How do you feel about matching clothes for the whole family? Is it just me or do families in matching aloha wear look so put together? (Even though we all know trials and challenges come in all shapes and sizes for every family.)
Whether you are into casual, t-shirt type clothing, or more flowy, aloha attire - I think it’s safe to say that each family has a signature style. As for us, we’re somewhere between casual stretchy bamboo knits and flowy button-up rayon. On top of that, we have a literal signature print - our Ulu design. Everyone in my family has some kind of clothing in the emerald Ulu fabric, so obviously Baby needed something, too!
I really love the baby blanket, leggings and beanie I made with only one yard of the double minky, but in the peak of summertime the double minky is just too hot here in Hawaii. I decided to remake those things for Baby in bamboo knit this time because it’s so light and breathable. Now he has something in this print to match the rest of us (and ohmygosh are his squishy cheeks perfect with that beanie).
If words like knit, minky and rayon have you a little confused - you’re not alone! I had to learn all about these different kinds of fabrics too.
When you’re planning a sewing project, the type of fabric you use can make all the difference. There is so much information and so many fabric options out there, and I want to help you so you don’t get overwhelmed.
I offer 6 types of Designer Hawaiian Fabrics, so I’ll focus on explaining those. What kind of fabric to use depends on how you want the fabric for your project to lay or stretch.
Cotton Poplin - This is high quality cotton, good for everything but not the best for everything. Some projects cotton poplin is great for are: quilting, aloha shirts, accessories, lots of little kid stuff and collared clothing.
Bamboo Knit - Bamboo knit like stretchy t-shirt fabric. I personally like it for all kinds of clothing. Some projects bamboo knit is great for are: baby swaddles, dresses (and just about any clothing),
Double Minky - This is really soft, slightly stretchy fabric. Because it’s so (sooo) soft, double minky is great for anything for babies.... Baby clothes, blankets, beanies and accessories. Double Minky is great for colder weather. I made a long sleeve shirt last winter and it was really warm and cozy. I haven’t tried it yet, but a bathrobe would also be great in double minky.
Cotton Canvas - This is 100% cotton and heavier in weight. Some projects cotton canvas would be great for are: Totes, baby bags, backpacks, bucket hats, sun hats, pencil cases and certain accessories that need a heavier weight fabric.
Swim - This is great for women’s swimsuits: bikini tops and bottoms and one pieces. (Not necessarily for men’s swimwear because that uses a different type of fabric). I’ve seen it used for some clothing… it’s similar to bamboo knit but not as light to the touch or soft on the skin. (I would prefer bamboo knit for clothing and swim for swimwear.) Swim fabric can tend to be see-through (it thins out when it stretches… so not “squat proof”). But if you do use it for workout clothing you can always add a lining.
Rayon- This is great for clothing because it drapes/lays very nicely. The texture is somewhere in between cotton poplin and bamboo knit… woven like poplin but soft like the bamboo knit. In fact, it kind of acts like silk, but is made of tree cellulose. Rayon is great for flowy Aloha Shirts, outfits, and pareos.
Phew, that was a lot of information. I really hope that gives you a better idea of the different kinds of fabrics you can use for your projects. So many choices. So many possibilities.
What are you making next and what fabric will you use? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!