Today I want to talk to you about a topic that troubles most sewists, especially the beginners, and that is buying fabric online. In my upcoming book ‘Sewing your dream wardrobe’, I have entire chapters dedicated to tips and tricks that will help you in your sewing journey. From how to buy coordinating fabrics for your projects, how to choose the right patterns for you, how to care for your handmade clothes, how to save money while enjoying your hobby and many many more.
But fabric buying is certainly the most challenging of all, especially if you, like me, don’t have access to many local fabric stores, so you have to do most of your shopping online.
So what are my top tips?
My most important advice is to shop from places that have detailed descriptions for their products. If you are buying jersey for example, it is a good idea to look for stretch percentage in order to know if it’s suitable for the project you have in mind. Care instructions are also important, especially if you want to machine wash your garments. And of course, always check the width of the fabric -and this is coming from someone who has made that mistake lots of times. Ending up not having enough fabric for your dress in the middle of cutting the pieces is the worst!
The colors and textures of the fabrics cannot always be accurate on a computer monitor. For that reason, if you need something very specific or very expensive, I suggest that you buy from a shop that has a fabric swatch service. This means that they can send you small swatches of the fabrics that you are interested in, to see if they are good for you before you spend your precious money to buy lots of meters.
Ask other sewists to help you. If you have doubts about purchasing from a shop or choosing a specific fabric, that someone else might have bought for another project, ask them for their advice. They can probably tell you if it will suit the project you have in mind and offer you their thoughts on how easy it was to sew with, how well it washes and irons etc.
Ask the fabric shop owner. Most of them are really kind and helpful, with much knowledge on fabric and sewing. If you tell them what you have in mind or maybe wonder how 2-3 fabrics will work together, ask them for their opinion. I can guarantee you that they will be thrilled to help, as 9/10 times they are really passionate about their job, at least that’s what my experience shows me.
|I hope you found these tips helpful. In my book you will find much more, plus examples on how to buy coordinating fabrics to create small collections for your wardrobe. But that’s all I can reveal for now.
Have a lovely week and happy sewing,