If you’ve been sewing (and consequently, hunting for fabric) for any time at all, you’ve probably come across the vast world of quilting cotton. Not only is it perfect for beginners, quilts (right??), and a wide variety of crafts, but it’s readily available in a staggering number of beautiful prints.
Those prints tempt many of us to use them for garments, to varying degrees of success. But the good news is that quilting cotton canbe used for clothes, as long as you pair it with the right pattern.
Quilting cotton is a plain weave fabric with a lot of body/structure and almost no drape. To learn more about drape, check out this post. Quilting cotton behaves most like the chambray in that example but it’s an even tighter weave, so less drape. Therefore, you will likely not appreciate the results with something that’s designed to be flowy, like Valetta or Auberley.
So what should you use quilting cotton for? Here are a few choices:
Marigold’s skirt is A-line, so there’s minimal bulk at the waist. We’ve seen many Marigold peplums, dresses, and skirts over the years made from quilting cottons and it really works! Bear in mind that the skirt will maintain its own shape more than drape to your body, like Dixie’s does here.
Note — not all quilting cottons are created equal. Each manufacturer produces them from a different cloth, so when you experiment, you may find you like some better than others for Marigold. The premium substrates produced by companies such as Riley Blake, Art Gallery, and Cotton + Steel are a finer thread count, so they’re softer and less stiff than their generic counterparts.
These would make great Marigolds:
clockwise from top left (affiliate links): C+S “Berry Patch” — RB “Blush Metallic Strokes” —
RB “Happy Day Stripes” — AGF “Lavish Blossom”
How fun are these shorts?? A quilting cotton novelty print makes a cute pair of Barton Shorts that will make you happy every time you put them on. The slight stiffness actually works well for a design like this, and because the shorts are looser fitting, there’s no need for the fabric to be as thick as with some bottoms.
I’ll take a pair in each of these!
clockwise from top left (affiliate links): AH “Sewing Woes” — AGF “Nightfall Moon Stories” —
AH “Lemon Crush” — RB “Kiss Me Kate”
Criss Cross Pinafore
Quilting cotton might actually be the most popular substrate for the Criss Cross Pinafore design. I adore this version Terra made for her daughter! The shape of the little dress looks cutest when it has some structure, and you can even use coordinating designs for each side.
Any of these prints would be adorable for Criss Cross:
clockwise from top left (affiliate links): RB “Summer Blush” — RB “Love Panda” —
AGF “Playing Pop” — C+S Wonderland Garden Party
A few other ideas for quilting cottons include:
- Oceanside pajama pants
- Structured Shoreline Boatneck (like this one)
- A Line A La Mode kids’ dress
- Pocket PJs
Have fun playing with quilting cotton prints!