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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 I agree totally... I love the quilting cottons..so pretty.. Some work for garments and some dont..I have had great success with them..And I have bought some and washed them, and decided it didnt wash well for the particular garment I had chosen..But this is true with dress fabrics too...
I go down the practical route too - I've always thought that a quilting cotton is designed for just that and not meant to be overly washed.  I've always been worried that the colours would 'dull' after a few washes, or the surface of the fabric would become damaged ...   

This is the philosophy I have too, in regards to use or not to use.  Since I sew vintage patterns mostly (or vintage-styled), quliting cotton "hand" is suitable for a lot of my projects.  Heartbreaker Fashion is a retro clothing company, and they use a lot of quilting cotton prints in their dresses, if you would like to see some structured styles that work well with these fabrics.

 

Mostly I think you shouldn't follow anyone's rules but your own. :)

Well, I like you philosophy, I will follow my own rules!

I've made a blouse with quilting cotton and was/am very pleased with it, I like the feel of the fabric having a bit more 'body' than some of the limp and flimsy dress making cottons available.  It all boils down to working 'with' the fabric rather than fighting it into doing something it won't.  And talking about boiling, my friends over at The Quilt Show would have something to say to the manufacturers if their fabrics once made up into quilts didn't wash and wear well, as any number of quilts are made to be loved and used! not all of them end up as wall hangings.

 

Besides if it wears out quickly I guess we will just have to go and buy some more fabric to make up :) But I bet it lasts better than any old thing from the cheapo high street.

Okay I have another question along this line, with designer fabrics like Amy Butler is this fabric more appropriate for quilting or for clothing? I have used some of her fabric for clothing with success and maybe it was designed to fit both roles, garment and quilts…

I'm a total beginner but my first project was an Amy Butler skirt pattern using her fabric. ('cause that's what was in the picture.) Anyway, the skirt has held up beautifully--the fabric is just as bright as it was out of the package. (I bought it from an online retailer.)

 

And from a beginner's viewpoint, the experienced sewers in my life recommended starting with quilting cottons. Have you ever checked out Sew Mama Sew? http://sewmamasew.com/index.php  The site sells high quality fabrics made especially for clothing. I have to admit that it never occurred to me that there might be different grades. Thank goodness I belong to Sew Weekly and ya'll can set me straight! lol

 

And on one last note, the quilting cottons have held up magnificently under the tough wear-and-tear of my toddler's daily activities.

Cathe, I  think that modern fabric designers & companies are creating the fabrics & prints with garments in mind (as well as quilts) . That's why so many of them feature clothing in their displays at Market or on their websites.  I think seamstresses first got creative and used them, and they saw an opportunity to widen their target audience.  This would also be exactly what happened in the feedsack era, when feed manufacturers took note when inventive moms started sewing clothes from the feedsack cloth, so they began creating the sacks in pretty prints.  (My grandma called them flour sack dresses!  Her mom must have preferred the flour prints, ha!)
Angie I think you are right about the designer fabric. I too have had pretty good success, I just have to be mindful of drape verses stiffness.

I hadn't thought about flour sacks but I would agree.

Thank you for your insight!
Hey Cathe, I agree with Angie..I think the new cotton line of fabrics, is more versatile.. Its all in the feel of it.ha

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