Online fabric shopping can open up a whole new set of fabric choices. Online stores may offer a wider variety than local stores, and may have fabrics in stock that you would normally have to special order. You might also be able to find great bargains. Online shopping can also be convenient if you don’t have a fabric store nearby. On the downside, you can’t see or feel the fabric before ordering. If you’re not familiar with the textures and thicknesses of different types of fabric, you might want to browse through a fabric store in person before ordering online. Be sure to check the online fabric store’s policy for ordering small samples and making returns.
- Skill level:
Decide what type of fabric you need for your dress. Cotton and linen fabrics work great for summer sundresses, while evening dresses look good in fabrics such as satin, silk or organza. The pattern envelope may offer a list of suggested fabrics.
Decide what colour you’d like the dress. You may have to be flexible, since some fabrics only come in certain colours, or you may be surprised to see a colour you like that you wouldn’t have thought of. Remember that the way a fabric colour looks on your monitor isn’t the same as it may look in person.
Figure out how much fabric you need using the chart on the pattern envelope or instructions. Remember that how much fabric you need will depend on the width of the fabric (usually 44 or 60 inches) and whether the fabric has a nap (a print, texture or shine that looks different in different directions).
Set a budget or price range for your dress fabric. The online versions of some fabric stores may allow you to use the same coupons you would in person.
Search for online fabric stores, or search for the particular type of fabric you’re looking for. For example, “satin fabric” or “wedding dress fabric.”
Make sure you can find any coordinating fabrics you need to match the fabric you want. For example, you may want to add matching chiffon or double georgette sleeves to an evening or bridal dress with a satin body.
Compare online stores to see if another fabric store offers the same fabric for a better price. Be sure to include shipping prices in your calculations, and consider whether the site offers sample swatches or returns.
Consider ordering a sample of the fabric before ordering enough yardage for your dress.
Tips and warnings
- If you need to order other supplies for the dress online, such as fabric for the lining, thread or interfacing, you might want to order them from the same website to save money on shipping.