"Knowing it feels right"
"Obviously a big part of dressmaking or indeed soft furnishings is the fabric used to make whatever it is you want to make.
To get a great finished product you have to use the right fabric, colour and pattern are a matter of personal taste but the texture, weight and drape of the fabric are all essential to getting the end product right. Get one or all of these wrong and the garment won't be 100%.
Let's talk about dressmaking, different garments require different types of fabric and made in the wrong fabric just won't look, feel or fit right, for example a fitted jacket won't work in a flimsy, floaty chiffon whereas a full skirted dress won't work in a heavy tweed. As a rule it could be said that the more structured a garment is then the more structured it's fabric needs to be. More structured garments also need linings and sometimes underlinings and interlinings as well as interfaced facings and the fabrics for these can be quite specific to the use required, another rule, linings should not be heavier then the outer fabric and are usally better if a little lighter so a bridal gown in a heavy dupion satin could be lined in a mid weight soft taffeta.
When buying fabric it is always best to see and feel the fabric first, whether that means going to a shop and seeing the rolls on the shelf or getting samples before buying online. Personally I buy most of my fabric online, I have sample books for the basic bridal fabrics I use and everything else I get samples for before ordering any quantity. Some specialist fabrics I do get from the shop, most notably, silk, which I always try to get from Beckford Silk near Tewkesbury, now as a fabric fiend I find their shop is a heavenly place to while away an afternoon!!"
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