Sewing Circle: Fabric-hunting for summer

We're fabric-hunting today on Sewing Circle! Andrea wrote me this question about finding the perfect summer fabric for an Anthropologie-inspired dress...

Q: I am driving myself nuts trying to figure out what kind of fabric this is and where I can find some. This dress is so simple, I really think I could make it, if only I could find the right fabric!


It's crinkly and very lightweight, pretty translucent. It says it's 100% cotton but I tried it on in the store and really thought the tag said it was 100% silk--? Have you sewn with something crinkly like this before? I also went to my local high-end fabric store and there wasn't a single bolt that looked like this!

A: Hi, Andrea!
I can see how that could be made of 100% cotton, unless the website has a mistake… it looks like a cotton gauze; I’ve seen them before at Goodwill, and made a few things out of them. Often poly comes in this weight as well, although it wouldn’t be as nice for summer.

My go-to for hard to find fabric is www.fashionfabricsclub.com. Here’s a link to their cotton gauzes. It’s definitely overwhelming to search for things on their site unless you really know what you’re looking for! But start there and do some Google searching.

It’s so funny, I ran into JoAnn’s not long after I saw your email and I actually saw several crepes in the Specialty Cottons section up front, with the bright springy apparel prints! They had some solids in boring colors and some bright prints. Must be a summer thing! Definitely worth checking out!

So, I have a few answers, but nothing too solid. Readers, where would you shop for something like this? Help Andrea out so she can make such a lovely, simple summer dress!

And, where do you look when you're searching for THE perfect fabric for something? =)

6 comments

  1. Fabric Depot or Mill End when I'm looking for the quality goods. I like to feel and see the fabric if I am looking to match something I want to copy.

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    1. Oh, yes, they do have nice quality stuff. And sometimes the prices aren't too bad, and they take competitors' coupons!

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  2. I always default to Spoonflower, pricey but they'll have what you want - which is worth it if you are making something really unique and important! Otherwise, I just take what I can get at Goodwill and word with that ;)

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    1. I have never ordered from them but it's such a cool idea! I love how you can pick the weight of the print you want. I do love the Goodwill selection sometimes, too!

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  3. The fabric seems so comfortable to put it on.

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  4. My favorite online fabric store is Fabrics.com. They have a good selection and their shipping is fast and reliable. I also sometimes order from Denver Fabrics but I have issues with them. You can't get swatches from them and they are sometimes a little slow but they do have many fabrics that I haven't seen anywhere else and I've rarely been disappointed so I consider it worth the risk.

    The only local place that has fabrics is Walmart and surprisingly they do have some nice cotton prints. There are other places if I want to drive an hour or more to get to them but it's easier to order online and shipping doesn't cost any more than gasoline.

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