Cotton lawn: Lightweight, made using high thread count, resulting in a silky feel. Liberty of London is well known for their Tana Lawn. It gets softer and has more drape the more you wash it.
Voile: Lightweight, semitransparent fabric of cotton, wool, or silk. It has a great drape and is very similar to cotton lawn but is slightly softer. You have to love a good voile.
Rayon challis: A smooth, lightweight fabric. It drapes well and is a bit heavier than cotton voile and cotton lawn. This is great for a drapey summer dress.
Chambray: Ever so popular!! Most do not drape as well as it's lightweight counterparts above. Chambray has a smooth hand, and is soft and easy to work with.
Denim: If you don't know about denim, we have other problems!! It is a heavyweight fabric with little stretch or drape. Great for pants, bags, and Canadian Tuxedos.
Knit: If you are looking to make a garment with stretch, Knit fabric is your buddy. There are MANY kids of knit fabrics: interlock, french terry, sweatshirt fleece, jersey, spandex, and so much more. It is easy to get lost in the world of knit, but just think about your finished project while holding your knit options. Ask yourself: Would I really ever wear this (shirt, shorts, pants, dress) if it was made out of this fabric?
Silk: A delicate, lightweight, luxury-fabric. It has a slight shine, and drapes well. It is breathable, and can be found in wonderful prints. While it is beautiful, it can be slippery and very hard to work with. Crepe De Chine- my favorite. If you're a beginner, start with cotton.
Satin: Has a glossy appearance. Has a smooth finish and feels great. It can vary in weight and content. It can be made of silk, wool, cotton, rayon, and acetate.
Linen: Is great in warm-weather because of it's lightness, and breathability. It has little stretch and has it's very own signature look - the wrinkle.
Wool: Is great for cold-weather garments, outerwear, sweaters, and socks. You may have heard of some more common types, Merino, Alpaca, Mohair, Angora, Cashmere, and Camel Hair, but there are over 200 different varieties out there. They all feel, look and handle much differently.
Flannel: Can be found in all sorts of cold weather garments: coats, pants, shirts, hats, and much more. It is a soft, warm and lightweight. You will find it is mostly made from cotton, but also wool and some synthetics.
* Patterns are designed for Knit or Woven fabrics and will specify what types of fabrics can be used for each pattern. It is good to go by what your pattern tells you, but we don't always have to play by the rules. The one thing I wouldn't do is use a non-stretch fabric when your pattern requires a stretchy fabric.