Sewing 101: Picking the perfect fabric. Natural Fibers

I love this skirt from Matilda Jane, the colors are so much fun for spring. They have such unique items for girls, it makes me want to start a new sewing project! I was thinking about when I started sewing, and a really sweet lately taught me the basics. Even though she did an awesome job explaining to me, I still made lots of mistakes, and still do. I thought it may be helpful for new sewing people (what is the correct term anyway?? I'm sure I would get into some major pc trouble if I put seamstress!) to have a synopsis of some of the basics, so I thought I would start with picking the perfect fabric.

Probably the most important step in taking on a sewing project is selecting the correct fabric.  When I first started sewing I thought all fabrics were basically the same, I mean they all come on bolts right? Wrong, after a few failed attempts to try to make heavy fabric work for a sun dress, just because it had the perfect color scheme proved to me that I must bow down to the fabric. It determines your destiny.  So, what is important to consider when searching for that perfect cut of material?

Ask yourself a couple of questions: What am I going to use this garment/item for? What kind of wear and tear is this item going to receive? If I am going to wear it, what time of year am I planning on using this for? If it is something I am going to wear, I would consider other garments I wear that are similar to my anticipated project. Check the labels, a lot of times there is a trend of what type of fabric it is.

There are two main types of fabrics, natural fiber fabrics, and man-made fabrics. Natural fiber fabrics sound like what they are, they occur in nature. These fabrics tend to be more comfortable and they breath while you wear them. They are not as durable as there man-made counterparts. Man-made fabrics are made from chemicals and are usually more durable, but less comfortable. Below is a chart that describes the advantages and disadvantages of natural fibers. I will include one later for man-made material.

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