Thurlow Sew-Along: Choosing Your Fabric

8 Oct

I just love this part of the sewing process – choosing fabric! If there’s anything that gets me super pumped about my upcoming project, it’s after I’ve found ~the fabric~ (and possibly rolled myself up in it like a burrito). What I like about this pattern is that it can be made in a multitude of fabrics to cover every season – not to mention that every pair has the potential to look completely different.

The back of the Thurlow envelope gives some suggestions for fabric choices – woolens, suitings, cotton twill, etc. You will want to stick with something light to medium weight. Be careful that you don’t go too thick, as the welt pockets can get a little bulky if you’re not careful. This is a great pattern for playing with wooly textures & saturated colors (my favorite!). We will be doing a lot of pressing, so I definitely recommend sticking with natural fibers to make this easier.

Still overwhelmed? Here are some LT-approved choices-


Black/Grey Herringbone Suiting
I LOVE herringbone! This is actually pretty similar to the suiting my pants will be made with, except mine is brown :)


Camel/Chocolate Plaid Suiting
This is another fairly “safe” option, but there is plenty of texture in the fabric to keep it from being too boring.


Black/White Plaid Suiting
Or, if you want to go all out & have some loud pants – try a balanced plaid! This one is pretty small-scale, so it wouldn’t be too hard to match up.


Plum Wool Crepe
Wool crepe is another great choice if you are looking for something with a bit more drape. I love the spongey, slightly stretchy texture – and all the saturated colors! Ahh!


Dark Emerald Wool Crepe
I mean… really. Wool crepe totally has the best colors.


Mustard Boiled Wool
I think we all need a pair of mustard pants.


Solid Navy Stretch Denim
Denim works quite well with this pattern, so fancy trouser jeans are absolutely doable! A few things I should point out: stick with a medium weight – too light won’t have enough body, and too heavy will give you hell when you try to sew those pockets & belt loops – and try to get a denim that doesn’t have more than a subtle amount of stretch (otherwise, you may end up needing to size down to get it to fit!). Also, take note when you’re prewashing this stuff – I wash & dry my denim at least 3 times before I cut it. It shrinks up a LOT and this is not something you want to discover in the form of high-waters, ok.


Chili Petter Cotton Twill
If wool makes you feel inexplicably itchy & denim bores you to tears, there is always a cotton twill option.


Mink Solid Rich Italian Velvet
Fancy velvet shorts? This velvet is totally luxe & only costs $10 a yard!

Of course, if you’re on the other side of the world, all these nubby tweeds & deep jewel tones are probably causing you to break out into a sweat. Don’t worry – there’s a fabric for that ;)


White/Blue Striped Seersucker
Seersucker is a summer staple as far as I’m concerned – why not embrace your inner Southern Gentleman with a pair of seersucker shorts?


Dark Blue Solid Linen
Or, if shorts aren’t your bag, linen makes a base for a summery pair or trousers *or* shorts. If you are super concerned about the natural wrinkles that come with the linen territory, get one that has a bit of poly blended in.

In addition to the fashion fabric, you will also need to buy lining for the inside waistband, pockets & fly facing. This is the fun part! We won’t actually be using “lining” fabric – so nothing slippery & devilish, yay! Lightweight cottons are perfect for this. Voiles, batistes, poplins, even light weight quilting cottons if you want the inside to be real cray.


Aqua and Brown Plaid Cotton
I love this! An easy way to inject some plaid into your pants, without the hassle of agonizing over matching up all those little lines :)


Yellow/White Polka Dot Cotton Poplin
You can play it safe with a subtle print or even a solid color


Floral Double Sided Cotton
… or go all out with some mega crazy granny print because holy shit.

If you made it this far, I’ve got a little consolation prize for ya :) Mood Fabrics is offering a 10% discount for all online fashion fabric purchases between now and 10/22/12! Enter the code LLADYBIRD at checkout to get your discount! Note that this does not apply to home decor stuff, dressforms, or any code that starts with PV. Mood is one of my favorite places to shop fabric, so I’m pretty excited about this! Thank you, Mood!! ♥

As a side note, a few people mentioned that they do not have their pattern yet or aren’t quite at the point of making the muslin. That’s ok! We aren’t starting our actual pant-sewing until the week of 10/29, I just wanted to make sure everyone has enough time to get their fit situation figured out :)

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24 Responses to “Thurlow Sew-Along: Choosing Your Fabric”

  1. Jenny October 8, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Thank you, thank you for this info and the Mood discount! I’m always a little overwhelmed shopping for the right fabric so this helps a lot.

  2. Ann October 8, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    Do you think corduroy would be okay as long as it’s not too thick? I see there isn’t any corduroy on your list…I had my heart set on using some that’s in my stash, but I could adjust if necessary…thanks!

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

      Oh, yes, corduroy would be great! Like you said, make sure it’s not too thick (a finer wale would be ideal). I actually wanted to put it on my list but I didn’t see any on the website, so I’m glad you asked :)

  3. sometimessewist October 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Nice choices and awesome discount! Fabric-wise, I’d like to add that I bought the recommended amount of fabric for my size (3 1/4 yds for 45″ fabric) and ended up with half a yard extra after pre-shrinking and cutting (but my fabric was actually 50″ wide instead of just 45″). So, if you only have 1/4 to 1/2 yard less than the pattern envelope calls for (or can only afford to buy that much) it will probably still work out!

    • Lucy October 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

      Yeah, I’ve found that often with Sewaholic, especially if you’re making some of the smaller sizes. I’ve been able to get away with buying a full half a yard (half a metre in my world!) less than specified. Occasionally there’s been some creative laying out, but that’s okay.

      I love the idea of going nuts with the lining here! I don’t own a serger/overlocker so am thinking of using a Hong Kong finish in some insanely awesome fabric. Seems like it would be very couture ;-)

      • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

        Ooooh, I am really loving your Hong Kong finish idea. Either one that complements the lining, or just using the actual lining fabric. Fun pants!!

    • LLADYBIRD October 8, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

      Yeah, the fabric requirements do go a bit over what you actually need. For my denim pair, I bought 2 yards of 55″ denim and ended up with about half a yard extra. My sew-along pair uses even less since I shortened the legs quite a bit. I would definitely recommend laying out the pieces to figure out how much yardage you need before actually buying – especially if you’re getting something pricey :)

  4. Tina October 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    Thanks, Lauren for enticing us with all those selections! Now the question is which one(s) haha. Thanks for the discount at Mood Fabrics also. I am actually using a different pattern and am enjoying the accountability to “get ‘er done.” Thanks for your time spent typing & researching all this. How in the world do you have so much time? Do you work?

    • LLADYBIRD October 9, 2012 at 8:50 am #

      Haha I do work – full time, in fact! After work doesn’t have much in the way of commitments, though – I don’t have kids, my boyfriend works later than I do (and we are ok with spending evenings in different parts of the house ;)), and cooking for me involves the Crock Pot. So I have lots of time in the evening for fun stuff!

  5. StephC October 8, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    Brilliant post, Lauren, just brilliant!

  6. Scruffybadger October 9, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    Oh can I toot my horn? I have never been on time for a sewalong, except the pyjama party….but guess what?!?!? I’ve got my fitting done :-)

    Woo hoo!! How did that happen? I blame your last post for being a fab motivator, you kicked my ar*e into gear, thank you, seems that’s what I need !! ;-)

    • LLADYBIRD October 9, 2012 at 8:48 am #

      Girl, you can’t toot the horn & then not show pictures!! Let’s see, let’s see :D

  7. theknittingarchaeologist October 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Dude, you got us a discount at MOOD?!?! Awesome! My favorite line of the whole post: “even light weight quilting cottons if you want the inside to be real cray.” And I do, so I plan to go and get some insane quilting cotton! Also I need to get more crock pot in my life, because I always come home and don’t want to cook dinner.

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2012 at 9:22 am #

      Yes!!! I love Mood, so I’m super pumped to offer a discount (that has my NAME in the code, omg!). You should totally make your lining cray… mine is going to have cowboys :) And the crock pot is absolutely my sewing life-saver… I love coming home and the house smelling all delicious & shit :)

  8. jenables October 10, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    Lauren, i read your blog regularly and i am loving your Thurlow enthusiasm! I would drive up and down Thurlow st. in your honor, but it’s a one way street heading south, so i can’t. Just wanted to cheer you on! :) take care!

    • jenables October 18, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

      Perhaps i should clarify..all of tasia’s patterns are named after streets in Vancouver. I used to live on lonsdale, actually, but thurlow is a one way street in the west end. Just realized that a littl
      e context goesa long way

  9. punkmik October 10, 2012 at 2:48 am #

    sooo many fabrics! I am considering a denim pair! need a good basic in my wardrobe!

  10. Asia Al-Massari October 10, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    Gotdang that seersucker is amazeballs. ALL SEERSUCKER ALL THE TIME
    <3 asia

  11. megthegrand October 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    I’m so excited! I’ve got some lightweight corduroy in my stash that’s going to be used for my muslin fabric because I REALLY WANT corduroys for the craptacular weather that is coming our way :)

    • LLADYBIRD October 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

      I think I may end up making a corduroy pair too! You know… after I finish the tweed & flannel and also the velvet shorts. Why am I making so many pairs of pants? Haha

  12. Lapequenaaprendiz October 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Tienes un premio en mi blog

  13. Melanie October 12, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    Thank you Lauren and Mood!!
    I’m doing a midnight blue corduroy with red and white polka dot for the facing. Mmmmmmm, fabric!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. What I Do When I’m Not Blogging « LLADYBIRD - October 17, 2012

    [...] SEW-ALONGERS: The Mood Fabrics discount is still on for a few more days! Use the code LLADYBIRD to get 10% apparel fabric (for more info, check my blog post on fabrics) [...]

  2. Thurlow Sew-Along: My Completed Thurlows! « LLADYBIRD - November 12, 2012

    [...] those of you lurking on the sidelines – just do it! Take the plunge! Muslin Fitting Choosing a Fabric Adjusting the Back Pockets Sewing the Front Pockets Welt Pockets Sewing the Fly Zipper Attaching [...]

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