Joy's Sewing Blog About Sewing With Plain Dressmaking Fabrics

My New-Found Love of Plain Fabrics

Like many people, one of the main things that drew me to making my own clothes was novelty prints. Want a dress with rainbow typewriters on it? Done. Need eight cat print garments in your wardrobe? No problem. But as my tastes have changed, so too have my reasons for sewing. I used to only sew the things I couldn’t buy, but now I sew for improved fit, greater choice, sustainability, and because I love it!

I’ve always been a print lover and mostly sewed with patterned fabrics until recently. I didn’t see the appeal in spending time and money making a plain garment, but I was fed up of having patterned tops and bottoms that didn’t go together. I’ve never got that excited about plain fabrics before, but Sew Me Sunshine stock an incredible range including cotton jersey, cotton double gauze, Ventana twill and enzyme-washed linen:

Maria Lilac - Cotton Jersey | Paprika - Cotton Double Gauze

Mustard Yellow Ventana Cotton Twill | Light Aqua - Enzyme Washed Linen

I chose an enzyme-washed linen in rust for a pair of Sew Over It Carrie trousers (sold out, but this is a great alternative) and the meetMILK tencel jersey in puff for a Hey June Handmade Union St tee. As with all Sunshine fabrics, these jumped straight to the top of my sewing queue.

I’d actually never sewn with 100% linen before (I know, I know, where have I been?!) but this was an absolute joy to work with and even nicer to wear. I have worn my Carrie trousers so many times already and they just seem to work with everything in my wardrobe:

Perfect for working from home or weekending with a cute tee and sandals
Tee: Hey June Handmade Union St tee in Art Gallery jersey (sold out)

One of the reasons I’d avoided linen is because it’s renowned for creasing easily, but this doesn’t crumple anything like as much as I thought, and I think a few creases add to the laid-back vibe of these trousers.

I never met an autumn shade I didn’t like!
Top: I Am Joy in bark crepe blend

Next on my sewing table was my Union St tee in this amazing meetMILK basic tencel jersey. I’m normally a cotton jersey kinda gal but this slinky jersey elevates a simple tee to something really special. meetMILK jerseys come in a huge range of colours and a choice of two weights/compositions. They have amazing crosswise and lengthwise stretch and would be ideal for sewing a bodysuit, such as the Megan Nielsen Rowan.

I wanted plains to go with my patterned separates but I’m really loving colour-blocked outfits at the mo!

Trousers: Friday Pattern Company Joan hack in viscose ponte

It took me a few attempts to get the neckband right as I’m not used to sewing with such stretchy jersey, but it has amazing recovery, and didn’t stretch out of shape despite multiple unpickings!

Plain fabrics are also a great blank canvas for adding your own embellishments. I used two of Harriet’s cotton/linen blends to create my patchwork sashiko daisy pocket dress last year

Feeling inspired, but not quite ready to go fully plain yet? Fear not! Sew Me Sunshine have you covered with these beautiful tonal prints:

Sky Blue Dotty - Viscose Jacquard | Dusty Blue - Two Tone Stripe Twill with TENCEL™ fibres

Dobby is also a great plain-but-not-too-plain choice:

Pink - Cotton Dobby | Chestnut Dobby - Viscose - Atelier Brunette

Which do you prefer to sew and wear: Prints or plains? If you’ve been inspired to sew your own plain fancy basics, I’d love to see them! 

You can see more of my sewing on my Instagram @pinkcoatclub and on my blog. 

I purchased these fabrics myself, but was provided with a £50 voucher for writing this blog post. As always, I chose what to make, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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