sewing small talk: which do you choose first?

Hello friends!

Thanks for your fabulous Tooth Fairy stories last week! So fun. I always enjoy your comments on our posts.

This week, tell me about your design process! Which do you choose first: the fabric or the sewing pattern/style? Or does it depend on the project?

Which comes first: sewing pattern or fabric?

I’m curious to hear about your thought process.

We’ll be back next week with some special coordinating outfit ideas for you. In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend!




  1. liz n.

    Pattern first, then fabric to fit the pattern.

  2. LeAnn Whiting

    Sometimes I see a great fabric & just have to have some. Other times I see a pattern that really appeals to me. And other times I need a specific article and I shop to fill the need. So I’m all over the place. Color will always catch my eye though.

  3. Elizabeth

    Usually I start with the fabric and then look for an appropriate pattern. This happens a lot with Liberty of London fabrics.
    If I see a cute dress then I see if I have a pattern suitable for it and then I look for fabrics That will compliment the dress.

  4. It depends- sometimes a fabric will just grab me- either the texture, the print, color- and I have to act on it. I will usually have an idea as to what type of garment so will purchase amount accordingly. Other times a pattern will speak to me and I reverse the method.

  5. Cindy Cooksey

    I have done it both ways. Often I will fall in love with some fabric, and it may sit around in my stash for several months or longer, before the perfect pattern presents itself. (I am also an art quilter, and it’s nice to have a good stash already in place for when I’m ready to start a quilt.) But once in a while I will purchase a pattern and it sits around until I find the perfect fabric.

  6. Tonya

    Usually, it’s pattern first. But I can be swept away by a great looking fabric. Then I’ll buy 3 yrs. and hunt for a pattern.

  7. Liz

    I start with a shape, silhouette or (perceived!) gap in my wardrobe, for example “dress” or “long sleeveless dress”. Then I research a pattern. I’m making most of my clothes out of linen these days so then it’s a case of choosing which linen and which colour for that chosen pattern. I tend to have a running wish list of wardrobe items or patterns that I want to make and occasionally I see a linen fabric which inspires me to make a pattern on my list. Sometimes I want to add a particular colour to my wardrobe (pink at the moment) so I’m looking for pink linens. I’ve just received a sample of a bright pink linen that I think would make a great top.

    So perhaps I start my design process with either fabric or sewing pattern but also with shapes and colours.

  8. Angela Jarman

    Sometimes Fabric other times Pattern or Idea. I have fabrics in my stash that have been there for goones how long I stroke it often. Ialso have patterns I do the same with.

  9. Sharon

    Always fabric as I am very particular with my colours.

  10. Really I can go either way. I’ve had patterns I’ve sat on for years waiting for the right fabric and fabric that has sat for a decade waiting for a match.

  11. Maria Parfitt

    A bit of both! Lately I have been watching The Fold Line Sew Downs and see patterns on there, I buy, download the pdf and then start browsing fabrics.
    It’s far too addictive!!

  12. Mary Coonts

    Both ways. Either can be my inspiration. I often have fabric waiting for the right pattern to come along. Other times I have a pattern in mind because I need that garment so I go looking for fabric. I have lots of both at home so it’s often a matter of just matching pattern and fabric. Various things can influence that decision. Do I have enough of that fabric? Is this pattern already traced off?

  13. Mitzi Mann

    I’m trying to use my fabric stash at the moment. So function, fabric and then make my own pattern.

  14. Mary Beth

    As long as we aren’t talking what order I purchase in… I pick a pattern and then look through fabrics (that I already have) and choose one that speaks to me.

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