Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sureau Sew-along: Choosing Your Fabric and Gathering Notions

First of all, a HUGE thank you to Eléonore and her post, without which this post would have been so much less informative :)

Do you already have all you need to make your Sureau? No?
This post is just for you!

Main Fabric

  • Recommended fabrics: cotton polin, chambray, linen, lightweight denim
    This fabrics are perfect if you want a dress similar to the photos on Deer and Doe's boutique. They have some body to them and are very easy to sew and gather. If you're a beginner, this is probably the best choice you can make.
  • Lighter fabrics: cotton batiste, liberty, cotton/silk blends
    These fabrics drape differently and will give a different effect: the dress will have less volume and will fall closer to the body. Check the transparency of these fabrics, especially if you don't plan to line your dress.

Dress made using liberty by Mathilde - Dress made using cotton voile by Loune

  • Heavier fabrics: velour, light weight wool, sweater knitWinter is coming (hehe) after all, so making a dress in a cozier material might be a great idea. Just keep in mind that if you choose a thick, drapey fabric, your skirt will lose volume, but you will gain bulk at the waist because of the gathered skirt panels. Moreover, a thick fabric will be harder to gather, so you'll need to use a longer stitch to prevent your threads from breaking.
  • Stretch fabrics: cotton jersey, rayonThese fabrics will give you a super comfy dress and will allow you to skip the zipper altogether. But knits need some special attention: a ball point needle and an elastic stitch to avoid that your seams rip the first time you wear the dress. If your fabric is very stretchy, you should go one size smaller than usual. This fabrics are recommended to more experienced seamstresses.
Dress made using liberty by Joliesbobines - Dress made using cotton by Magali

You will need 2m of 150cm wide fabric, or 2m70 of 115cm wide fabric.
If you use imperial measurements, that is 2.2 yards of 60” wide fabric or 3 yards of 45” wide fabric.
If you use a size smaller than 46, you'll see that you'll have plenty of fabric, but it will also give you some extra security in case you make any mistake.
You'll need extra fabric to match stripes and plaids (which I don't recommend if you're a beginner).

You will also need a matching regular or invisible zipper (according to your preferences) 40cm long and 4 buttons 1.5cm wide. If you don't plan to add embellishment to the dress, the buttons is where you can really go crazy, or, on the contrary, if you want to let your fabric shine, you can skip them altogether.

The muslin
I cannot stress the importance of a muslin, especially when you use a pattern of a new company you've never tried or if you're a beginner. It will give you the chance to familiarise with the construction process and, most importantly, you won't waste your precious fashion fabric for a dress that might not fit.
You should use a fabric similar in weight and drape to the one you'll use for your final dress, in order to get the same effect. Unless you're going to make a jersey dress, your muslin fabric shouldn't have any stretch to it.
Try to find something cheap: I was lucky enough to find a whole bolt of cotton fabric for 1,5 /m, but you can be even thriftier and use old bedsheets and tablecloths.
Be sure to have at least 3m of fabrics in case you needed to make multiple muslins (yes, that might happen, don't panic!)

I'll be back tomorrow and we'll trace our pattern!
In the meantime you can head over to the Flickr group to chat about our fabric choices.


  1. Hola Paunnet, yo he elegido un aldogon y le voy a poner forro!!!. Estoy deseando empezar!!. Ayer saqué los patrones en papel!!.

  2. Sorry, Sonia, I don't speak Spanish!

  3. Bonjour! I'm thinking about the muslin (i've never done one yet) whether i could find a similar fabric to make it, but on the other side, my fabric cost 1 euro per meter, so maybe it's pointless? Maybe i could make the muslin from the same fabric as a try, and if it's ok i'll continue with it, if not, no problem i've plenty of fabric. What do you think Anna?

    P.S: I've uploaded a photo of my fabric on flickr

  4. Hi, winter is indeed coming! Will you be discussing how to line the dress? I have fabric in my stash which I may use though it would need lining to be of any use just now. Alternatively I may buy some thicker weight material. Cheers, katy

  5. sorry,
    i hace noticed
    i have cose

    chosen algodon poplin fabric and i will put the dress lining
    i have gota the patterns and am looking forward todo.

  6. Yes, we'll talk about lining the dress towards the end, during the last week!

  7. If you have a lot of this fabric, you sure could use it for the muslin! Just make sure you have enough in case the muslin doesn't fit and you have to re-cut one more time (or more!).

  8. I am so excited about this sew along. I'm in the United States... can I buy this pattern? I just tried and couldn't figure it out but will try again if there is indeed away. Keep sewing beautiful stuff, you're inspiring! Thanks.

  9. Hi, Sarah! Welcome! :)

    Of course you can buy this pattern in the US, you can use Google Translate to help you navigate the Deer and Doe site. It'll be much easier, but let me know if you still have problems.