What are the Best Dressmaking Fabrics?

Dress Making Fabric

When dress making, which are the best fabrics to work with?


When choosing fabric for your dressmaking project, it’s important to take several factors into account. These include the desired finish, the pattern, the trending fabrics of the moment and their ease of use. For example, luxurious fabrics can look wonderful even with the simplest of patterns, and simple fabrics can be embellished for a fantastic customised effect.

With that in mind, here are some of our top-selling fabrics for dressmaking at Fabric Direct:

Light cottons

With over 100 types of cotton and an endless array of colours and patterns, this fabric is ideal for beginners and very cost-effective. Look for a close weave as you get to grips with your dressmaking skills and check for the smooth finish that shows high quality. Light cotton will typically be simple to sew and have an easy fall that works well for dresses and tops. Try a full midi skirt in a beautifully patterned cotton lawn cloth for a wonderful ‘swoosh’!

Heavy cottons

These are ideal when you want to create more structure and shape to your finished items – but still with that easy-to-sew finish. Heavy cotton will typically be stiff, so factor this into your project of choice, and check for the drape so that you can achieve your desired look. You’ll find so many colours and patterns to inspire you, as well as fat quarters to have fun with and to practise your skills upon.


Commonly used for summer clothes, linen feels naturally luxurious. You’ll find plenty of weights available, and the heavier the weight, the better it tends to fall. Don’t worry about the little raised bumps – called slubs – that you see on linen. It isn’t a sign of poor quality, rather a natural feature of this elegant, cool fabric. Linen is great for all summer clothing, from jackets and trousers through to light summer dresses. Try using an exposed hem for an on-trend raw finish.

Cheap dress fabric online


This is a better fabric for more experienced dressmakers as it can be more difficult to work with. The look and feel is absolutely gorgeous, however, and your silk will look wonderful made into even the simplest of tops and skirts. There are over 50 different types of silk, including crepe silk, silk dupioni, cotton silk and polyester silk. Silk charmeuse is wonderful for dresses and higher thread counts are the softest, easiest to work with and the most durable.

Can’t decide which dressmaking fabric to choose for your next project? Speak to our friendly team of experts who will be delighted to help! We sell fabric by the metre and have an Aladdin’s cave of beautiful fabrics of all kinds, plus everything else you need to help your dressmaking vision come to life!

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