The key to a summer maxi dress is lightweight fabric in either knit or woven.
- Knit fabrics that will work well for lightweight summer dresses are interlock knit and jersey knit. Jersey is a lighter weight fabric and has less stretch then interlock. Interlock is t-shirt fabric. Don’t get a ponte knit or a double knit. These are stiffer knits.
- Woven fabrics that will work should be really lightweight like batiste, challis, cotton lawn, or voile. Because this is a summer dress, you’ll probably want cotton for breath-ability more than a synthetic fiber.
If you’re buying fabric at a store and can touch it, then the most important thing is that the fabric feels soft and lightweight and that you like it. This is more important than the name of the fabric. Don’t get anything stiff. You want your dress to be soft and flowy.
If you’re buying fabric online, then be sure to read the description of the fabric and look for the word “light” or “lightweight.” The description will usually tell you what kind of garments you can use the fabric for also. You could be extra careful and order a swatch if you wanted. (I’m usually too impatient and just order fabric, hoping it works.)
The cons of buying fabric in a store are:
- Usually there is a small selection of fabric in a fabric store, unless you live near a fabric district or something.
- It is more expensive.
- You might be able to use a coupon for a better price.
- You can touch and feel the fabric.
- You can see the actual color.
- You have to pay for shipping.
- You can’t touch the fabric.
- You don’t know the actual color.
- Sometimes you can get a better price.
- There is a large selection.