#Dakotasewalong:Winter fabrics choices

Editor note: hello sewalongers, today we have a very special guest post, Vicki and she is going to talk about winter fabrics. If is too hot to talk about winter warmers (lucky you) pop to Marie’s blog and check Vicki’s summer choices. OH,  didn’t we mention 10% discount using ‘MDAKOTA10

Today I am going to talk through some fabrics that I would choose to make the Dakota pattern in for a Winter garment. From a winter garment I would want a fabric that will keep me warm, cosy and comfortable for during the day, or a bit of glam for the evenings.
Fabric recommendations on this pattern are ‘You can choose almost any material from stiff elastic jersey to chiffon, as this dress is not fitted at the waist’, which leaves it very open for you to decide, but key considerations are weight and drape. A drapey fabric will give you a softer look, whereas a firmer, crisper fabric will give you more of a structured, formal dress. The lovely details such as the pockets and detailing at the cuffs means that you dont want to go for a fabric which is too heavy, or else it will be clumsy to sew with and will be harder to create a professional finish.
The main factors I consider when choosing fabric for a winter garment are the fabrics softness and fluidity, and whether it will keep me warm teamed with thick tights and winter boots. Or if you are going for something more glamourous, for a Christmas party maybe, then you will want something that exudes quality and that looks expensive! Here are some of my favourites;
Wool seems an obvious choice as it will keep you warm and cosy! But be careful not to choose anything too bulky as you have quite a bit of detailing in this dress with the pockets and cuff details. For example, a medium wool suiting would be fine, but nothing heavier than this. If you go for a wool blend these tend to be more durable, so if you are thinking of making the Dakota as a work dress or something that you will wear very often, this may be a better option.
Our triple crepe fabric has a good amount of body, but still drapes and hangs beautifully. This is one of my favourite fabrics this winter. If you still want a glamourous Dakota that can be dressed up or down but in a winter weight fabric, then the triple crepe would be a good option for you. This fabric doesn’t need lining, but if you choose to, it would create more of a structured garment than if you used it on its own which will give a softer look.
I love Ponte Roma! It is one of those fabrics that is easy to sew, easy to wear and always looks fabulous. Ponte Roma essentially is a knitted jersey fabric with a good amount of body. It stretches enough to be able to make garments that will pull on and off without the need for fastenings, but it is not so stretchy that it will cling and show lumps and bumps. It comes in lots of gorgeous colours. Rachel chose the beautiful claret colour for her November Minerva Crafts Blogger Network make. And I know I say it every month, but this make really is my favourite Network project of Rachel’s yet!
Tartan seems to be everywhere at the moment doesnt it? If you love this trend I would recommend our tartan suiting. It is a blend of polyester and viscose which means it has a beautiful soft finish and is heavy enough not to need lining. If you choose to use tartan, please be careful and give yourself enough time to match the checks and make sure you buy extra fabric to allow for matching. If you would like a similar fabric but are not too confident with checks, then there is always a huge selection of suitings available in a whole manner of different compositions and weights. Choose something in a medium weight, ideally with some viscose content as this will have a soft finish and will drape nicely for your Dakota.
When I first saw the Dakota, I imagined making it for myself in a velvet fabric. How sumptuous and fabulous would that be? I must admit I am a bit of a velvet-snob and only like the best. It has to be soft, drape well and be heavy enough to look expensive (even if it’s not!) For this style of pattern you would definitely want a soft velvet that will drape nicely, so I would recommend our triple velvet, you will love it! Remember to always keep the pile running in the same direction and allow a bit of extra fabric for this.
Double Jersey fabric is similar to Ponte Roma. It is a medium-heavy weight knitted jersey and is easy to sew, easy to wear and always comfortable. It is heavy enough not to cling and show lumps and bumps (thats always a worry with stretch fabrics for me!). Even though it is a heavier weight jersey than many, it is still soft and fluid which is why I think it would be ideal for the Dakota. I would go for double jersey over Ponte Roma if you want a patterned fabric as there is usually much more choice for prints.
I hope this second post has been informative and has given you some ideas for your winter Dakota. In support of the Dakota sew-along, we are giving a 10% discount on all dress fabrics for a limited time…another reason to join the Dakota Sew-along 🙂 Simply Quote code ‘RDAKOTA10’ at checkout on our website (www.minervacrafts.com), or bring the code in to the Minerva Craft Centre store to claim your discount. All photos above taken at the Minerva Craft Centre, Lancashire, BB3 3BY.
If you are on the other side of the globe and lucky enough to be in the sun right now, please take a look at my suggestions for a Summer Dakota fabric over on Marie’s blog.
Happy Sewing Everyone!
 I there is anything else you need please give me a shout!
Warm regards,Vicki

*Editors note: Thank you Vicki, scrumptious choices.
Here are some helpful links to work with those fabrics:
Paid Matching like a boss
Sew Velvet like a pro
Velvet Tips
Wool 101
Grading seams. Great for bulkier fabrics.
Tomorrow there is a special guest post for sewing double knits.