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Inspiration for sewing with Cotton Poplin and Cotton Lawn

Cotton is one of the most versatile fabrics available and comes in many forms. From lightweight gauze and voile to sturdy denim and canvas, with many more in between. However this huge variety can also cause problems, especially when you are just starting out on your sewing journey. It can be overwhelming trying to decipher what the many different types are. This blog will hopefully demystify some of the many different types of cotton and provide you with lots of inspiration for what to make. 

Here at Lamazi Fabrics we have a wonderful range of cotton fabrics, including the largest collection of Rifle Paper Co. cotton in the UK, Art Gallery Cottons and a new  collection of Cotton Lawn

The quality of a cotton comes down to many different factors. If the fibre has just been ‘carded’ it will have undergone the most basic process of brushing raw or washed fibres to prepare them for spinning. However a cotton that has also been combed will give it a smoother finish. A luxury cotton will be woven from a longer-staple fibre, resulting in an even smoother finish and finer to the touch. 

There are further treatments that the fibre can undergo to create an even more luxurious finish but I am sure you get the picture- the more work that goes into preparing the initial fibre the higher the end quality. 

Joyful Sleeves, Bows and Ruffles

Cotton holds a lot of volume when gathered so it is ideal for adding a statement sleeve, ruffle or a bow to make Esme proud to your garment. 


Choose a crisp cotton lawn to bring these styles to life. The structure of a cotton lawn will hold any volume you create, while its light weight will prevent it from drooping down. 

From left- Viola Tricolour Blue with Purple Cotton Lawn Fabric, Wildfield Red Cotton Lawn Fabric, Morris Large Green Cotton Lawn Fabric. 

From left- Atelier 8 Avril Peonie dress, Trend Patterns Pussy Bow Shirt and Nina Lee Park Lane Dress and Top

From left Daisies Blue Cotton Lawn fabric, Morris Navy Cotton Lawn Fabric, Ditsy Navy Blue Cotton Lawn Fabric. 

From left- Friday Pattern Company Adrianna dress, By Hand London Shirred Dress, Cashmerette Roseclair Dress.

Check out our Spring inspiration blog for more ideas for joyful dressing.

Cotton Fact

- What’s the difference between a cotton lawn and a cotton poplin?

This is a very popular question, especially from beginner sewists. A poplin is a medium weight, plain weave fabric. The warp threads are finer and more densely set than the weft, giving an ever so slight rib effect to the fabric. A cotton lawn is also a plain weave fabric, however it is woven using a higher thread count yarns which are silkier, which gives cotton lawn its smooth and drapey finish. Cotton poplin is generally a little harder wearing and can be used for trousers and skirts, while cotton lawn is more desirable for dresses and blouses. 


Elegant Dresses 

An elegant evening dress may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of cotton but the range of prints and high quality fabrics makes it perfect for this kind of project. Our collection of Rifle Paper Co. and Art Gallery Cottons are ideal for recreating designer dresses from brands like Erdem and The Vampires Wife. Check out Sharlene’s Christmas blog for some more inspiration. 

Our range of Art Gallery and Rifle Paper Co. cottons are perfect for recreating these looks. 

From left- Art Gallery Fabrics Bloomkind Meadow Cotton from Flower Society, Rifle Paper Co Garden Party Vines Cotton Fabric, Rifle Paper Co Garden Party Rosa Burgundy Metallic Cotton Fabric

When it comes to elegant evening dresses By Hand London is always a good place to start. Try the Anna, Elisalex or Eloise dress to recreate these looks.


Images from Cecilie Bahnsen

Quilting is not just reserved for quilts anymore. There is a growing popularity in quilted items in both sewing and the catwalk. Designer brand Cecilie Bahnsen produced a range of quilted dresses and tops that were on every fashion girls radar. Isabel Marant is another designer well known for her boho quilted jackets and and vests. 

A quilted jacket is a great piece to make if you want to try your hand at quilting. The process is quite therapeutic and you are working with smaller pieces than a full quilt. You can also wear and treasure your beautiful piece for years to get full use from it. 

Form left Morris Large Ochre Cotton Lawn Fabric, Rifle Paper Co Garden Party Burgundy Wild Rose Metallic Cotton Fabric, Kaleidoscope Flowers Multi Cotton Lawn fabric. 

From left, Pauline Alice Ayora Jacket, Grainline Studio Tamarack jacket, Friday Pattern Company Ilford Jacket. 

Classic Shirt with a Twist

When it comes to making shirts there is no better fabric to work with than cotton. The nature of this fibre lends itself well to crisp collars, cuffs and button plackets. 

Try an abstract print or monochrome look for a modern twist on this classic piece. 

From left- Ex-Designer Checked Mulberry Cotton Fabric, Nerida Hansen- Greta Laundy Canvas on Cotton Sateen, Ex-Designer Checked Green Cotton Fabric

From left- Trend Patterns Shirt Dress, Closet Core Patterns Kalle, I Am Patterns Lucienne Shirt

Cotton Fact

- Cotton voile is a lightweight, semi-sheer, fine, plain weave fabric. It is constructed using tightly twisted yarns and has a net-like quality.

- A ‘Dobby’ fabric is produced on a ‘Dobby Loom’ and has small geometric patterns woven into the fabric, giving it texture. 

 Meadow Cotton Voile Dobby Fabric 


Boho Blouses and Dresses

Boho is a big trend for the summer and one that is easy to transition into the Autumn months too. Layer loose dresses and tops over a thermal base layer to get extra mileage from your makes. 

From left- Windy Off-White Cotton Lawn Fabric, Viola Tricolour Green Cotton Lawn Fabric, Milliblu’s- Meadow Cotton Voile Dobby Fabric.

From left- Friday Pattern Company Wilder Gown, Pattern Fantastique Vali Dress and Blouse, Pauline Alice Patterns Coeli Blouse.

For more Boho inspiration check out our Summer Trends blog here

Thank you for reading our latest inspiration blog. We would love to know what type of garment you love to sew with cotton? What’s your favourite pattern?


Inspiration images sourced from Pinterest, you can view the board here


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