As a lot of the fabrics contain polyester, we are going to take a look at what this means when we choose a particular mix. How best to sew it and the best ways of washing and ironing the fabrics. No one wants to spend a fortune on designer fabrics only to find they don't wash well or you can't sew it properly.
What is polyester?
It is a shortened name for a synthetic, man-made polymer, which, as a specific material, is most commonly referred to as a type called polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
- Polyester is very durable
- Polyester fabrics and fibres are extremely strong yet lightweight.
- The fibres are easily dyed and it retains its shape.
- Polyester fabric is easy to look after and it can be washed and dried at home
- It is a quick-drying fabric, so a popular choice for outdoor clothing and office wear.
- Though polyester does not require much ironing, if you must, then iron warm.
- Polyester can be dry-cleaned with no hassles.
What is polyester crepe?
Polyester crepe refers to both the material and the weave of the fabric. Crepe is a tight weave and is used most often in wool, silk and synthetic fibres, like polyester.
- Polyester crepe is considered to be a thin fabric, though not necessarily sheer.
- It has a slightly nobly texture and a matte finish.
- Polyester crepe doesn't pill, shrink or fade.
- It dries easily and resists wrinkles.
- It has a fluid drape and is often used in formal wear, skirts, blouses and suits.
- You can wash a poly crepe on a warm or cold cycle.
- Press crepe fabric using low heat and a little steam.
Top tips for sewing.
- Always pre-wash your fabric, this helps with fabric shrinkage but also gives you an idea of how your garment will wash when completed.
- If the fabric is very fine, it may slip and slide when cutting. Place an old sheet or towel onto a flat surface and lay the fabric on top. If the fabric is still slippery cut each layer separately.
- Use weights to hold the fabric firm or small fine sharp pins. Take care to pin in the seam line in case it makes small holes.
- Insert a new fine needle in a sewing machine; size 60/8 is recommended. If sewing by hand, use a new very fine needle.
- Sew with straight stitches, 2 to 2.5 mm if sewing with a machine. Use zigzag or straight stitches depending on your fabric choice. For those with a bit of stretch, you may want to use a small zigzag for added movement in the fabric when sewn together. Sew with small stitches when sewing by hand.
- Hand baste hems, this helps with puckering and gives a nice finish. It can also be time-consuming so allow time for it if you are working to a deadline.
Showcase Croft Mill Crepe Fabric
Lovely soft lightweight crepe material for making dresses, skirts and tops. In essence, a fine dress crepe which will work beautifully well if you want something in a lighter weight than out triple crepe or something you don’t want to “drag”. A nice fabric to sew and will make into an easy care garment.
Patterns for all sizes
We recommend you look online at Jaycotts.co.uk or simplicity.co.uk for your patterns, there are often sales on so sign up for the newsletters to receive links to their sale items.
Pattern freebies and internet tutorial worth looking at.
If you ever watched a T.V. programme called "Project Runway" then you would know the famous fabric shop called "MOOD" in the USA. They have a team of bloggers who publish a lot of tutorials and free patterns. What impressed me on this site was that they have real people with real body shapes modelling the creations. Visit this website for lots of different patterns.
From another of our firm favourite sites, a figure-skimming fit. Sizes 29- 41 bust, 33-45 inch hips this cross your heart dress is from So Sew Easy - great pattern.
Sew an infinity dress, tutorial and pattern from Sew Petite Gal.
Jamie Sanders from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom has a lovely tutorial and pattern for a women's shirred maxi dress.