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What comes first – Sewing Pattern or Fabric?

Want to make that perfect outfit to wear for your special occasion or holiday? Perhaps you have seen a picture or photo of the garment you would like to make. But what do you choose first – the sewing pattern or the fabric to make it?

Choosing the Sewing Pattern

Choosing the sewing pattern first will make your life so much easier. Carefully choose a pattern which is right for you. Start with something simple if it’s your first make. On the reverse of the pattern it will advise you about the best fabric to buy. Which is very helpful, as the guide is there to make sure you choose suitable fabric for making up the garment.

There are so many sewing patterns to choose from these can be found in retail or online shops. The patterns come in envelopes with instructions on how to create the garment. When faced with a new pattern, I do find it helpful to read through all the steps and techniques before I begin making the garment. This helps to familiarise myself with the instructions. I will also view online videos or tutorials before I start making up. Especially if there is something I’m unsure about within the pattern instructions.

The sewing patterns we stock at Beckford Silk are by Tilly and the Buttons. These patterns come with a wonderful booklet of pictured instructions which is so helpful when making up a new garment. They also have online tutorials to view on the Tilly and the Buttons website if you get stuck with any of the making techniques. The sewing patterns we stock can all be made with our silk fabrics. Click here to view them.

Occasionally you may decided on a dress pattern that is too tricky to make up yourself. You might want to consider finding a dressmaker who can help to make it for you. Do check out our dressmaker directory on our website, if you are in need of a recommended dressmaker.

Selecting Fabrics

Fabric choices are limitless! There is such a large range of colour and patterns to choose from. Your chosen sewing pattern will help you to decide what is the best cloth and how much to buy. Fabrics come in different widths, usually 45″ (114cm) or 60″ (150cm). Do check the back of your pattern to find how much cloth you will need for your size and for the width of your fabric choice. As the narrower the width the more fabric you will need.

Consider the fabric weight, structure and thickness you will need. What time of year will you be wearing your garment? – is it for a special occasion? If it’s a summer event you are going to, then a floaty lighter weight fabric will be more suitable for your outfit. However if it’s a winter wedding, then heavier weights of fabric will keep you warmer. Do check if the pattern needs a lining, as you may want to consider a lining fabric that it isn’t too static. This makes the garment more comfortable to wear.

Selecting Colours

Go for colours which you feel comfortable in. Think about your style and wardrobe to help with the colour or pattern choice, what accessories you will put with it. Or maybe go for something different as it’s a good excuse to buy a new pair of shoes or a matching handbag?!

Buying a fabric without a pattern in mind can be done. You may find some gorgeous fabric, that you totally need in your life! I would recommend to purchase 2-3M of it, as this allows you to have various options for future projects.

Making a new garment for yourself should be an enjoyable process. It’s a great feeling, to wear something you have made and is unique to you. Do go to our website to see our large range of silk fabrics we have to offer. It may inspire you for your next me-made project. www.beckfordsilk.co.uk

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