The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

Hi guys!


I was just looking through the forums, and saw your comments through 'What's Your Fave Fabric to Work With' and it made me think how I don't know much about fabrics at all... I use thrifted/second hand/op shopped fabrics, and they don't really come with the 'Cotton Lawn' tag or anything!!!


There's probably going to be a time where I just go to a real fabric shop and touch EVERYTHING and write it down, but I wonder if you guys have any ideas of how to identify fabrics? It's my personal challenge to use recycled things, as I avoid buying new things in my day to day life, so I can imagine I'll be constantly questioning myself through the year about fabrics!


Perhaps there's some online resources or places (Like the pattern wikia?) that helps you define fabrics? How did you learn what fabrics are what? Am I really naive and should probably know this by now?

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Well, I thought it was vintage! Mind you, I was basing that purely on the print (like there's no such thing as reprints!) and because it is 34" wide. I thought that was one of the widths old fabric was made in, to my knowledge it isn't really made that narrow anymore (In my Spotlight the only narrow fabric I've seen is cotton lawn at 97cm wide). But I can't be sure of  anything given it came from a thrift shop! I was planning on using it to make a Pendrell blouse (View A) so the only option would be to wear a singlet top underneath which I wasn't keen on... It's kind of on the fence "sheer wise"... I suspect it would be a bit indecent if I made it without some kind of underlining or something underneath. But maybe, once again, I just picked the wrong fabric for the wrong project! I had my heart set on a blouse in this fabric but like you said, if I don't match the lining fabric perfectly it could end up all warped and messed up. Hmmm......

I've heard about the burn test too, maybe it's worth trying just to see what the content is or there abouts.


You can always wear a cami under it if it's a little too shear but I'm in your camp…feels weird to be see-thru!


Your fabric is really pretty and I think the narrow width would mean vintage but I don't know when widths got larger. It could be a blend, not the worst thing in the world for sure.


The Pendrell blouse would look perfect in this fabric. I hope you make it!

Thanks Cathe, I think I will have to do the cami option - even though it isn't my ideal (I'll survive!). I think if I try and underline a synthetic fabric with stretch it will just end up all warped. 


For the sake of interest, I found this link about sewing with vintage fabrics (it has interesting history facts!) which said that the standard width for fabric was 24-38" until the 1960s when they shifted to 45-46". So my fabric could be anything up to the 1960s in age... 


Looks like I'll just have to re-adjust my sewing plans and accept that underlining won't work in this case. And I think I will do the burn test - I like to burn things! It won't be conclusive in this case because it would have to be a blend but it is still fun! (My husband asked why I had a small pile of fabric scraps on the table and, all credit to him, kept the confused face to a minimum when I excitedly replied, "Oh, those are my scraps for burning!")

Good for Hubby... holding out on the confused face look.hahhaa. Because I probably would have bust out laughing.hahaha

  Hope your blouse turns out great.. Love the fabric and the pendrall pattern..


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