Guide to sewing with print fabrics

Use our helpful guide to start sewing with print fabric and inject some much needed pattern and colour into your wardrobe!

Print fabrics have become a staple all year round and there’s such a a wide range of printed fabrics to choose from these days. As soon as you mention print fabrics, we automatically think of the wonderful cottons fabrics but print fabrics are available in all sorts of fabric types and weaves. What fabric you choose will determine which interfacing, seam and hemming techniques that you decide to use. We’re sure this will be your go-to guide for sewing with print fabrics.

Two patterns for you to try

Your go-to guide to sewing with print fabrics

Sizing up your print
Be aware that prints with large floral images and one-way designs will require more fabric. They need care in placement and are best for simple patterns with very few pieces.

Rule of thumb
Use small print for smaller garments
Use large print for larger garments
Some prints require a lap layout especially if it has a one-way pattern

Print Size
If you’re a beginner to dressmaking, always choose a small print to work with, sewing imperfections are less likely to show here. However from a distance too smaller print, can look like a plain fabric. Wear a belt to pick out one of the dominant colour’s or adding contrasting plain piping and decorative facings to accentuate the garment.

Getting a feel for the fabric
Try to avoid choosing prints from a sample – unfortunately you won’t be able to get a proper feel for whether the fabric hangs nicely and whether the print suits you. Be brave – different size prints look great together but don’t mix too many patterns. Use a common colour, same weight and drape to hold it all together.

Pattern Layout
If you’re using a print fabric with a large motif, drape the fabric over your body to try different placements. Do this to check the best place for the larger motifs. You don’t want a huge bloom somewhere inappropriate!

To find more tips and advice, visit our LEARN TO SEW page

If you are interested in designing your own custom fabrics – click here