The Shay has been in the works for such a long time, and it feels incredible to finally release the pattern. Choosing fabrics for the Shay was such a fun part of the process because there are SO many possibilities. Here we’ve pulled together just a few of our favorite fabrics along with a little advice to inspire your own dresses.
First things first, grab yourself a copy of the Shay dress pattern if you haven’t yet done so.
Before we get into fabric recommendations, there are a few recommended notions.
- 2 yds Tricot Fusible Interfacing. We recommend this tricot fusible interfacing from Wawak.
- 18″ (46 cm) Invisible Zipper for the center back – View A only
- Invisible Zipper Foot – View A only
- 15 to 18 1/2″ (12.7 mm) buttons for the center front – View B only
ZIPPER || VIEW A
View A of the Shay requires an 18″ (46 cm) invisible zipper. While most brick and mortar sewing or craft stores should carry invisible zippers, my favorite online sources are The Zipper Lady and Wawak. If you can’t find the exact length zipper, they’re quite easy to shorten so you can always choose a longer zipper. One note to keep in mind when selecting invisible zippers is that the coil size is related to the strength (i.e., a #5 or #6 zipper will be stronger than a #2).
BUTTONS || VIEW B
If you’ve chosen to sew the full button front View B, you’ll need 15-18 buttons that are approximately 1/2″ (12.7 mm) in size. Great buttons can be found at most local sewing shops and on places like Etsy, etc. A few of my favorite sources for unique buttons are Stylemaker Fabrics, Salt Lake Sewciety, Stonemountain Fabric, and Arrow Mountain.
FABRIC SOURCES AND READY-TO-WEAR INSPIRATION
The Shay is designed for light to medium weight woven fabric. The dress bodice is lined, and it’s recommended to use a medium to heavy weight lining fabric to help maintain its structure.
Suggested fabrics are rayon challis, rayon twill, rayon voile, cotton lawn, cotton voile, linen, and chambray.
LIGHT WEIGHT WOVEN PRINTS
Prints are one of the most fun ways to express your style through clothing. Classic ditsy florals, all over prints, and abstract designs all work well for the Shay.
STRIPES AND CHECKS
Using stripes and checked fabrics are a great way to call attention and add interest to the seam lines. As seen in the photo below (by @oh.sew.renee), a few of our testers did this by playing with the stripe direction and the results were incredible.
SOLIDS, CHAMBRAY, AND LINEN
If solids are more your style or you’re just looking to make a dress that will be a classic for years to come, you can’t go wrong with a classic chambray, colored linens, or soft cupro and viscose solids. Here are a few of our favorites.
Find even more fabric suggestions on our Pinterest Board here.
Thanks for reading more about recommended fabrics and notions for the Shay. I can’t wait to see your beautiful dresses – Happy Sewing!