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