How To Navigate A Fabric Store (Video)

Steven and Chris

When you walk into a fabric store, it can be quite overwhelming. But there’s nothing to fear! Once you understand where to find the fabric you need and how to get it cut properly, you’re smooth sailing. Here are some tips for making it safely through your local fabric store.

Watch this…







Host, Steven Sabados:
Welcome back, everybody. Well sewing expert Denise Wild is making her way through yards of cotton and damask to show us the best way to navigate a fabric store. Watch this, guys.

Denise Wild:
Hi, Steven and Chris. Shopping for fabric can definitely be overwhelming. So I’m here at King Textiles, one of my favorite fabric stores, to give you the inside scoop on how the pros do it. Let’s go.

So the first thing you notice when you get here are the bolts and bolts of fabric. It’s a sewer’s dream, but there is a lot to navigate. The most important thing is that you come here prepared.

Today I’m going to making pillows and I’m working from a pattern. So I’ve got my pattern and I have my pillow insert measurements, and I’m ready to go.

Now for the fun part – shopping for fabric. Everything in the store is divided into fabric type. So we’ve got our rayon prints here, we have our velvets here, linens right here, and I think I noticed some vinyls at the back, which would be perfect for doing projects for outdoors.

One thing I do want to point out that’s really important is something called nap. On the right side of your fabric, you want to check to see if there is a one-way direction; you’ll notice that each one of these pattern pieces are pointed in that same direction. That means the fabric has what’s called nap, and you want to be extra careful about that when you’re cutting and when you’re sewing, because if you have one of your curtain panels upside down, a fabric with nap, you’ll notice it on.

Another example of a fabric with nap is velvet. So you smooth it one direction and it’s light; if you smooth it the other direction it’s dark. That means it has nap; you have to be careful with it.

So when we’re looking at the back of our pattern, you want to check out their suggested fabrics at the top. If you’re starting out, it’s especially important that you follow this. If you feel comfortable venturing out on your own, you can veer away from the suggested fabrics that they’ve listed; but you do want to keep in mind the weight and the properties and the drape of the fabric that you choose.

So I want something really warm and snuggly, so I’m going to head on over to the wool plaids. This is perfect. Great colors. Nice and soft. And, let’s see – this one looks just right. So this is the fabric I’m going to use for my pillows and now I’m going to go get it cut.

The first thing we want to do when we’re ready to cut our fabric is to determine the fabric’s width. Fabric comes in two standard widths; 45 or 60 inches, which is the equivalent of 115 or 150 centimetres. So you’ll look to the end of the bolt and that will tell you what the width is.

My fabric is sixty inches wide and I’m going to refer to my pattern for step number two, which is determining the length that I want cut. So according to this width of sixty inches, I want to cut one yard or one metre of fabric.

The next thing you’ll want to do is check your fabric for any snags or discolorations. You want to roll it out and open it up to the fabric’s right side. So the fabric right sides are folded together. Open up your fabric and make sure there are no imperfections. I’m happy with this and now I’m going to ask the clerk to cut it for me.

Finally, it’s time for us to choose our notions. Notions are those little extras and accessories that you need to finish your project, such as thread, zipper, buttons. On the back of your pattern, you’ll see a list of the notions that you need. And then any extra decorative trims you can choose on your own. I think I’m probably going to keep my pillow nice and simple; maybe do some self-piping around the edges and that means that I have everything that I need.

So I hope with this information, it makes your next trip to the fabric store a little bit more comfortable. And if you’ve never been to the fabric store before, now’s a great time to start.



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