Discovering a New Fabric Love

Charcoal Briar 1

Hello, friends!  I told you I’d be back with another knit item!  And I’m rather in love with this one too 🙂  Now, if I had to guess, I would assume that many of you are familiar with the wonders of French terry.  Am I right?  It has been popping up so often in the sewing community over the last year or two, but being the wovens-loving girl that I am, I resisted.  The name threw me off too.  Why would I want towel loops against my skin?  Then I saw that Cali had a selection of rayon French terry fabrics and I do so love rayon.  So, I figured I’d take the smallest of gambles and ordered a yard for a tee.  Side note: Yes! I managed to squeak a full-length Briar Tee out of just one yard!

Trust me when I say, even the nicest of terry towels have nothing on this oh-so-cozy fabric.  If you’re not familiar with it, it’s smooth, like a traditional knit on the front, and there are loops on the back, but they remind me more of loose purl stitches than what we typically call terry.  The loops are smaller, flatter, and smooth.  But, they do make the fabric a bit more snuggly!  I’ve seen it referred to as a more refined sweatshirt fabric and I’d call that accurate.  It doesn’t have the bulk of a traditional sweatshirt fleece, but it does offer much of the same warmth and softness.

Charcoal Briar 4

Softness aside, I noticed how easy the fabric was to work with!  I’ve worked with a few lightweight rayon jerseys in the past and they liked to shift and stretch all over the place, making it very difficult to align the grain for cutting.  That was not at all the case with this one!  It laid out perfectly straight on the first try and didn’t move at all when I placed the pattern on and cut it.  (There was some minor curling up at the raw edges, but I’ve yet to work with a knit, hand knit swatches included, that didn’t curl.)  Assembling the shirt was so easy too.  The fabric was very stable while pinning and running through my machines and it had the perfect amount of stretch and recovery for making the neck band, which is always my least favorite part of making tees.  Did I mention it pressed well too?  I’ve read about pressing certain fabrics on a towel, to help with over-pressing and shine and this fabric has that built in, which is a real plus for a rayon.  Basically, I loved this fabric, just in case you couldn’t tell haha.  Genuinely.  I’m officially converted and will absolutely be buying more French terry in the future!  Who am I kidding?  It’s already in my cart!

So, tell me.  Am I the last to fall for French terry?  Do you love it too?

Charcoal Briar 2Charcoal Briar 3

Happy sewing! x

Jennifer lives in Atlanta with her fiancé and adorable golden shepherd.  She’s a fabric addict and slow-fashion enthusiast, blogging at Jenny Homemaker.  Be sure to follow her on Instagram too @msjennyhomemaker.

Jennifer M, from Jenny Maker

Hi! I’m Jennifer, or Jenny if you’d like, and I blog at Jenny Homemaker. I currently reside in Atlanta with my fiancé/sounding-board/photographer, Brandon, and fur baby/supervisor/photobomber, CoCo.

I started sewing in 2009 after a long-distance move, when it became clear I needed a new hobby. I was fearless, choosing a fully-lined, polyester satin, bubble-hem party dress as my first garment. As you might expect, it was a bit of a disaster and was never worn (we dubbed it the “shiny trash bag” dress), but I saw potential in the idea of sewing my own dresses and didn’t hesitate to jump back in.

What started as a way to pass the time has turned into one of the things I’m most passionate about! I’m well on my way to having a fully handmade wardrobe, sewing everything from lounge clothes to silk dresses! When I’m not sewing, I’m learning. When I’m not learning, I’m planning.

Since fabric is such a great part of sewing (sometimes the best part, right!?), I’m really looking forward to being a part of the Cali Fabrics team, sharing some amazing fabrics and helpful tips with you!

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4 thoughts on “Discovering a New Fabric Love”

  1. I am a convert too! I bought some last year and loved it so much I made a whole outfit out of it – the Arum by Deer & Doe (this is a woven pattern but it ran a little small so I thought the french terry which didn’t have loads of stretch would be perfect and it was!) and Sandra Betzina’s “puzzle pants” (my favourite pants pattern ever) and this whole outfit is so comfortable it truly does feel like PJ’s but I top stitched and put a nice bright swimsuit knit around the neck and sleeves so jazz it up so no one would ever guess I’m really wearing PJ’s. I get loads of compliments on the outfit. So yes I’m a convert and whenever I see it in excellent quality (which I also think is key) and great colours I’m in! 🙂

    1. You’re so right – quality is definitely key. I saw a French terry sweatshirt in a shop yesterday and it felt awful! Much closer to what I had originally expected French terry to be, if I’m honest. So glad we have much nicer options available to us 🙂
      I’m not familiar with the puzzle pants pattern, but Arum is on my (very long) queue. It sounds like a great outfit and I’m certain your attention to detail made a huge difference! Hooray for secret PJs!

  2. I recently made a loose top and sweatpants out of French Terry and I wear them every chance I get! I love your Briar Top – I know you’ll get tons of wear out of it, too. Great job!

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