Fabric and Sewing Pattern Tips for Beginners!

When you're beginning your sewing journey, it can be tricky to know how to navigate choosing suitable fabrics to pair with the right sewing patterns.  It's easy to pick a fabric based on the print especially if it's pretty, but we would actually recommend choosing a fabric based on substrate i.e something stable with body that isn't particularly slippery or drapey such as cotton lawn, cotton poplin, chambray, corduroy, denim, and cotton twills would be good too.

If you want to work with knit fabric such as jersey we recommend something stable such as ponte di roma, french terry and cotton jersey. And once you feel confident with your sewing practice the pretty drapey fabrics will be ready for you!

Keep reading to see our fabric and sewing pattern picks that are suitable for beginners...


One of the first fabrics that comes to mind is a lightweight denim. It works very well with the beginner sewing pattern the Cleo dungaree dress from Tilly and the Buttons, which is known for being ideal for a beginner's first garment project. 
As denim is a stable fabric it is quite easy to sew with, and works well with standard sewing machine needles. For the fastenings we stock the Prym dungaree buckles, which are really easy to attach!


Another fabric that works well with beginner sewing patterns such as the Cleo is a jumbo cotton corduroy as it is a bit more structured and stable which makes it great to work with if you're new to sewing. 



We also have the Cielo dress and top pattern from Closet Core patterns which was designed with beginners in mind, it can be a top with statement sleeves or it can be a tunic short dress as well. It's a very simple and speedy sewing pattern which means you'll have instant sewing satisfaction! You could make the Cielo pattern in a cotton chambray, a medium-weight cotton, sometimes referred to as quilting weight as this fabric can be used for quilting and garment sewing. As this fabric is a medium-weight it will give your garment a bit of structure, which is great for statement sleeves! If you're feeling a little bit more confident you could go for a cotton lawn, which is finer than a medium-weight cotton and has a little bit of drape to it, just take your time and this fabric will be absolutely fine for a beginner!



Another beginner sewing pattern from Closet Core patterns is the Fiore Skirt and two fabrics that would work really well for this pattern are our enzyme washed linens which we have available in a rainbow of colours, and Smooth Drape Twill with TENCEL™ fibres - meetMILK in lots of colours.

The enzyme washed linen is a lovely and soft stable fabric that is easy to handle and presses well, which would make it an enjoyable sewing project for anyone, especially beginners!

The Smooth Drape Twill with TENCEL™ fibres is a little bit more drapey than previous fabrics mentioned earlier, but it is on the more structured end of drapey and is quite weighty which is why we would still consider it suitable for beginners. Because of the twill this fabric is lot less slippery then other TENCEL™ fabrics, which makes it easier to sew with.

As the Fiore skirt has a button placket closure, if you're not quite ready to tackle buttonholes just yet you can swap this for non sew press fasteners :) and Closet Core have fantastic instructions which will help guide you through the sewing process of making this pattern!


Thanks for reading! We hope you feel confident with choosing your fabrics and sewing patterns now. If you need any further help you can always drop us an email :)

If you'd like to listen to Harriet talk about all things beginner sewing you can watch our video here


1 comment

  • Hi Sew Me Sunshine, thanks for my fabric, love the yellow tissue it was wrapped in & no plastic packaging with extra info inside.

    Chris walpole

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