If you're a beginner to sewing then you may feel a little over whelmed by all the different types Dressmaking Fabrics, patterns and haberdashery products. Obviously there are certain fabrics which are better suited for beginners and others your best avoiding at first. If you're just starting out then the first thing to do is decide what you want to make. Here at Calico Laine we stock Butterick, McCalls and Vogue patterns, all 3 brands have an easy section which are surprisingly varied so there definitely something for everyone.
Once you've decided what you want to make, whether its a summer dress, apron or basic skirt then you'll need to choose your dressmaking fabric next. Many of the basic patterns will recommend a cotton or polycotton Dressmaking Fabrics, these are an ideal place to start with most easy projects. They are versatile, washable and really easy to work with. You'll need a standard point needle and a medium weight cotton would require a size 80/11 or 90/14. I always recommend the Gutermann thread. There are many other brands available but the Gutermann is guaranteed to have any faults, joins or imperfections so they're worth paying for. So now you're ready to go.
Other basic patterns may recommend a jersey dressmaking fabric. Jersey fabrics can be a little harder to work with so ensure you pick carefully. Some jersey fabrics, like the lycra jersey or spandex jerseys are 4 way stretch and can be quite difficult to handle, however double jerseys, cotton jerseys and Ponte-roma fabrics are much more stable and a lot easier to work with.
Again ensure you have the correct needle on your machine. A stretch needle is a necessity. Stretch dress making fabrics like double jerseys are ideal for fitted dresses, trousers and skirts alike, there are plenty of patterns available for such projects. What ever you're starting off with, take your take, choose your fabric carefully and ensure you have the right needle and you can't go wrong! Happy sewing!