When purchasing fabric, there are two ways you can go about it. The first way, and probably the most sensible way, is to purchase fabric because you have a garment in mind that you want to make. I am striving to be the person who shops this way and I would encourage anyone who is just beginning to sew – someone who doesn’t have a fabric stash yet- to shop this way.
The second way, and this is a terrible habit of mine, is to purchase fabric because you like it (or the price) and you have vague plans of making something from it someday. I don’t recommend this as it can lead to feelings of overwhelm and buyer’s remorse – not to mention cupboards full of fabric. Ask me how I know!
If you are new to sewing, here is a quick reference guide to the types of fabrics used to make various clothing items. If you already have a pattern you can check the back to see what types of fabric are suited for that specific pattern.
This list is just to point you in the right direction. As you get to know the different fabrics and how they change the look of a garment, it will be easier to shop for fabric that will achieve the look you are aiming for.