Beginner Sewer: Which Type Of Fabric To Use For Your Next Project

5 January 2015
 Categories: Home & Garden, Blog


Not all fabric is created equal. Different fabrics are great for some things, but not so great for others. For instance, fur is great for a coat, but you wouldn't use it for pants. Wool is great for coats, pants and skirts, but not for a shirt. Knowing which fabrics are best for clothing projects will help make your sewing project much simpler.

See below for which fabric types work best for different clothing:


  • Denim is what you would use to make jeans.
  • Linen and wool work well for making dressier pants.
  • You can use cotton with spandex if you're making leggings.
  • Flannel works well for making lounge, or pajama pants.


  • Denim is used for jean skirts. Make them long, short or even pleated.
  • Cotton and linen are great for lightweight skirts you can wear in the summer.
  • Rayon is an alternative for silk and drapes well, so it's ideal for skirts.


  • Cotton, chambray and linen are great materials for making collared button-up shirts.
  • Knit and cotton can both be used for t-shirts and lightweight tops.
  • Rayon and silk can both be used for dressier shirts.


  • Cotton, knit, gauze and linen are lightweight fabrics that drape well for dresses. 
  • Rayon and silk work well for dressier dresses and evening gowns.
  • Wool is a good dress fabric to use with a boxier design.

Sewing is fairly simple, but it does take some practice. You may not be making clothing right away, so start with something small, like a scarf. See below for directions on how to make your own infinity loop scarf using flannel fabric.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 yard of flannel fabric (in your color of choice)
  • 1 spool of natural cotton thread (color of your choice)
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine


  1. Take your one yard of fabric and lay it flat. Cut it in half lengthwise so you have 22 inches by 1 yard.
  2. Fold it in half, so that the bad side of the fabric is on the outside.
  3. Match up the edges and iron it flat, using low heat.
  4. Using your straight pins, pin the long edge along where you would sew your fabric. Approximately half an inch in from the edge.
  5. Begin sewing the long edge of your fabric with your sewing machine. If you don't have a sewing machine, you can sew by hand, but it will take awhile.
  6. Then pin your bottom edge of your fabric.
  7. Turn your scarf inside out by reaching your arm in the top opening and pulling the fabric, so the good side is now on the outside.
  8. Finally, take your open edge and push the bottom sewn edge into the opening. Iron it flat and sew the two edges together.
  9. You should have a loop scarf at this point. You can wear it long, or loop it around your neck twice for a different look.

Knowing which fabric to use for your sewing project will make your project that much easier. Happy sewing and enjoy your infinity scarf. Need more help? Contact a company such as K & H Quilt Shoppe with any questions you have.