Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Confession


Thanks to you guys, I was browsing through my copy of Sandra Betzina's book, More Fabric Savvy, and I realized that I have barely explored the tip of the fabric iceberg in my sewing. Sandra covers ONE HUNDRED different types of fabric in this book, starting with "African Mudcloth", ending with "Woolens & Worsted" and picking up "Boiled Wool", "Hemp Cloth" and "Ripstop" along the way...

I've pretty much tried (1) cotton (oooh, be still my heart!), (2) eyelet (i.e., cotton with holes in it), (3) flannel, (4) fleece, (5) a few knits, (6) some lace trim, (7) a polyester brocade once, (8) silk organza as underlining and (9) silk (for the wedding dress).

Oh yeah, there was (10) that sequined slinky project I did for my niece, but I'm trying to forget that experience!

In other words, there's a ton of fabric that I've never tried! I'd estimate it to be at least (hmmm, 100-10...) 90 types!


How about you? African Mudcloth? Alpaca? Voile? Camel Hair? Charmeuse? Chenille? Corduroy? Crepe de Chine? Damask? Dupion? Garbardine? Georgette? Lame? Mohair? Moleskin? Ottoman? Pique? Silky? Viscose? Shantung? Silk Tweed? Stretch Leather? Suede? Taffeta? Tencel? Terrycloth? Velour? Velveteen? Viyella? Wool Challis?


What fun exotic fabrics have you worked with? Is there anything that you have vowed NEVER to work with again? Is there something that you are just dying to try someday, when the right project comes along? I'd love to hear your fabric stories!

12 comments:

Kristine said...

Leather was the biggie for me, but I did that this year, and am looking forward to trying suede. Then something fur, like a hat or bag. I've done enough prom/bridesmaid/formal dresses that I'm always surprised to hear sewists be intimidated by that fabric. Just like anything else, we have a tendency to make it out to be worse than it actually is!

Cindy said...

This is a good one.

I don't think there is any fabric I haven't worked with over 35 years of sewing and sewing with my students. I love them all. Ummm...fabric ... (said in my Homer voice) LOL The hardest fabric I've ever worked with was plastic. Some are more harder to work with than others which require more patients (I've been bless with tons so it's all good with me). As our boy Tim say's "make it work" - can usually be achieved with any fabric. And like anything in life the harder the project the more rewarding in the end. A great sense of "I can do anything" possess you.

Enjoy all your sewing and fabric moments! :)

julia said...

I've sewn with lots of different fabrics over the years. This past Christmas the velveteen and tafetta combination was difficult. The two didn't want to work together. One would crawl and the other slip, so I probably would not use velveteen with anything slipperyish again. I should have had regular velvet, but I couldn't find it in the stores around here in the color I wanted.
I've made all kinds of costumes and dress up clothes, very dressy prom dresses, very casual play clothes, terry cloth shorts, swim suits, you name it, I've probably tried it. I'm with Cindy that plastic is very difficult.
One of the easiest was this fabric that was fake suede and lambs wool. It didn't have to be hemmed. The seams could be sewn inside out and exposed. Cool!

sewducky said...

I've used most fabrics at one point, except for real fur, which I want to use on a flapper coat (like I can afford it).

To be very honest, I look at the fabric, drape, weight and how expensive it looks and then what it is. Fabric type is less important to me then the result I can get.

Amy (badskirt) said...

I know I should be babbling about fabric, but I was excited to scroll through and see the image you choose for the Velveteen Rabbit. I can have a copy circa 1973 that was given to my mother when she fell pregnant with me. It's one of my "treasures" I've pulled it out now to admire... thank you

Becky said...

Oooh, fabric. Let's see if I can remember off the top of my head... I've used cotton, cotton blends, rayon, rayon blends (all of the above in both woven and knit), bamboo (both knit and woven), eyelet, metallic lace, satin, brocade, polyester, crinkly gauze stuff, taffeta-like stuff, Gore-tex, denim, vinyl, velveteen, upholstery fabrics and other various home dec stuff, silky lining-type fabrics, fleece, Neoprene (which was part of one of those outdoorsy gear projects), flannel, flannel-backed satin, sheer polyester organza, terrycloth, suedecloth, leather, corduroy, pique, silk charmeuse, silk velvet, lame spandex, slinky knits...that's all I can remember off the top of my head. I may have done something with hemp fabric once, but I can't remember what.

My experiences with some of them weren't that great--particularly the Gore-tex (I never want to make my own rain gear again), the leather (machine wasn't cooperating despite leather needles), the slinky knit (a reconstruction project gone very, very bad), and the two silks (bad marriage of fabric to pattern). But I wouldn't say I'd not work with them again-- I'd love to have another shot at leather, and I'm planning on recycling what I can salvage from the silks into other projects. I'd love to try some other work with silk, too... particularly shantung or dupioni (I did use some polyester dupioni for that horrible dress I did in the fall, but that's because it was a last-minute attempt to not go to my brother's wedding naked after the charmeuse fail.) And I'd love to have a successful project with silk velvet, too. I'm also curious about the hemp-silk blends, and I've enjoyed everything I've made from bamboo so far so I'd like to keep finding things to do with that.

The only fabrics I'm entirely unwilling to work with are wools. Mainly because they make me break out in itchiness and sometimes hives. (Seriously--if I even touch a wool blend, my hand starts prickling!)

Shannon Hillinger said...

I swore of vinyl and leather, but that was on my old sewing machine. I have heard my new once can sew through balsa wood, so I should give those fabrics another try. The only other fabric I refuse to sew with is polyester 'silks' because they are so hard to work with.
I really love working with velvet and silk. Especially silk georgette.

gwensews said...

I've sewn with most every fabric. Many are testy, disagreeable and require special handling. Chiffon is a pain. Vinyl is sticky. Velvet crawls. Fur goes everywhere when it's cut. I like natural fibers because they mold and shape nicely.

mamafitz said...

silk is my favorite fabric to work on. i've worked on quite a few fabrics, though not real fur. i hope to never ever work on that lycra stuff with the glued on sequins (ugh!), and i have not had a good experience with neoprene (ok, it was probably 20 years ago, but the memory, it burns). unfortunately, we have a wetsuit that needs a new zipper, so i'm going to have to face it again...

Uta said...

Interesting question! Probably due to my sewing a mix of kids clothes, adult clothes, costumes and home dec, I have tried quite many fabrics. No leather or plastic, but that's not fabric, is it? I don't care to repeat sewing a jacket out of a metallic fabric with no give whatsoever but a pattern that had to match ( easing made impossible). I didn't like sewing georgette, but it's beautiful stuff, so never say never... And I second mamafitz on the sequin-glued lycra stuff, what a (tacky) pain!

CarlaF-in Atlanta said...

I'm a cotton,cotton blend, wool, wool blend girl. I purchased suede for a skirt two years ago and still haven't touched it :) For me, it's more important to learn how to alter patterns to fit my body. When I feel confident about fitting then I think I'll dive into other fabrics.

Tamara said...

I think I have stuck mainly to the basics-cotton, cotton blends (knit and woven), wool, wool blends, poly knit, rayon knit, denim, and corduroy. I have only used silk dupioni once for a sash but it was nice to work with. I have only used slippery fabric once for a garment. I have used slippery lining a couple of times but I have a hard time working with it. I guess that I need to work with slippery fabrics (good quality ones because the cheap fabrics can be torture) more those still kind of scare me.