and I feel like I need to use it all.

I feel like I need a project that’s going to actually use five yards of fabric. I don’t want to do something that’s only going to take half the fabric, because when I’m going to have two dresses in the same fabric, it’s going to be I don’t know. I probably wouldn’t wear them both.

Haley
What you do is you make one dress and then you gift the second half of the fabric to someone.

Sarai
Yeah.

Haley
Then you can be twins.

Sarai
Maybe I can make like, a mommy and me dress for my sister or something like that. I don’t know. Oh, my gosh.

Haley
Do it. I love that.

Sarai
I know.

Haley
I love doing that.

Sarai
It’s so cute.

Haley
I never thought I would be that person, but a couple of weekends ago, I went to the hardware store with Charley, and I put her in a little denim jacket and I was like, I’m going to go put on a denim shirt. Everyone at the hardware store, it’s, like, this little tiny one in our neighborhood, they were all freaking out over it, and Charley felt like, so fancy.

Sarai
That’s so fun. Yeah, I think that is just like the most adorable thing. I just love making kids clothes and baby clothes. It’s just like the most fun. Maybe that’s something. Maybe I can do something with that brocade fabric and make a little fancy Christmas dress for my niece or something. I’m sure she would hateit. It’s some itchy brocade. It has, like, gold in it, so it’s like, really probably pretty itchy, so I’ll line it. I’ll line it in silk. It’s going to be amazing. All right. That was an awesome icebreaker. Thank you, Natalie.

If you have an icebreaker for us that you want us to use on a future episode, you can leave it for us. If you’re a Seamwork member at Seamwork.com/go/icebreakers, and that’ll take you right to the post on our community where you can share your question for us to use as an icebreaker on a future episode, we’d love to hear your thoughts and your ideas for an icebreaker. So thank you again, Natalie.

Haley
So on to kind of our topic of the day, shopping for fabric, something we hear from other sellers, members in our community all the time is that shopping online for fabric is really hard. It’s really intimidating. I have personally found it challenging at times. But the good news is that I shop for fabric online as part of my job, like, all the time. I buy all of the fabric for the Seamwork samples, and I’ve gotten kind of good at it. And Sarah is pretty good at it too. And we found that kind of like having those go to fabrics is so helpful because when you know what something is going to feel and so like and look like, it makes the whole process so much easier. So today we’re going to share some of our go to fabric types and give you some suggestions on where to find them. So, Sarai, what are the qualities that you look for in a go-to fabric?

Sarai
I think for me, in thinking about what I look for in the types of fabrics that I buy over and over again, and especially online, that I kind of know what I’m going to get. The things that I look for specifically are, first of all, just to start off, natural fibers are one of those things. I think when you know it’s going to be a natural fiber, you just have a better sense of how it’s going to perform. Which isn’t to say that synthetics are always bad. It’s just that there seems to be a lot more variability with synthetics in how they’re going to wear, how they’re going to press. So I always look for natural fibers as much as possible. I think another thing for me is, is it going to be comfortable? That kind of goes with the natural fibers thing. Is it going to be easy to take care of? So is it washable? Is another consideration the kind of look of it? Does it look fancy or does it look casual? I think for my goto fabrics that I use over and over again, for me, it’s important that they have a casual look to them because if it wears in a way that just seems kind of dressy or fancy, I’m much less likely to wear it.

So I want most of my closet to be things that have a casual look because I’ll be sure to put it on because my lifestyle is casual. Whether it comes in different colors, I think is another thing is there are a lot of variety things that you can get in a multitude of colors or just you have a lot more choice if you can find the same fabric in many colors and then if it’s easy to fit, some fabrics are a lot harder to do fitting adjustments with. So I think that’s another one. So those are some of the things I look for in fabrics. When we’re talking about these kind of like go to fabrics, are there certain brands or certain manufacturers that you look for, Haley? Because you do so much fabric shopping.

Haley
I know. Yeah. I think that, to start with manufacturers, the two manufacturers I frequent or use their fabrics the most are Robert Kaufman and Telio. Both of them have printed fabrics, but they have a lot of different basics. And I think for most people’s, wardrobes that the basics are the fabrics that kind of do a lot of heavy lifting, lots of natural fibers, lots of solid colors, or yarn dyed fabrics. Both are really great, and you can find them in a variety of shops. Robert Kaufman specifically sells to so many small, independent shops. You can find them. I find it in practically most small fabric stores, which is really great. Those are the two manufacturers I shop the most. Yeah, I think that those are the manufacturers I probably shop the most, and then I kind of, like, turn to stores when I know I’m looking for something a little bit more particular. Stores that specialize in things. Do you have a favorite manufacturer?

Sarai
Well, I think Robert Kaufman is a big one for me too, and we’re talking about these kind of, like, tried and true go-to fabrics. I think when we get into the specific fabrics, you’ll hear Robert Kaufman come up quite a lot. I think that’s a really great one to look for. Apart from that, I don’t think there are that many specific manufacturers I look for. It’s more into types of fabric or fabric stores. So what are some trusted fabric stores and sources for buying fabric that you turn to over and over?

Haley
I think that when I’m shopping outside of the two manufacturers that I just listed, I turn to stores more frequently. The two stores I probably shop with most often are Blackbird Fabrics and Stone Mountain and Daughter. I think those are my two gotos, and that’s because I think both of those places have a lot of really cool, unique fabrics that I can then mix in with those more basics that I can find with Robert Kaufman and Tele. And I find that it’s like all four of those together make a really great marriage to create photo samples that look and feel like something that could be someone’s real life wardrobe.

Sarai
Yeah. I think for me, the stores I go to the most or sources that I go to the most would be well, I think the ones you mentioned are awesome, so I’m just going to add on to those. Blackbird, I think, has just wonderful selection of really curated fabrics. I think they’re great. I like to look at Etsy because there’s just a really big variety of sellers there that have all different kinds of fabric, and it’s really fun to look through. And I think if you know what you’re looking for, when we get into the fabric types, we’re going to be sharing a lot about fabric types that can really help you to kind of narrow it down to things that you’ll have a better idea of what will work. But there’s also obviously there’s just, like, a huge variety of things on Etsy. As well, so that’s fun to look through. I really like Emma One Sock for more of the fashion fabrics and dead stock kind of fabrics, the things that are mill ends and things like that. So if you’re looking for more of those kind of high end, fashion ready to wear fabrics, I think Emma One Sock is just really cool things.

I also really like Harts Fabric, which we’ve known the folks at Harts Fabric for a long time, and they have a really awesome selection of really wide variety, so they’re wonderful as well. And there’s lots of other wonderful indie shops. We have a whole page on our website of shops that offer discounts for our members. So if you want to head over there, you can. We’ll talk about that more as we go through it, but you can find that at Seamwork.com/deals, and that will show you all the fabrics that we partner with, and we don’t it’s not sponsored or anything like that. They just offer a discount to our members for free. So that’s pretty awesome. Let’s get into the fabrics, because that’s the bulk of what we want to talk about today, is what are the specific fabrics and then where we find them. So Haley’s going to be talking about woven fabrics, and then I’m going to be talking about knit fabrics. So, Haley, do you want to get into some of your favorite woven fabrics and where you look for them?

Haley
Yeah, so I’m going to move kind of from heavier weight to a little bit lighter weights to give a little bit of rhyme or reason to what I’m going over. So I’m going to start with twill. I love twill for anything that I need a bottom weight fabric for. Most often, that is things for the lower half of your body that’s bottom weight. My general rule for twelve is that I like looking for something that’s in the ballpark of 8oz or higher. I find that if it’s too lightweight, I think that it can be a little bit less forgiving in the fit department and really crease and settle into the hollows of your body. The reason that I really like twill is that twill weave inherently has a little bit more mechanical stretch and movement to it, so it’s really easy to wear, unlike something like canvas, which is a plane weave that doesn’t have quite as much mechanical kind of ease to it. So I find that Twill is just so great for anything that I need something a little bit heavier for, but a little bit heavier weight fabric, but I don’t want it to look like a really stiff shell that sits on the outside of the body.

As far as the Twills that I shop often, Robert Kaufman has a couple great twills. Their Ventana twill is cotton, I think it’s about 8oz. And they also have the Jet Setter twill, which is a great option if you want something that has a little bit of stretch in it. It has like a Lycra or Spandex in it just enough that it can be really great for those more form fitting pants or skirts projects. And Robert Kaufman can be found in so many stores. So you can definitely check out our Fabric Deals page if you’re a member and find a store that you fancy that carries their fabric.

Sarai
One thing that might be helpful, Haley, is you talked about mechanical stretch and then you talk about the Jet Setter twill has some Lycra in it. Can you just, for those who might not know, talk a little bit about what the difference is?

Haley
So that’s a great question. Mechanical stretch is the stretch that a fabric has just by the way that it is woven or knit together. Just the structure of the fabric offers some inherent stretch. So, for example, if you are using a fabric that is a knit fabric that is 100% cotton, even though there’s no elastane type product in it, it’s still going to have some mechanical stretch to it. wovens also have varying degrees of mechanical stretch in them. The diagonal kind of weave pattern of twill has just inherent stretch in it, whether it is 100% cotton or has any kind of elastane in it. The benefit of adding a little bit of an elastane product, like Lycra or Spandex, is that then that mechanical stretch also has the benefit of recovery. That elastane is going to make it kind of snap back a little bit more. The downside to it is that generally things with elastane are not as eco friendly. elastane doesn’t break down, because it is a petroleum product and also sometimes it can make the lifespan of your project just not be quite as long. Things with the elastane tend to wear out eventually a little bit faster.

That’s the difference between mechanical stretch and stretch that’s provided by a fiber. So hopefully that might help you a little bit and all of your fabric searching.

Sarai
Yeah, and that’s why jeans, for example, denim is a twill weave. So if you think about like, your jeans and how they conform to your body, even if they don’t have elastic in them, that’s due to the twill weave.

Haley
Yeah, and speaking of denim, denim is, like Sarai said, a category of twelve. And also, I think, can be another great fabric to look for if you want something in that family. My one caution with denim is I think that it’s really hard to photograph because of the way that oftentimes there’s two different colors of yarn that are woven together. So I think that lots of times you end up getting something that looks a lot different than what you ordered. Because I just think it’s really hard to photograph. So whenever I’m shopping online for denim, I try to make sure that I’m shopping from a source that I know from personal experience has really good, accurate photos. A little side note on denim.

Sarai
Good point.

Haley
My next favorite tried and true fabric is linen. It wouldn’t be a Seamwork Radio episode if Sarai and I didn’t talk about how much we love linen. Robert Kaufman, again, is like a really great source for linen. You can find linen by dozens and hundreds of manufacturers. Really, I do love Robert Kaufman for this. They have a few linens that I kind of reach for time and time again. The first one is their Essex linen, which is a cotton and linen blend. I think that the cotton adds a little bit of body to the linen, and I think that is great. When I want something that has maybe like a little bit more of a crispness to it. Then there’s their Brussels Washer linen, which is a cotton rayon blend, and the little bit of rayon, and that just makes it so floaty and delightful. A little side note on this fabric is I think that it just gets better and better the more you wash it and wear it. I have several items made out of this fabric, and then they also have a great handkerchief linen. It’s 100% linen and handkerchief linen. Anything you see labeled as hankerchief linen is going to be a little bit finer weight.

So if you want to make a plus or something like that, it can be really lovely. Next up, we have lawn and wall. We’re kind of lumping these two together because they are pretty similar. Both are plain weave, most often cotton fabrics. Lawn tends to have a little bit tighter, denser weave with really small yarn. So it still feels really has a very smooth, kind of crisp pan, and it’s really lightweight. And then wall has a little bit more of an open weave to it. I wouldn’t necessarily call it open weave, but more open weave than lawn, and it tends to be a little bit more sheer. So if you, like, kind of playing with a little bit of transparency in your clothing, I think that wall is a really lovely choice. Sarai, you recently bought some Liberty Tana Lawn.

Sarai
Oh, yeah. I love Liberty’s Tana Lawn. If you’ve never bought any Liberty and you like the Liberty style, the prints, the tiny little ditsy prints that they often do is just such high quality. It’s really beautiful. Got this smooth hand. It feels almost silky, but it is cotton. I just love it, and I think that it can be really pricey. The Liberty Tana Lawn specifically, but what I have learned this is a hot tip I picked up from the Seamwork community on Fridays. We have fabric Friday posts on there, and somebody mentioned this, and it was a great tip. That fabric.com has these flash Friday sales where they have a selection of fabrics that go 50% off, and there are often Liberty Tana Lawn in that mix. So I took advantage of that a couple of weeks ago, and I just got some beautiful Tana Lawns in the mail. I got two different Liberty prints, and I also got a Robert Kaufman lawn, which also has kind of a small floral print on it. And I have to say the quality of that one is also really excellent. So highly recommend looking at those flash Friday sales on Fridays at Fabric.com if you’re interested in picking some of these up. Either the Liberty Tana Lawns or the Robert Kaufman lawns. Robert Kaufman also makes a ton of really beautiful floral lawns, if you like that.

Haley
Yeah, I know another place if you’re local to Portland. Josephine’s Dry Goods also carries Liberty fabrics, and when they have sales, their Liberty is often discounted as well, which is a nice place to check out. They’re really great over there as well. Yeah. So like Sarai mentioned, Liberty lawns are just super luxurious and awesome. Robert Kaufman, once again, does a really great job with these. I think that their line of lawns that are similar to Liberty. I think it’s called London Calling. The little line of lots of little tiny ditsy floral prints. They’re so cute and really great if you just can’t find a good deal on the Tana and don’t have a lot of dough to spend on some floral fabric, lawn is also a voile. A lot of different fabric manufacturers make it like RJR Free, Spirit Art Gallery, Cloud Nine. The designers that make quilting cottons also have a couple designs that are also done on lawn or voile. Typically, they try and choose the print that they think would work best for garments, since lawn and voile are so lovely for garment sewing.

Sarai
Yeah, I feel like lawn and voile are the kind of entree to garment fabrics that quilting manufacturers have done that, you know, kind of wanted to create some garment fabrics. That’s what they offer our lawns involved, which is great. They’re wonderful for that.

Haley
Yeah. I think that oftentimes when I’m looking for a lightweight fabric and I want a print lawn and voile is kind of the place that I’ll go for that for that exact reason, as you can find some just really fun, interesting things. If you’re just looking for solids, there are a ton of great lawn and voile solids as well. Sometimes you can even find silk cotton blends, and those are really lovely as well and give the fabric a little bit different quality of hand a little bit. The cotton silk walls that I’ve seen have a little, like, light sheen to them, making them kind of lustrous without being shiny, which I think is really nice. Very wearable.

Sarai
Yeah. The colors are often really vibrant, too, because silk takes dyes so well. It just makes them really stand out.

Haley
Yeah, it’s a really great way to incorporate a little bit of that quality of silk into your everyday wardrobe. Silk isn’t necessarily super wearable for most people’s everyday lives, so look for lawn for that. My next favorite I think this is a favorite in the sewing community, just overall, is double gauze. I love double gauze fabric. I think if you haven’t worked with it before or touched it, it is two layers of very fine gauze that are interwoven together, and it has just a really soft, airy hand to it, but it also has, like, a little bit it’s kind of like a cloud. It’s a little bit pillowy in the way that it drapes. So it can be really great for making blouses or dresses, especially ones where you want to have maybe like, a little bit of volume, but wear something that’s really lightweight still, like dramatic, like a peasant blouse or something like that comes to mind. It’s so great for projects like that. Something to watch out for is that there’s a lot of manufacturers that make double gazes that are intended for projects for babies and children, like for swaddle blankets and things like that.

You can totally use those to sew garments with. They do tend to be a little bit more open weave, so just makes them snag a little bit more easily. But if you’re not going to be, like, out in the garden in it, then that might not be a total deal breaker for you. And that open weave kind of gives it a little bit more of a texture, which can be really lovely. I think it just depends on your lifestyle. Another thing to look out for with double gauze is that there’s a ton of Japanese manufacturers that do a really amazing job making double goze. When I was first introduced to double gaze back in the day, I was only seeing it done by these Japanese manufacturers. nani IRO has a ton of just the dreamiest, most artful double gauze prints. If I’m looking for something like artful and ethereal all at once and, like, always stunning colors, nani IRO is my go-to for sure. You can find her fabric all over the place. Ms. Matatabi is an online shop that carries a lot of Japanese fabrics, including double gauze. You can also go on Etsy to find a lot of Korean and Japanese stores.

Stonemountain and Daughter also carries a good selection of double gauze, Japanese double gauze, and they also carry Atelier Brunette, which is a French brand, and they have a selection of double gauzes. Oftentimes they incorporate embroidered elements, which are really lovely. I’ve used them for photo samples before, and they’re just very I want to call them, like, kind of fashiony. It just feels like absolutely intended for clothing. Not one of those things that you look at and you’re like, this could be for quilt or it could be for making blouses, I don’t know, very fashioning.

And I have one more favorite woven to talk about, and that’s rayon challis. I find that this fabric is really easy to find, and it’s overall mostly consistent in feel and weight. Sometimes it can be a little bit on the sheer side. In general, I just like rayon challis because you can find them in a lot of different places. You often can find them in a lot of different solids, and they come in tons of different prints, from really kind of wild things to more subtle prints. More recently, I’ve started seeing some more rayon substrates pop up, like rayon slubs noil, which have a little bit more texture, and I think that these are really great as well.

Some of my favorite places to shop for these fabrics are Blackbird. They have the Ecovera line. The process of creating it is not very friendly to our planet, but there has been a lot of breakthroughs or new ways of manufacturing it that are a little bit more friendly. The ecovera line is an eco friendly rayon, which is great, and at Blackbird, they have some really cool, lovely prints. Stonemountain and Daughter also has a lot of rayons and rayon challis. Workroom Social exclusively does rayon challis, and I will say that their rayon challis are just like, some of the best quality ones that I felt. They just have this really awesome hand to them in a little bit easier to sew than most rayon challis. And then if I’m looking for a solid and I just, like, looking to have a very specific color in mind, I will go to fabric.com for that, because they just have the range you need. Sometimes when you’re looking for a specific color, you need to go to that place that has 100 different options.

Sarai
Yeah, and I also want to mention that some of these most of these fabric stores that we’ve mentioned, Seamwork members can get a discount at these. So Blackbird, Stonemountain and Daughter, Workroom Social, all of those offer discounts to Seamwork members, so you can check those out.

Alright, I’m going to talk about Knits and Haley’s gone through our wovens. I’m going to talk about knits, and again, just like Haley did, I’m going to start with kind of what might be on the heavier end for knits and then go towards some of the lighter ones. So I’m actually going to start with ponte. So ponte is a really cool fabric because it is so stable that you can often sew it like a woven. So it does have some stretch to it, but you can sew it as a woven as well. And it’s great for blazers bottoms, like skirts. You can make pants with it. It’s really awesome. You kind of get the best of both worlds with ponte. And so that’s a really great one to look for. It’s very thick well, not very thick. It’s fairly thick, but it’s also very stable.

So one of the places that I like to look for Ponte is Emma One Sock. I mentioned Emma One Sock before as one of my favorites for kind of ready to wear fabrics. And they often have a really awesome selection of ponte. And they also often have nicer fiber blends, because oftentimes with ponte you’ll find a lot of synthetics. You’ll find kind of like the same sort of blend of synthetics at most places. But Emma One Sock often has some different blends, maybe like wool ponte and things like that that are a little bit harder to find. And again, they offer a deal for Seamworkers, too. Another one that has a pretty good selection for Ponte is Harts Fabric, which is also one of our partners. So Harts has just a good selection overall and I think they have quite a few pontes. So it’s a really great place to look. I find that most independent fabric stores not most, but a lot of independent fabric stores will have a few pontes. And if you’re looking for a specific color, it can be worth shopping around and looking at a few different places to see if you can find the right color. Because I haven’t found a fabric store that has maybe like 30 different colors of ponte. It’s just not that I don’t think it’s popular enough that places will carry a huge variety like that. So you might just need to shop around when you’re looking for a ponte. But it’s a really fantastic fabric for more bottom weight things when you want to sew with a knit but you want the stability of a woven.

So that’s the first one. The next one I wanted to mention is merino jersey. And when I think of merino jersey, I definitely think of The Fabric Store. The Fabric Store has just an enormous selection of merino jersey fabric. The thing I like about merino jersey is that it’s quite versatile. You might think that sewing with a wool is not as versatile as maybe a cotton jersey or something like that. But merino is a very versatile fabric. It’s very insulating. So it’s actually great in all kinds of weather. Oftentimes, if you are an outdoorsy person, you might know that base layers are often made in merino knit fabric and that’s because it is so insulating. So it’s great in the winter.

It’s also great for wicking sweat. So that’s the reason it’s used for base layers and for things like hiking socks and things like that. So we know it’s just a fabulous fabric. And it’s also quite soft for a wool. So you don’t get that kind of itchiness that you often get with wool fabrics. I find that merino jersey is great. It’s great for a variety of projects and you can use it to sew and knit dress. But you could also use it to sew something like a cardigan or a sweater, pullover sweater. There’s all different kinds of things you can make with merino jersey. The Fabric Store also has some different weights of merino. And so I’ve also picked up I don’t know what it’s called technically, but merinos that have kind of a fleece back to them. So it looks like a regular smooth knit on one side, and then it’s very soft and fleecy on the other side, which is wonderful for making things like jackets or coats or cardigans really warm and cozy.

Again, The Fabric Store, which is an Australian based company, they have a lot of these fabrics that are produced in New Zealand, so head over there. They also have free shipping over $100. So even if you’re not in that area of the world, you can order some fantastic stuff from the fabric store. Another place you can look for Merino jersey is Bolt. They are local desk here in Portland. They’re wonderful people, and they also are one of our senior member deals. So if you’re a member, you can also get a special discount from Bolt, and they do carry merino jersey. And then the last place you can look for it not the last place to look for it. You know what I mean? The last place I’ll mention is Etsy. Again, you can find a variety of sellers on there that have merino jersey. I’ve definitely seen a lot of merino jersey on Etsy. So it’s one of those things where if you know what you’re looking for, if Etsy is a good place to look, because you can just search for that specific term.

The next fabric that I want to talk about, the next knit fabric, is French Terry. I love French Terry. So French Terry is a fabric that is a knit fabric, and it has a looped back to it.

Sarai
So if you think about kind of like what you think of as terry cloth, like the kind of stuff that you would use for a tea towel or something like that, it has those little loops on it. So imagine that on one side and then a smooth side on the other side. And the smooth side is the right side of the fabric, and the squishy loop side is the wrong side of the fabric. And French Terry is really awesome because it comes in some really cool prints. It’s heavier than a regular cotton jersey, and it is a little bit more stable. So it’s great for things that maybe have a lot of seams to them that you maybe don’t want to show. It’s great for maybe like a panel dress or something like that. Or for anything where you want something that’s just a little bit heavier than your typical knit. So maybe something like a sweatshirt, things like that. Some good sources for French Terry. I really love Urban Kids, and I think they also manufacture fabrics that are mostly intended for well, I don’t know if they’re mostly intended for children, but a lot of their prints are kind of made for children.

And then some are kind of like children and adults, but they just have some really cute prints. And their prints tend to be not those super colorful, childish prints, but more toned down kind of earth tones and really tasteful children’s prints, which can be used for adult clothing as well. So that’s really awesome. So I really like Urban Kids. And then I see Fabric, which is also one of our member deals. They have some really great colors, and I think they’re a really great place to look, especially if you like this kind of more muted, earth tone sort of colors. I see fabric is really great for that.

So we’ve talked about a few things. We talked about kind of the structure of fabric. So some of these are about what the structure of the fabric is, like French Terry. And then other times we’ve been talking about what the fiber is, and I don’t want that to be confusing for people. But the reason that we’re kind of blending those two things, talking about both, is we’re just trying to provide you with what to look for, what terms to look for, and not necessarily dividing it up, whether it’s based on how it’s structured or whether it’s based on what it’s made from.

But these are just kind of the terms that you’ll commonly see and what you’ll get when you buy those things that are labeled that way, if that makes sense. So the next category are things that are made with hemp or linen, either a hemp knit or a linen knit. These are things where you’re going to just get a little bit more of a texture to them. You’re going to get a different hand feel. They feel a little bit more luxurious, a little bit more special, a little bit more earthy, and they often come in some really great colors as well. So that’s another thing you can look for when you’re looking for nets. I think these are often quite lightweight, and they make great T shirts and things like that. More drapey sorts of things I think work really well in hemp or linen or blends of those things. Although sometimes you can also find sweater nets that incorporate hemp and linen. And those can be great for a kind of lightweight, maybe like a sheer cardigan or something like that, or a sheer linen dress make really, really nice garments, places to look for those.

Stonemountain and Daughter again, they have a really good selection. And then another one that was new to me, but Meg posted on the community on one of those Fabric Friday posts that she bought from them recently is Sitka Fabrics, and I took a look there, and they have a pretty good selection. She bought some really lovely hemp knits from Sitka fabric so you can check that out. And again, we’ll put the links to these places in our show notes if you want to find these places later, or again, if you’re a Seamwork member and you go to our Deals page, you’ll find a lot of them linked there.

So the last category that I wanted to mention as a go to for me when it comes to knits is rib nets. I love ribbons, I love wearing them, I love everything about them. They’re really comfy, they are really easy to sew with because you can use them for bands and you don’t have to have like a separate fabric to use for bands. And because of the rib, they conform to curves really well, so it’s really easy to make bands with them.

So a rib knit fabric, if you’re a knitter, you already know what a rib knit is. Probably a rib knit is a combination of knit and purl stitches. So a one by one rib would be knit purl, knit purl, two by two would be knit knit purl purl. And what that does is it creates these kind of hollows within the fabric which allow it to stretch a lot more and also snap back into place. So it’s just very, very stretchy. And that stretch comes from kind of what Hailey was saying before. It’s a mechanical stretch. It’s the stretch from the actual structure of how it’s knit together rather than having elastic in it. So rib knits are just so versatile and I just really like the squishiness and the comfort factor of them. So places that you can look for rib knits are, again, Urban Kids. I think they have a really fantastic selection of rib knits. Just really nice colors you can look for. I See Fabric again, they have a good selection. Blackbird is a good place to look for rib knits. And then again, Emma, One Sock. I’ve often found some really lovely rib knits there as well.

Those are my favorites for knit fabrics and that’s what I look for over and over again when I’m picking out knit fabrics. So, just to recap, I know this has been kind of a longer episode for us because there’s a lot we wanted to get through. So I want to recap for you all so you have a good idea of what these fabrics are. I’ll start with a woven. So Haley went through from the heaviest to the lightest twill for bottoms. And she mentioned some Robert Kaufman options there. Linen is the next one. Then lawn and voile. And we talked about Liberty and we also talked about the Robert Kaufman lawns as well. Double gauze and then rayon challis. So those are the five for the wovens that we look for.

And then when it comes to knits, the things that we look for a lot are ponte for those more structured projects. Merino jersey, which you can use for a variety of projects including sweaters, French terry, hemp, and linen blends, and then rib knits. So those are the things that we look for when it comes to fabric. I’d love to hear what you guys look for as well.

We’ll start a post in the community, and maybe you can share some of your go to fabrics as well, and we can add on to this list. So that’s going to wrap us up for today.

Again, I just wanted to mention those fabric discounts that I’ve talked about throughout this episode. Our members get discounts at some of our favorite indie fabric stores, and you can save anywhere from ten to 20% off your purchase if you’re a Seamwork member. And a lot of people say that these discounts alone pay for their entire membership. So if you do quite a bit of fabric shopping online, you can actually pay for your whole membership just with those discounts on fabric, which is pretty awesome. And you can see a list of the participating fabric stores whether you’re a member or not. If you just want to see a list of what they are, it’s at Seamwork.com/deals. Alright, and that wraps us up for today. I hope everybody enjoys doing a little fabric shopping after the next time you go fabric shopping, with maybe some of these tips in mind, and we’ll see you next time. I’m Sarai.

Haley
And I’m Haley.

Sarai
And this is Seamwork Radio.

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