First Dress: The Fabric

I could have been a responsible adult and used something from the many piles of fabric in my house, but I just couldn’t help myself getting something new. It’s my first dress, after all! If you can’t treat yourself to new fabric under those circumstances…

I popped in to Mandors to ‘just take a quick look’ and left an hour later with a lovely raspberry coloured Cotton Twill. I’m normally dressed in black and grey, maybe navy if I’m feeling particularly adventurous, so a pink dress will be an interesting change! I also picked up a matching zip, buttons and Gutermann thread.

The pattern calls for Crepes, Challis, Crepe de Chine or Charmeuse, but I thought Cotton Twill would do the trick too. It’s very soft, drapes well, and will be a bit easier to deal with on the sewing machine than some of the silkier fabrics that I could have chosen.

I was disgustingly excited about the whole thing. I love a fabric store!

Glasgow Fabric Stores

Mandors Fabric Store, Glasgow

There are two fabric shops in Glasgow that I visit the most:

Mandors has a huge selection including lots of Harris Tweed and Liberty fabrics. Whatever you’re looking for, chances are they’ll have it. All their fabric is very high quality, but you do pay the going price for it.

Fabric Bazaar is at the Barrowlands and is a smaller store, but offers a good variety. It’s also much cheaper for everything, you get an absolute bargain. I tend to visit this place to see what they have before going elsewhere.

There is also Remnant Kings above House of Fraser on Argyle Street, which I’ve been to in the past. It sits in the middle of the spectrum – medium sized range with average prices. They have an additional Fabric Superstore somewhere on the Clyde, but I’ve never been. I’ve got a feeling my husband would burst out crying if I uttered the words ‘let’s go visit the fabric superstore’.


Once I buy fabric I want to do something with it straight away, I don’t have much patience. Handbags don’t need a pre-wash or anything fancy – you can just get cracking.

Dressmaking, however…

I read somewhere that you should wash your fabric in the same way you would a finished garment so you don’t get any surprises, so I used my regular washing powder and softener and put it in a regular warm wash.

Drying was a bit of a chore. I’ve got a Hotpoint dryer, which has a bit of a fire drama just now. I’ve not had any issues with it, but it means I have to supervise it when it’s in use. I essentially stared at a tumble dryer for an hour. I don’t recommend it.

It came out in one piece! Kinda…


A bit of fraying, but otherwise intact. I measured it before and after and it shrank by roughly 15%. It turns out this preparation was actually needed! My dress would have been ruined if I had left washing to afterwards.Hopefully the fabric will retain that shape and consistency now.

Next step: cutting the fabric pieces. This is the bit I always hate!


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