1 Pattern, 3 Fabrics – A comparison

Have you ever had trouble deciding which fabric to use for a pattern?  Often there are several options in the fabric recommendations section of a pattern.  All are suitable, so how to choose?  Sometimes I use personal preference, but this time I decided to make a t-shirt pattern with 3 different fabrics and share the results.  Keep in mind, all of these fabrics are recommended for this pattern, so the nuances are up to personal preference in the end.

Modal Front 1

Fabric 1: Black on Offwhite Horizontal Pencil Stripe Stretch Modal Jersey  

Substrate: modal and spandex

Price: $5.99-$7.99 per yard

Width: 60”

Drape: very drape-y, the most flow-y of the three

Weight: lightweight midweight

Stretch: 4 way 125% horizontal 100% vertical

Recovery: great, no problem especially with steam on the hems

Feel (temperature): slightly cooler than body temperature when worn

Fit: skims over curves and drapes beautifully on body

Breathability: good fabric for any season

Weave: tight, not transparent at all

Texture: very smooth and super soft

Care: machine wash cold, tumble dry low

Ease of sewing: serger=great, sewing machine=great

Pattern notes: Union St. Tee by Hey June Patterns used.  Sewed my daughter’s regular size with a full bust adjustment.  This pattern is fitted through the bust, then has ease through the waist and hips. 

Linen side 1

Fabric 2: Light Grey Camouflage Print Slubbed Linen Knit

Substrate: linen

Price: $7.49 per yard

Width: 60”

Drape: stiffer drape, but nice for linen

Weight: lightweight midweight

Stretch: 2 way

Recovery: not awesome, but steam will shrink the hems

Feel (temperature): slightly cooler than body temperature when worn

Fit: skims over curves, soft folds at hem

Breathability: great fabric for summer

Weave: loose, semi-sheer

Texture: softer than plain linen, with a subbed texture

Care: machine wash cold, air dry (we’ve actually been throwing this in the dryer to get it back to original shape

Ease of sewing: serger=fine, sewing machine=fine, stretched out some, but returned to original shape when steamed

Pattern notes: Union St. Tee by Hey June Patterns used.  At my daughters request after she felt the fabric, I sewed 1 size larger for a slouchy tee.  I used white cotton jersey/spandex for the neckband due to the lack of recovery of the linen jersey.

DBP front 2

Fabric 3: Double Brushed Poly (this one is sold out, but you can see some really great ones here.)

Substrate: polyester and spandex

Price: $6.74-$9.74 per yard

Width: 60”

Drape: flowy, but stiffer than the other two

Weight: lightweight

Stretch: 4 way 100% and more

Recovery: great, no problem especially with steam on the hems

Feel (temperature): normal body temperature when worn

Fit: clings to body, but not excessively unless the pattern used has negative ease

Breathability: less breathability, good fabric for fall and winter

Weave: tight, not transparent at all

Texture: very smooth, and slightly sticky

Care: machine wash cold, tumble dry low.  If line dried, problems with static cling can occur in winter or drier regions of the country.

Ease of sewing: serger=great, sewing machine=stretched out some, but easily returned to original shape when steamed

Pattern notes: Union St. Tee by Hey June Patterns used.  Sewed my regular size.

Front comparison

Now for some side by side comparisons.  Here are each of the 3 shirts from the front.  You can see the differences in drape especially in the area around the hips.  The modal flows and drapes like liquid.  The linen has soft folds, and the double brushed poly shapes straight to the body.  You can also see the differences in the thicknesses of the three fabrics in the underarm area.  The modal is thicker, but because of the beautiful drape, it folds easily.  The linen is a bit stiffer which can be seen in the underarm folds.  The double brushed poly is the thinnest fabric, and has soft folds, and is very comfortable next to the skin.

Side comparison

From the side you can see the differences in the fit caused by the 3 fabrics.  The modal falls softly into the curve of the back and drapes over the hips.  The linen stands out away from the curves of the body.  The double brushed poly skims the curves on the front, but does not fall into the inward curvature of the spine.

Back comparison

In the back view, you can once again compare the drape and fit.  The modal just floats around the body and softly flows over the curves.  The linen folds nicely where there is excess fabric around the hips, but stands out away from the inward curvature of the spine.  The double brushed poly skims the upper back, and touches away from the waist, then skims across the hips.

All side

In conclusion, each of these tees are exactly what we were hoping for!  They fit well, the fabric is appropriate for the pattern, and we wear them often.  If you’d like a comparison of the pattern and the different options I used to create the shirts, please visit my Skirt Fixation blog.    Did you find this side by side comparison helpful?  

Audrey from Skirt Fixation

Audrey, a mom of 8, sews and blogs at Skirt Fixation, your home for everything skirt related! There's lots of other sewing goodness too...after all can't leave the boys out of sewing adventures! She also designs and sells pattern through Savvy Patterns.

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