Sewing requires fabric. Understanding the different types of fabric available, how they vary and how to care for them will help you be successful in everything you sew.
Choosing your first piece of fabric is not just a choice of what looks beautiful to you. You need to know the difference in woven and knit fabric. You need to observe one way designs, if the fabric has nap, if you will need to match plaids and if it is a diagonal print.
Before you go shopping for your first fabric purchase. Learn about the different types of fabric that are available and what ones are best for your first sewing project.
Preshrinking your fabric may stop you from diving right into the project you have in mind, but it is a step well worth taking the time to do!
Not preshrinking the fabric can lead to an item that is only worn or used once because of shrinking in the laundry. Puckered seams and distortion of the fabric are just two things that can happen in the laundry if preshrinking is avoided.
Don't plan on shrinkage as way to make something smaller. Rarely will the seams and fabric shrink to the same degree, leaving a puckered mess when the fabric shrinks and the seam doesn't.
As you go to lay out a pattern or cut your fabric, knowing what the grain of the fabric is will allow the items to hang correctly and help assure success for the finished item. Learn why the grain lines are different and how they should be used. If you think it's not important, think about a pair of jeans that one leg insisted on twisting around your leg... it was cut off grain and there is no way to go back and fix those jeans.
Once you're hooked on sewing, it's all most impossible to only buy the fabric you are going to use immediately. Having a fabric stash is just part of sewing. Learn the best ways to store fabric so that it doesn't become damaged in storage.
Finding Fabric Stores
As mass merchants under cut the prices that fabric stores could offer, many small fabric stores were forced out of business. Finding fabric that is different when you are traveling and visiting new fabric stores can be an adventure all on it's own. Learn how to find fabric stores where ever your travels lead you. And remember to visit your local fabric store frequently so it will be there when you need it!
Economical Fabric Sources
Fabric doesn't have to be bought off the bolt. Used and new sources don't always cost money either. Learn about resources you may not have thought of.