The Five Best Fabrics for Beginners: Start Learning with these Easy To Sew Fabrics

What fabrics should I sew with as a beginner?

        So you’ve bookmarked a couple must-have patterns, followed a few accounts on Instagram, and made a Pinterest board with your ready-to-wear inspiration. Now you’re ready to tackle your first garment! If you’re feeling nervous about it not working out or not sure how to choose the perfect fabric, but don’t fret, we’re here for you! A word to the wise? When you are just starting out on your me-made journey, there are a few key things to look out for that will help you determine if a fabric is friendly for beginners or not. 

        Curious what our top tips are for choosing the right fabric? Try looking for lightweight woven fabrics that are stable, crisp, and tightly woven. Fabrics like these are easy to maneuver around your machine, straightforward to cut, and won’t shift around while you’re handling them. We also recommend sticking with fabrics that have low to minimal stretch when you’re just starting out and avoiding linear prints or patterns that require pattern matching. Look out for fabrics that have a little bit of texture to them, as this usually creates a bit of friction between your layers and makes them easier to handle. One more hot tip, natural fibers (like cotton or linen) are also easier to iron and finger press than synthetics (like polyester). 


Read on for our top five recommendations for Beginner Friendly and Easy to Sew Fabrics.

Sandwashed Cotton

Sandwashed Cotton & Washed Cotton Poplin

            Our Sandwashed Cottons and Washed Cotton Poplins are two of our easiest fabrics to sew because they have a super stable weave, meaning that they don’t stretch out easily. Made from 100% cotton, they are easy to press with an iron or just with your fingers and they’re both versatile enough for a wide range of projects from dresses and skirts to tops and blouses. In terms of texture, our Sandwashed Cotton has a rustic textured surface while our Washed Cotton Poplin has a smooth hand. Both fabrics come in a wide array of solid colours (no pattern matching required!) and are relatively affordable, which means you have less to lose if you make a mistake.

    Beginner Friendly Pattern Picks: Papercut Patterns Array Top, Helen’s Closet Ashton Top, Paper Theory Block Tee

    See it sewn up: #BFSandwashedCotton #BFWashedCotton

      Viscose Linen Noil

      Viscose Linen Noil

                For beginner sewists who want to learn how to sew with more flowy fabrics, our Viscose Linen Noil is an ideal option! Lightweight with a fluid drape, this linen & viscose blend is a fan-favourite and can be used for drapey dresses, tops, and tanks. Available in a wide range of solid colours, this fabric features a nubbly textured surface that creates a little bit of friction which keeps layers together while sewing. 

          Beginner Friendly Pattern Picks: Friday Pattern Company Saltwater Slip, Seamwork Hansie Top, Vivian Shao Chen Laurence Top

          See it sewn up: #BFViscoseLinenNoil

            9.5oz Bull Denim

            Brushed Bull Denim

                      This is a great option for new sewists who are all about workwear inspired makes! Our 9oz Brushed Bull Denim and our 9.5oz Bull Denim are both medium weight, sturdy fabrics that boast a strong & stable twill weave. Softer than most denims straight off the bolt, these bull denims feel washed and worn in straight away making them easier to manuever around your machine. On the lighter end of the bottomweight spectrum, they are also easier for a beginner-level sewing machine to handle than a heavy 14oz denim. These two tried & true picks also come in a bevy of classic shades and fun poppy hues.

                Beginner Friendly Pattern Picks: Les Perlines Midway Jacket, Friday Pattern Company Ilford Jacket, Helen’s Closet Ruby Overalls

                See it sewn up: #BFBullDenim

                  Everyday Linen

                  Everyday Linen

                            Our Everyday Linen tops our list for beginner friendly fabrics! Made from 100% linen, this medium weight woven is ideal for a wide variety of makes including skirts, pants, light jackets, shirts, and accessories like bags or hats. With a moderate drape and dense weave, our Everyday Linen is easy to cut, sew, and iron. Part of our core collection of Birdie faves, we carry a variety of colours year round that are sure to fit the bill. 

                    Beginner Friendly Pattern Picks: Peppermint Magazine Pocket Skirt, Elizabeth Suzann Georgia Series, Closet Core Cielo Top

                    See it sewn up: #BFEverydayLinen

                      Cotton Jersey Knit

                      Cotton Jersey Knit

                                Of course, we had to include at least one knit! For those eager sewists keen to try their hand at knit fabrics, we highly recommend starting out with our Cotton Jersey Knit. Medium weight and slightly more structured drape than most knits, this jersey is quite stable and easy to cut. Due to its knit construction, this jersey also does not fray, meaning it does not require finishing at the seams (if undesired!). If you don’t have a serger, no problem! A simple zig-zag stitch on your machine will do the trick :)

                          Beginner Friendly Pattern Picks: Paper Theory LB Pullover, Helen’s Closet Jackson Tee, Christine Haynes Dune Tank & Briefs

                          See it sewn up: #BFCottonJerseyKnit

                            Still unsure? Make a Toile!

                                    If you’re worried about making a mistake, try making a toile (aka a practice garment) of your project first in our Classic Cotton Muslin! Crisp and structured, this affordable 100% cotton is suitable for making toiles for all sorts of woven projects and tailored garments like fitted dresses, trousers, shirts, and jumpsuits. With a similar hand and feel to a traditional quilting cotton, our cotton muslin is stable and tightly woven, making it easy to cut and sew.  


                                    Like with all new skills, sewing is all about practice. Working with fabrics and learning how to handle them gets easier over time, just remember to have fun and enoy the process! We hope our selection of Beginner Friendly fabrics will help you gain confidence with each and every me-made but if you’re still not sure about which fabric to choose, simply send us an email at info@blackbirdfabrics.com or a DM to @blackbirdfabrics and we’d be happy to help!


                            Shop all of our Beginner Friendly Fabrics here.


                            Don’t forget to tag us in your makes on Instagram with #BlackbirdFabrics! We’d love to see your progress and cheer you on!

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