Gertie gives some examples on how some light weight cottons will drape. This is something that will confuse and trip me up for a while I think.
As I’ve been writing about fabric selection for the Crepe Sew-Along, some of you helped me realize that I need to get back to basics. It’s all well and good to recommend a cotton lawn or voile, but what if you’ve never seen those fabrics in your life? I thought I’d show you a few lightweight cottons that I have in my stash. I draped each of them over my dress form so you can see how they hang. Hopefully, this will help you as you embark on your fabric journey!
Let’s start with voile. Voile is the lightest, sheerest cotton I can think of. It’s airy, soft, and exceptionally drapey. Here’s a hot pink cotton/silk voile:
Speaking of batiste! Here’s another very lightweight cotton. I often think of it as a utility fabric since it’s great for lining and underlining. Here’s a pale yellow poly/cotton Imperial batiste that I used to line my yellow dress.
It’s pretty sheer in this light color, but it does add a layer of opacity and structure to an outer fabric. However, it’s also a great fabric on its own.
Dotted Swiss. Oh, how I love this stuff! This lightweight cotton has little raised bumps on it, creating a lovely texture. Here’s a beautiful rose-print dotted swiss. See the little white dots in the background?
The most famous of cotton lawns is the Liberty Tana lawn, which is so pretty—and pricey! Nice cotton lawns can be had on any budget, though. Lawn is on the heavier side of lightweight (do you like how I’m just making up categories now?). It has a nice drape and is opaque (though light-colored lawns may be a little sheer, just like with any lightweight cotton). It definitely has more body than a voile or batiste. Here’s a cute retro print lawn I got at Mood:
Who doesn’t love this stuff? This cute checked fabric comes in all manner of colors and sizes. It’s generally opaque and has a bit of body. It’s sometimes mixed with polyester for a more drapey effect. Fun fact: true gingham is actually woven with two different colors of threads, forming the checked pattern. The really good stuff is woven in designer mills and can cost around $25 a yard. Cheaper varieties are printed, rather than woven. If you guessed that my green gingham here is the cheap stuff, you’d be right.
This lovely stuff is a favorite of Japanese fabric designers. It’s essentially two layers of cotton gauze (a beautiful, ethereal fabric in its own right) woven together to form a two-ply fabric. Because of the double layer action, it’s opaque and fairly firm, but it still has the softness of gauze. Excuse the wrinkles here, I couldn’t bring myself to press it just for the sake of throwing it over the dress form.
This isn’t really a type of fabric, but it’s an amalgam worth mentioning. I love silk and cotton blended together and I’ve never regretted a purchase of this fabric. It has the best properties of each fabric. Silk/cotton blends come in many different types: charmeuse, voile, poplin, sateen, etc. Radiance is a brand I’ve seen often, and they sell it at Fabric.com.
For my Crepe, I’ve picked out two silk/cotton blends from my stash: a black and white zigzag print for the body, with the hot pink voile for the sash:
Does this help? Let me know if you have questions! Source: blogforbettersewing.com
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