In case you missed the announcement, we’re hosting a mini sew-along for National Sewing Month! In this four-part series, I’ll walk you through all of the steps to make your very own skirt – or a closet full of them!  The first post was all about how to gather your supplies, so go check that out first if you didn’t see it yet. Click here to find it, Last week we covered how to sew up the skirt, so Click here if you missed it.

As part of our Sewing Month Skirt Sew Along, today I thought it would be fun to talk about how one small material selection can have big impact on your finished garment. That’s right, one simple supply selection can do all the hard work and make your skirt sing.

When shopping for fabric, don’t just think of color. Look at pattern, texture and fun details as a way to bring your garment to life.

For instance:

Not only did we select a plaid print that has a fun pop of color but did you noticed it that the plaid is on an angle? Traditional plaids are woven on the vertical and horizontal planes.

newbeford plain

FreeSpirit New Bedford by Denyse Schmidt, Strong Plaid-Sorbet

Selecting a print with strong pattern lines on a 45degree angle will provide a slimming effect for every body shape.








Another way to add visual interest is with borders. Borders can be created with decorative stitching, by adding trim or even printed directly along the fabric edge.

Fringe Detail

CS268_965When shopping for fabric, we noticed this faux suede already had fringe along the edge. Honestly, this was a total score and means that we could actually skip the step of hemming our skirt.







There are so many border prints to choose from that you could make a whole closet full of just this type of skirt.  Here is an example from FreeSpirit Fabric.

FreeSpirit Sundara Oasis by Dena Designs

FreeSpirit Sundara Oasis by Dena Designs


You can make big changes in the finished garment just by choosing a different fabric for each skirt that you make. One pattern truly can take you far in a handmade wardrobe if you learn to be flexible with your material selection and have an adventurous spirit!  Quilting cottons are also a great source of prints. Check out the many options from FreeSpirit fabrics.

So the next time you head to fabric store be sure to keep these tips in mind for big impact and let the fabrics do all the hard work!

I hope you enjoyed these quick tips. If you’re feeling inspired to make more, come back for the final post in this series where I’ll show you different ways to customize this pattern to make it different each time.

Be sure to share your pictures and tag #sewalongcoats.

About the Author

Heather Valentine is the creative genius behind The Sewing Loft. After earning a degree in fashion design and pattern making from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, Heather took her talent to some of the top name brands in the apparel industry. These days, you can find her sharing tips & tutorials on her blog, teaching at local shops and sharing her talent in online video classes. Her designs have graced the pages of many printed publications and they can be found in a store near you with the Simplicity Creative Group. This self-proclaimed fabric hoarder likes to stitch the night away and dreams of one day discovering a better way to detangle her thread collection.

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