I think every person who has sewn for any period of time has one, a pattern that they would love to make but simply cannot afford the amount of fabric that gos into it. Or maybe you have limited fabric resources and simply can never find anything you like. And hey its almost summer why wear some slinky ryon mix that is going to suffocate you? My solution for you: broadcloth.
I know, I know, how boring is that? Now I want you forever more to look at this very boring fabric as a mere building block for your design. And when you think of it it makes complete sense, I mean come on some prints practically design the garment for you. How lazy is that? These tips can also be used for a plain print fabric.
Step One: Can your garment be two toned? Of the broadcloths what fabric do you like best? Now take that bolt out of the rainbow of fabrics on the shelf. Take others of complimentary colors off one by one. Do any of them work well with your original bolt? Do you have a pattern that has a piece like a yoke, a collar, a sash, a cummerbund or maybe even the center part of a dress with princess seams?
Step Two: In your cart, load up every broadcloth you would consider a possibility and head for the trims. You will be surprised what life and texture the right trim will do for your broadcloth. Spent some time mixing and matching. The reason you should load up your cart first is you never know what you are going to find in the trim section (particularly if it is a limited one.) You may like the green broadcloth best but once you make it over to the trims you find that there is one that matches the blue fabric perfectly. I remember once finding a rose colored sequin trim that gave so much life to the fabric I thought was dull at first. 🙂
Step Three: Look around you. Remember every bolt of fabric in the store can be used to make trim, fabric flowers, tassels, bias tape (don’t overlook the plaids here), piping, self-fabric beading, a strip of fabric ruffles, a pleated trim and so on. Remember not to neglect the formal fabric section, you may not wear a satin gown during the day, but you may wear a satin flower or cotton dress with a lace inset.
Your design inspiration: The fabric elaborate fabric trims of rococo gowns, pictured above are from The Kyoto Costume Institute.
Your design excuse: Hey its springs new “minimalism”, which also happens to be super cool in summer’s hot weather. 🙂