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Harvey Shirt Sew-Along: Picking out Your Fabric

Posted by Betsy C on

Welcome to the Harvey Shirt Sew-Along. Over the next few days I will be going over step-by-step how to construct the Harvey Shirt. To get started I want to talk about fabric---something I am sure none of us have any shortage of, but are always on the lookout for something new and exciting. 

Selecting your fabric is half the fun of sewing, right? Honestly, I had a hard time narrowing down the selection of my fave pics because there are so many fabrics that are perfect for the Harvey Shirt. 

You can make the Harvey Shirt out of just about anything--within reason. But my go to recommendations are any stable, non-stretch woven fabrics that are light to medium weight. By stable, I mean they are not stretchy and hold true to the weave.


All you linen lovers out there are pretty much set with the Harvey Shirt. It's a good use of your fave fabric and will be perfect as a summer blouse. My recommendation with linen is to keep it soft and washed. I would avoid any linen that feels like it is super stiff off the bolt and could stand up on it's own. The crispness looks lovely on a cutting table, but these tend to wrinkle the most and feel rough against your skin. However, I know that sometimes you find the perfect color and it is love at first sight. Alas, not all is lost. Beat it up a bit. Buy about a half a yard extra and throw it in the washer and dryer to both pre-shrink and soften. Maybe even twice....

The Fabric Store: Linen - Blue Lagoon




I am so excited that Tencel is becoming more readily available to the home sewing market. It is a really great, versatile fabric to sew garments with. It has a softness and a drape that make your garments look like you bought them off the rack. Tencel is a wood pulp (cellulose) based fiber that is often blended with other fibers to achieve a desired look. I actually used the blue Tencel from Blackbird Fabrics below for the short sleeved tunic version of Harvey. I love it and especially adore the way it looks like it is washed denim. For Harvey's fall sister style, I am making one of the versions out of the tencel twill and it is amazing!

Blackbird Fabrics: Slubby Tencel Denim - Light Blue Wash

Blackbird Fabrics: Tencel Twill - Vintage Lilac



If there was a clear winner for preferred fabric for Harvey, I would have to say cotton. Cotton comes in so many different weaves and finishes that the list could go on and on. Below are a few of my top pics. 

The shirt dress version of Harvey (dark green) was sewn in cotton gauze. Just remember that if you go this route, make sure it is not see-thru as cotton gauze can vary siginicantly in thickness. Sometimes the thicker ones are described as "double gauze".

Blackbird Fabrics: Cotton Double Gauze - Auburn

The Fabric Store:  Lightweight Cotton Chambray - Woad Blue

Also within the cotton category is brushed flannel. This can be a hard one to find, but I hit the jackpot on Raystitch and am already planning some fall sewing with their brushed flannel. 




Yeah, I know this is technically not a fabric category, but I think all the clever and cute prints deserve a showcase of their own. BTW- that Liberty lawn print you have been hoarding- Use it for Harvey!


The Fabric Store: Liberty Fabrics Contemporary Classic Tana Lawn Donna Leigh Green Fabric

Faberwood: Léger Comme Plume Cotton Percale by Aime Comme Marie


Fancy Tiger Crafts: City Toile by Cotton and Steel

Blackbird Fabrics: Moonstone Viscose by Atelier Brunette 



So these are just a few of my recommendations. What are you thinking of? Did I leave anything off that is to die for? 

Stay tuned for the next post: How to choose your Harvey Shirt Fit!

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