Picking difficult fabrics or intricate patterns can make learning to sew very frustrating. And I know this because this is exactly what I did when I started. I had no idea that some fabrics would be more difficult to work with or that maybe my first ever project shouldn’t be an intricately designed skirt! I just thought “hey, this fabric is cute and this pattern looks pretty, so, this is good!” To help you avoid my mistakes, I’m bringing you a short two-part series on choosing the easiest types of fabrics and patterns to get your sewing journey started on the right foot.
First up is how to choose fabrics that are the easy to sew and which ones to aviod (at least until you have more experience!). Many people think knits are hard to sew, but if you choose the right type of knit, it’s really not bad at all!
Easy to Sew Fabrics
- 100% Cotton Wovens: Think-quilting cotton and the like! It’s good for making coasters, tote bags, and pillowcases.
- Flannel: Infinity scarfs and pajama pants are great beginner projects with flannel.
- Fleece: I like to use fleece for robes.
- Cotton Lycra: Great for sewing tops!
- French Terry: Another great option for tops and dresses.
Keep in mind that the lighter and thinner the fabric is, the HARDER it is to sew. For example, I used to sew with the cheap Walmart knits for practice and it just ended up causing me more frustration and problems than necessary. My machine kept eating the fabric and it got holes very easily when seam ripping.
Also, having the right tools make it SO much easier! Check out my post on the 10 accessories I recommend for sewing with knits.
Difficult to Sew Fabrics
While these aren’t horrible to sew, it’s best not to sew with the these for your first few projects.
- Swim Knit
Basically, anything super slippery can be hard to sew. I like to use wash away hem tape, even for the seams. Spray starch is also a great way to help keep these fabrics from slipping around while sewing!
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