sewing small talk: favorite fabrics to sew

Hello friends!

I’m busy sewing our spring patterns for the photo shoot, and the other day I sewed some test garments from a sort of ponte knit that I found at our local fabric store. It was almost a cross between ponte and scuba, and I’ve never been so frustrated by a fabric in my life! No needle and thread combination seemed to work properly. All my knit needles skipped, the poly thread shredded, and I was left nearly in tears after a few hours of struggling.  So here’s this week’s question: Do you have a favorite fabric to sew?

do you have a favorite fabric to sew?Needless, to say, that ponte/scuba is something I’d just as soon never sew again. On the other hand, cotton shirting fabrics are just as easy as can be, and I’d sew them every day if I could! And believe it or not, I don’t mind sewing silk. Cutting it, however….

What are your favorite fabrics to sew? And your least favorite? Are your favorite fabrics to sew the same as your favorite fabrics to wear?




  1. Linda (ACraftyScrivener)

    I must admit I have some gorgeous leopard print ponte that I have been dreading sewing up…… But the cotton/linen blend I have just been working with is divine….

  2. Karen

    I mainly sew natural fibers so cotton, silk and rayon (semi-natural fiber) are my favorite fabrics.. Wool is another favorite but since I live in Austin, TX there is little need for warmth in clothing.

    1. Sara

      Wool, however, has great properties of breathability, moisture-wicking, and temperature-regulating! Have you ever tried wearing a more lightweight (tropical wool)? My husband wears wool socks (and usually workbooks) year-round where we have the four seasons.

  3. Emily

    I love sewing with heavier-weight fabrics, like denim, twill, and canvas. My least favorite thing is cutting out shifty fabrics, but they’re not usually too bad to sew up.

    I’ve never tried a scuba knit before…

  4. Zoe

    Liberty lawn! And I love the merino from the Fabric Store Online with a serger. I am about to tackle some slippery silks I’ve had in my stash for a while. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised …

  5. Elisabeth

    That fabric sounds like a nightmare. My favorites are all the stable wovens…cotton shirting, cotton lawn, linens and linen blends, twills, denim, etc.

  6. Pauline

    Chiffon every time for me, love the color ranges but this fabric definitely doesn’t like me

  7. Elizabeth Perez

    I love sewing on Liberty lawn. It is fabulous! I also like ulster linen, batiste and any good quality cotton. Having sewn for my grandkids since they were born I have used all this kinds of fabric. Noe that they are older they would like something in satiny or chiffon fabrics. I don’t like sewing with these but for the grandkids I will have to try.

  8. Mary Inchauste

    Prefer working with woven textiles in all natural fibers, including cotton, wool, linen and silk. I haven’t mastered knits, and must admit I dodge them, in preference to a woven fabric choice. A bit tricky, but can do a decent job with Ultra Suede, after taking a class long ago. Not a fan of natural fabrics with added synthetic fibers. A garment is never better than the initial fabric you start with, and best to buy quality. A shout out for Art Gallery cottons for quilts & children’s clothing, Liberty of London Lawn for anything appropriate!

  9. Addie

    I have never sewn scuba because I avoid polyester. Medium-weight wools are usually easy and nice to sew. Cottons and linens are lovely, especially lawn. I have had a pretty good experience with silk too. I have been wary of chiffon or other sheer fabrics. I made a pair of pants out of crinkle rayon and it was a bit weird to sew and to determine how much to iron in the process. Fortunately it was a very simple style.

    I made a baby-blanket gift for someone out of minky (super soft and fluffy polyester) and said “Never again!” That fluff got everywhere!

  10. Mary Coonts

    It is a good point that sewing and cutting pose different issues. Flannel is nice because it barely needs pins since it kind of sticks to itself. Stable knits are ok as are cotton wovens. I had some double brushed poly knit that gave me such fits cutting. It has a bit of a nap on both sides and I just couldn’t get it smoothed out to cut I finally had to put tissue between the layers Ugh.

  11. Connie

    I sew more knits than anything, as I sew for my granddaughter, and that is what she prefers to wear. But I love to sew a tightly woven cotton. It is easier to be precise and it also presses beautifully.

  12. Sara

    I have found that there are differences, not only in fabric type, but also in quality. It is very frustrating to have thread & needles break & to get the skipped stitches. For the most part the natural fibers are great to work with (wool & linen my favorite), and anything un-natural is difficult, knits being the hardest. The treated fabrics of poor quality, even though natural, are about the worst, too.

  13. Ana

    I love wearing light slippery fabrics, not silk necessarily, I like viscose that holds shape at least a little bit too. But I don’t like sewing them(, they are not easy to control.
    Love anything that is not too thick, not slippery and is not synthetic. Shirt fabrics are my favorite to sew too! They are not the most practical sometimes, like for traveling, for example, otherwise I would sew only with them.

  14. Sissi

    I don’t sew, but would love to find someone that loves sewing sparkle organza.

  15. Gillian Whaites

    I am soon to make up some pants in Ponte. I would love to preempt any sewing difficulties! Did you ultimately find a solution to your sewing ponte issues? Will it be easier on the serger or the sewing machine? Which type and weight of thread should I use? Any findings would be appreciated.
    My relaxing sewing is always Patchwork using 100% quilting cotton and Aurifil 50 at thread.

  16. I’ve sworn off poly crepe de chine after I had a bit of a nightmare sewing up a slippery dress a few years back with skipped stitches and puckered seams. My all-time favourite is anything wool-based, but especially melton. It feels great, it presses well and it’s mouldable.

  17. Sequins! I’ll see anything at least once and only a very few fabrics go on the never again list. Sequins tops that list.

  18. There’s nothing like a cotton shirting. So well behaved, every time. But I refuse to work with tissue knits. Just won’t do it.

  19. Betsy

    I loved broadcloth. It was very forgiving. Cotton, a bit heavier weave than Kona. We learned on it in home Ed. We pulled it apart to learn warp and weft. Straight of grain cross and bias. Nice small floral prints , soft solids and ginghams. I believe it was manufactured here in the south and went away when the mills started disappearing.
    That was my favorite.

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