Choosing a suitable fabric can make all the difference to the success of a sewing project. The Breeze Shirt is at its airy, summery best when made with a soft, lightweight fabric with good drape.
Here are some fabric suggestions for the Breeze Shirt, including options for upcycling used garments and textiles, as well as online sources for ordering fabric yardage.
When choosing fabric for the Breeze Top, softness and drape are key. Natural fibres provide great breathability and feel wonderful next to the skin, making them the perfect choice for warm-weather wear. Lightweight fabric is ideal, however mid-weight fabrics with good drape may also be used to extend the wear of the top into the cooler months.
Soft, drapey, and beautifully-textured, linen is a classic summer fabric that is lovely for the Breeze Top. Upcycled linen garments, such as men’s shirts, have often achieved a perfect patina of softness from repeated washing, and easily yield enough fabric for a child’s shirt. If buying new linen, look for lightweight apparel fabric, as heavier-weight linen may have too much structure for the style of the Breeze Shirt.
Gauze or muslin:
Soft and airy, gauze and muslin feel wonderful next to the skin. Double gauze, which is made of two layers of gauze that are woven together, has a distinctive bubbly texture, that gets softer with repeated wear and washing. Many of us have muslin or gauze swaddling blankets left over from our babies, and these can be wonderful to upcycle. The added nostalgia of giving a favourite blanket a second life will make your project that much more precious.
Cotton lawn and voile:
Whisper-light, airy, and often semi-sheer, cotton lawn and voile would feel wonderful for a Breeze Top. Many fabric manufacturers now offer a variety of solids and prints on lawn substrates that were previously only available on quilting cottons. Lawn is a great choice if you'd like to make a top with a fun printed fabric.
First, let’s look at some upcycling options. At Twig + Tale, we are drawn to the philosophy of upcycling used textiles into new garments. Upcycling is an environmentally-conscious choice, but also opens up lots of creative possibilities. After all, sometimes applying constraints and using what we already have can tap into creativity and resourcefulness we never dreamed of!
There are many upcycling possibilities for the Breeze shirt, and since the garment is fairly small, it would be possible to re-purpose many adult-sized garments to make a child’s shirt. Look for linen garments, especially those that have been worn in and washed so that they have achieved a perfect patina of softness and drape. A men’s shirt would yield plenty of fabric for a small Breeze Shirt.
Muslin blankets, used to swaddle baby and washed to perfect softness, would also be a great choice, with the added nostalgia of re-using something precious from babyhood!
Women's summer dresses, skirts, or nightgowns, made with lightweight cotton lawn or voile are breezy, drapey, and would easily yield enough fabric to make a child's top. Other options might include vintage sheets, linen tablecloths, or even lightweight curtains! Just look for a fabric that is soft and drapes well.
You will find the amounts required here.
Here is a list of online fabric stores that offer a good selection of lightweight apparel fabric that would be suitable for making the Breeze Shirt. Some offer very reasonable prices, while others would be a splurge for a very special garment. All ship internationally.
The Fabric Store - This store offers a beautiful selection of linen and Liberty lawn (and also merino, but that's a subject for another day...). There are storefronts in New Zealand, Australia, and LA, and an online store for those who can't visit in person.
Fabrics-Store.com -This US-based online store specializes in linen, offering a beautiful palette of colours in a variety of weights. Have a look at the 3.5oz softened linen, which would make lovely warm-weather garments.
Fabricworm - Although the vast majority of Fabricworm's inventory is quilting cotton, have a look at their apparel fabric section. They often have a good selection of double gauze (including organics), as well as lightweight fabric such as chambray.
The Gauze Fabric Store - As the name suggests, this store specializes in double gauze. The fabric is reasonably-priced and available in an appealing array of solid colours and prints.
Land of Oh - Based in South Korea, this shop offers a great selection of double gauze fabric in a range of solid colours and prints, as well linen and seersucker.
Miss Matatabi - This Japan-based online fabric store has a beautiful selection of lightweight apparel fabric, including an excellent selection of Nani Iro double gauze. For something a little bit different, have a look at their Japanese lawn and seersucker fabrics.
Miss Maude - A New Zeland-based high-end fabric store, with an absolutely inspiring selection. Have a look at the "lightweight" fabric section for a variety of options that would work for an extra-special Breeze shirt, including Irish linen and cotton batiste - so lovely!
Mondays Milk - Based in the Netherlands, this store offers an inspiring selection of apparel fabric such as linen, Japanese seersucker, and gauze.
Purl Soho - This US-based store has premium prices, but for a splurge, their handkerchief and watercolour linen would make lovely garments. They also offer a wide range of Liberty lawn classic and seasonal prints.
Simplifi Fabric - Specializing in organic fabric, this Canadian store offers a good selection of eco-friendly natural-fibre fabrics such as linen, bamboo, and organic cotton muslin.
Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive, so if you have a recommendation for the perfect Breeze Shirt fabric that you’d be willing to share, please do let us know in the comments.
Are you ready to sew a Breeze Shirt? Join our friendly online community over at the Twig + Tale Facebook group to ask questions, look for inspiration, and of course share photos of your lovely creations!
Read more about the Breeze Shirt here:
~Images by Joana Isabel, Kristie Comarmond, Brittany Stephenson~