Which Fabric to Choose?

Which Fabric to Choose?

This is a review of four woven (not stretchy) fabrics offered in my Spoonflower shop which I tested making the same doll dress. Knit recommendations follow. These are my own opinions, and I recommend ordering swatches to determine your favorite fabrics before making a large purchase. You can purchase all of my fabric in my Spoonflower Shop.

Petal Signature Cotton

42" wide, 4.3 oz per sq yard
Everyday-use cotton for quilting, crafts and apparel
Yes, you can make doll clothes from this but it's fairly stiff and a little heavier than is ideal. Texture of the weave can be felt. Color is true. Note that the dress samples are all lined with a thin cotton and not the same outer fabric. This would not have been an issue except with this fabric - which is too heavy for self-lining.

Cotton Poplin

42" wide, 3.3 oz per sq yard
Lightweight quilting cotton for apparel, quilts and home accents
A bit lighter weight than the Petal Signature Cotton and in my view, a solid choice for ease of handling. However, it is not as fine as the following fabrics and has a creamy, natural white base that makes the print warmer. I don't find this off-putting but that's up to preference. This fabric also has a slightly textured feel and stiffness, though less than the previous fabric.

Cotton Lawn

54" wide, 2.4 oz per sq yard
Lightweight, slightly translucent apparel and quilting fabric beloved for its silky hand and elegant drape
This fabric is slightly see-through. It is super thin, making it a fair choice for tiny clothes as it's easier to turn edges. The surface is very smooth and almost a bit "papery" to my hand, but once sewn it feels less so and nicely smooth... if you want that. I prefer a more open weave than this has, but this definitely feels like a more expensive fabric (which it is) once sewn. If you are a willing to spend a little more and are a bit picky about your doll fabrics, this is the one (unless you want a party dress, in which case - see the next one). On the other hand, if you like things a bit more rustic and hardy, I recommend the Poplin. The base of the Lawn is whiter than Poplin, but not as bright as either the Petal or Sateen. I think that has more to do with the translucency.

Organic Cotton Sateen

56" wide, 3.8 oz per sq yard
Eco-friendly, quilting-weight cotton with unmatched softness and slight sheen
This is the one if you are making a party dress! It's got a little bit of sheen (though nothing shiny like a satin) and a bit more weight for added body. The base color is bright white so colors will appear most vivid on this fabric. Organic Cotton Sateen is also the only fabric of the four here that I would describe as having a "soft" surface. It is very smooth - definitely the more luxurious choice, but I advise lining with a thinner fabric as it is a bit thicker.


FOR KNITS... I recommend Cotton Spandex Jersey to go with most fabrics as it is a brighter white base and is not slinky/difficult to sew. This is the fabric I recommend for my jeans prints. However, if you are combining in an outfit with the Cotton Poplin, go with Organic Cotton Knit as it has a similarly creamy base color. 


- On YARDAGE ONLY: Pre-wash / tumble dry if you want more softness prior to sewing. Do NOT pre-wash cut & dry "cut & sew" kits as they will shrink.
- Wet-set dresses after sewing to improve the drape.
- On the Lawn and Sateen, do not use pins where you will see the holes!




More Photos Comparing fabrics...

The following photos show
Cotton Poplin (left) vs. Organic Cotton Sateen (right)