Announcing Cotton Lawn Ultra!

APR 14, 2015

 

We're thrilled to announce the newest addition to our fabric family–Cotton Lawn Ultra! Our lawn is a lightweight and buttery soft 100% combed-cotton fabric. Its slightly translucent quality and soft drape make it perfect for delicate home decor and lightweight apparel, while its pleasant hand lends itself to quilting projects. 

Produced with our Ultra-Color technology, the printed fabric offers vibrant color and strong wash durability.

Lawn has a 42" wide printable area and is appropriate for quilting, dresses, blouses, kids’ clothes, curtains, napkins, placemats, and pillows.

Spoonflower crew member Holly whipped up a sweet spring dress using Lawn. Here she shares tips for working with our new fabric and tricks for stitching up you own Lawn dress!

When I first saw the Cotton Lawn, the first thing I wanted to make was something to wear, and why not a dress? While the soft floaty nature of Lawn makes it perfect for many applications (pillow cases, curtains, and light-weight blankets come to mind) my first thought was apparel.

There is an old superstition that wearing new clothes on Easter brings good luck, hence the tradition of Easter dresses and bonnets. Looking around at all the daffodils in my yard, I just wanted to shed my winter sweaters and boots and participate in Spring! A new Lawn dress in bright cheerful colors seemed like the perfect thing. Optimistically, I chose the breezy looking McCalls pattern M6891 (advertised as “Easy”) and picked Large Scale Geo Bloom by 2birdstone as my design. So what if I had never sewn a lapel before? How hard could it be?

Sewing with the Lawn was wonderful. Like I said before, it is soft and light, but easy to work with. The softness ensures that the pattern pieces don’t slip around while you sew and, despite the thinness of the fabric, it is forgiving and durable. I appreciated the durability, because I am far from an expert seamstress, and that became very clear in making this dress! Now, I could lie and say that sewing this dress was a breeze, but the reality was that anything that could go wrong with this project did go wrong and if I hadn’t been determined to finish it and had I not been so in love with the Lawn itself, I probably would have given up. I’m glad I didn’t.

First of all, after sewing together the bodice, I realized I had cut out the wrong size pattern pieces, and thus needed to redo all of my seams at half their width! Like I said, the lawn is durable and holds up just fine, even if you have to rip out all of your seams. Thankfully I got lucky, and the bodice fit just fine after adjusting the width of my seams, while not adjusting the front darts.

The second problem was with the collar and lapels. I followed all the instructions in the pattern to the letter, and still I somehow ended up with the lapel facings not at all matching their corresponding pieces on the dress. And not just that, one lapel was bigger than the other! But I pressed on, pun intended, with my iron and my seam ripper, and somehow got them to look halfway decent. Just don’t look too closely at the collar– it still doesn’t want to lay down quite right!

The last difficulty was the buttonholes, which should be a cinch with modern buttonhole settings on sewing machines, right? Well, I wasn’t going to test my luck, given my history with this dress, so I decided to sew them by hand, thinking I’d have more control. In researching, I came across a delightful tutorial for authentic buttonhole creation. Just learning what buttonhole twist and gimp are made me feel like this was a worthwhile project, even though I didn’t find them in my local store and had to make do with embroidery floss. However, I still have one unanswered question: why are some buttonholes vertical and others horizontal? I made mine horizontal, and hand-sewing them definitely made them each a little unique, but I am proud of how they came out.

The one piece of advice I’d give for sewing with lawn is to make sure you finish your seams and hems well, as the fabric will continue to fray a bit as you sew and wear your garment. Maybe my next project will be trying to learn French seams!

I’m happy with the way my dress turned out, despite my sewing mistakes. What I’ve learned from sewing over the past several years is that, like spring, there is always a fresh start. If you make a mistake, most times you can fix it somehow, or else start a brand new project instead! I’m determined to master collars and lapels, so I’m not letting one difficult project stop me. Optimist to the end, I’m going to say that the more I sew, the better I’ll probably get. Hopefully. Anyway, I’ll have fun doing it, especially when working with such lovely fabric!

Starting today, you'll find Cotton Lawn Ultra available for order in the fabric drop down. Try out a swatch to see how it drapes or, if you’ve already got a project in mind, go ahead and order enough to get started. Be sure to check out more photos of the new fabric

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