French Terry.... Is that the stuff towels are made out of??
When I first started sewing I made the mistake of going into the craft store, finding a BUNCH of cute cotton fabrics, some awesome fleece prints, and what I thought was sweat shirt material. I bought it all thinking I was about to make some AWESOME hoodies and cute clothes for everyone in my family.... Man was I WRONG!!!!
I bought my first pattern, printed it all out, put it together and sat down to read the instructions. Well the first thing it stated was to use a fabric with 50% stretch.... NOTHING I had just bought even had 5% 😫 I was so FRUSTRATED and annoyed that I had spent a small fortune on something that I now couldn't even use for what I bought it for. 😡 I'm hoping that these Fabric Info blogs will help prevent someone from making the same mistakes I did 🤞
This week I wanted to talk about French Terry.... the weather is starting to get cooler, cardigans and boots are coming out of hibernation, and Pumpkin Spice flavored EVERYTHING is EVERYWHERE 🍂🍁 French Terry fabric is the PERFECT choice to make all the comfy cozy cool weather outfits, but....
What is French Terry?
French Terry is a soft comfortable fabric that's kind of like what would result if Fleece and Jersey mixed together! It is made with Polyester (small plastic pellets that are melted down and forced through small holes to become the threads that make the fabric 🤯), Rayon (fibers usually created using wood pulp 😲), and Spandex (the generic name for lycra, it's SUPER stretchy!). It can also be made with cotton and soy fibers. French Terry will have small loops on one side of the fabric and soft piles of yarn on the other. The loops help to wick away moisture that helps keep you cooler in warmer weather, but since it is thicker than typical T-Shirt fabric it will keep you warmer in cooler weather!
What should I look for when purchasing French Terry?
This is a bit of a trickier question to answer for French Terry.... It really depends on what you want to use it for. If you are thinking French Terry would make a SUPER comfy sweater you are 100% correct! French Terry has some stretch so using it for the body and sleeves of most garments is perfectly fine. If the pattern calls for cuffs or a neckband chances are French Terry isn't going to have the stretch the garment needs to be able to get it on. I've made the mistake of sewing up a couple of shirts for my littles using French Terry from other retailers only to find getting it over their noggins was impossible. I LOVE Ash & Elm French Terry because not only does it still have the super soft and cozy properties that I look for when I purchase, but because it consists of 90% Polyester, 7% Rayon, and 3% Spandex it has the stretch I need so I don't feel like I have to try and find a coordinating fabric for bands!
Tips for sewing French Terry:
- Always pre-wash your fabrics before sewing with them. Most fabrics shrink between 5 and 10% after the first wash, by prewashing your fabrics you are preshrinking them allowing the garment to stay true to size after being sewn up.
- Because of the lower stretch precentage French Terry is the PERFECT first knit for any beginner. It is relatively stable and even though the edges will roll slightly they are much easier to handle than fabrics with higher stretch percentages.
- ALWAYS use pins or clips when sewing. Fabric has a tendency to slip and stretch as you sew it, using pins or clips helps prevent that from happening. Because of the loops on the backside of French Terry it is VERY difficult to seam rip, so it is especially important that you make sure your seams are aligned properly before sewing.
- When sewing with French Terry you will want to use a stretch stitch. A stretch stitch allows the thread some extra room to move with the fabric preventing it from popping and coming undone.
What types of garments is French Terry good for?
Because French Terry is heavier than typical T-Shirt fabric, but lighter than Sweatshirt Fleece it is GREAT for when you want something to keep you warm and cozy without making you break a sweat. It makes AWESOME sweaters and hoodies:
Because of it's wicking capabilities and soft texture it also makes AMAZING lounge and activewear:
I especially love it for caridgans and long sleeve shirts:
Now that you know more about how FABULOUS French Terry is what do you plan on using it for? Don't forget that ALL the fabrics here at Ash and Elm are 15% off all month long using the code Niche72836andElm356. You can find our entire collection of ready to ship French Terry HERE, and don't of course you can get any of the AMAZING In-House Printing YARDAGE and PANELS we offer put onto French Terry as well!
*The links in blue are affiliate links.... They don't cost you anything extra to use, and if you decide to purchase some AMAZING fabric after clicking them it helps to boost my sewing budget 🤣😘*
xoxo- Melissa 😘