The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

What is your thoughts on sewing garments with quilting fabric? I've read so many reviews. Colette has a very insightful post here: http://www.colettepatterns.com/?s=quilting+fabric
I find that there is a large variety of patterns and colors in quilting fabric but the hand of the fabric is not quite right for clothing. Oddly there appears to be more quilting fabric than garment fabric available. Not sure if this is just here in USA or world wide. Quilting certainly hit it's stride a handful of years back but I get the sense there is a large community of garment minded sewers.

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Cathe,

   great  discussion.. So anxious to hear everyones ideas on it.. I  just love the wide variety of quilting fabrics. Such  beautiful colors and choices.

   I have sewed quilting cottons with great success..But I just feel of the fabric and if it doesnt have that feel, I leave it behind..I would love to know..how to determine which 'Quilting Cottons"  are clothing worthy and which or not? and how to tell the difference. Also.. the same on  apparel fabrics..How people choose  the right fabric for the right garment?

I think a lot of it is trial and error, at least for me...although I still occasionally fall prey to fabrics that are just too heavy. Obviously, the pattern you are using will give you an idea of what to look for but I also try and look at RTW garments and feel how heavy/stiff the fabric is.
Are they too thick - tighly woven - to drape properly?  I do love agree with you on the volume of quilting cottons at the chain stores - JoAnn's.

I find the stiffness of quilting cotton can work if the garment is shaped with darts and pleats--gathers get too bulky, unless the desired effect is lots of starchy poof. 

For me, the problem with quilting fabric are the patterns.  Even if they look cute on the bolt and great in quilts, they can be too repetitive for a garment and distract from the cut or other design features.  I think they work if the pattern is small and simple so that it can be matched, much like a plaid, along the seams and darts.  Or else big and organic, like batiks (I love big African batiks!)  Mid-sized, semi-structured patterns don't usually work for me.  But that's just my style!

i love them, but then i tend to make shift dresses and really simple styles i'd probably run into problems with anything else. I love bright patterns though so find some of them hard to resist.

Its strange you should ask this as my Kidding Around shirt was made from quilting fabric.  I was a bit dubious about it at first but it fit with the inspiration so I thought I'd just go with it and it turned out great.  But I do think that it is a little stiff in comparison to other RTW shirts I own.  After using quilting fabric to make a garment I think that it is all about the garment you make with it, the shirt for example worked out great because the stiffness of the fabric added something too it, even in the sleeves.  If I wanted a floaty outfit I wouldn't use it, even if I loved the print (sad face, because some of the prints are great), because it just wouldn't turn out.

 

All in all I'm in favour of using quilting fabrics as long as the garment can take it :) otherwise, I'll stick to using it for bags

Ninety-nine percent of my garment sewing is done with quilting fabrics.  I love them! The colours, pattern, and quality is great. :) 

 

I like the element of crispness they add to my sewing and mine seem to soften the more they are washed.  I don't have to chase them all over my cutting table like I do with knits or silky fabrics.  Quilting cottons work beautifully for my sewing.

Sarah,

  I so agree with you.. I just love the quilting fabrics.. I really don't know  how they choose what is apparel fabric?  I  just use the ole touch and feel...as I do with other fabrics too.

   I am not knowledgeable on the different fabrics..so therefore not a good judge of character. But on experience ..I say.. quilters cotton is nice. and I too think the crispness is nice.

I go with the old 'touch and feel,' too.

I'm with you girls - I use a lot of quilting fabrics for my garments.  I find they make dresses quite well, as they're light enough for summer, yet stiff enough you can wear them with tights and boots in winter.  :-)

 

Although looking back over my Sew Weekly challenges, only one dress and an apron have been made from quilting fabrics so far.  Hmm.  I seem to have broken my trend!  Nearly all the vintage styled dresses I made last year were from quilting fabrics.  (And the one I'm working on at the moment, as a belated TV Character challenge, is also from quilting fabric, so I haven't wandered too far from the 'quilting' path, I guess!)

 

I love the prints on them as well.  But then, I like over-the-top, crazy colourful fabrics, so the boldness of the prints works well in my style.  :-)

I'm with you all too- most of my stuff is quilting fabric, with the occasional apparel cotton thrown in.  I am just a sucker for the patterns.
I'm kind of at a loss too, what is what when it comes to fabric? It seems like there is different grades of quilting cotton too. I think I'll just "go for it" if it appeals to me, pretty much my sewing approach! And a whole lot of it appeals to me!

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