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:
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 love the colors and designs on quilting fabrics! I find that they crinkle a lot less than fashion cotton fabric (perhaps due to threadcount??). So far, I find that they work best for circle skirts (in fact better than fashion fabrics) and shift dresses. They are just so easy to sew with!
I've got a heap of quilting cottons as I like to do quilting too and have never really thought to use them for clothing - I may have to rethink this. Some of them have decent yardage too.

I am tempted by quilting cottons everytime I go into my local fabric store - they have much better prints and colours than the dressmaking cottons.  I do agree with the Colette post - they probably should only be used on garments that require a little extra body/stiffness, because they do take a long time to soften up completely - which is a shame (when wanting to use them for garments).   


Maybe with the resurgence of garment making the choices of fabrics will increase - we can only but hope!

Quilt fabric is in abundancce in Australia, well Victoria anyway and nice dress fabric is scarce. My hattrick skirt is made of patchwork fabric from my stash. It was a little stiff to work with at first but has softened up beautifully. Downfall is I will need to iron it!!  All the dress fabric around me is not attractive or more suitable for my grandmother. Great topic for discussion Cathe, cant wait to hear everyones opinion.

I love the texture of quilting cottons and I hope to use it this summer... My fabrics choices goes more with my fingers than my eyes recently as I made bad mistakes (mainly cause I liked the look of it) ...

Im sure they are a delight to sew as many wont require lining.


I made a top out of quilting fabric because the colours were gorgeous , hard to resist when you see all those fabrics displayed in colour groups. However,  the fabric didn't wash well. It looked  tired after just a few washes.
I had this problem making a skirt from quilting cotton. It left a dirty line through the fabric and had to be abandoned :(
I generally don't like how stiff quilting cotton is. I'm drawn to the beautiful prints and colors, but am often a little skeptical on how they'll look when sewn up as a garment. Many of my friends quilt and I'm a little hesitant to look like I'm wearing one of their quilts--as beautiful as they are.
There was a time when shops didn't isolate printed cotton broadcloth along a wall for quilters, it was ALL for apparel and the quilters had to poke around for their fabric, much the way fashion sewists do now.  Older pattern envelopes will list "crisp" under the recommended fabrics, and that term was meant for this type of plain weave cotton.  So, like a few mentions here, it's just fine if it suits the end result.  You'll notice that many vintage sewing patterns prior to the knit invasion are perfect for this type of cotton, since that is exactly what was available at the time.  It's also easy to work with.  I say go for it , and my old home ec teacher would advise you to  pre-wash it first to get some of the stiff sizing washed out and let it shrink a bit.
 I agree totally... I love the quilting 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. :)


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