In Spring For Cotton

ModCloth loves Quilting Cotton

Garment sewing with quilting cottons can be a touchy subject in the sewing community. There are some people who love the stuff and others who steer clear of it. Whatever band wagon you’re on is fine, to each their own. I happen to be on Team Q.C. and there are lots of other people, even big companies, who appreciate these cottons for their durability and print variety. The term “Quilting Cotton” mostly refers to the industry the cottons are marketed to, and though it’s implied they have only one purpose, that isn’t necessarily true. If you have a structured dress pattern, and are looking for a mid weight, hearty fabric that comes in a ridiculously vast selection of colors and prints, a quilting cotton sounds pretty perfect for the job!

Here are a few examples of ModCloth’s Ready-To-Wear dresses made from quilt industry cottons:airofadorabledress_quiltingcotton_luckylucille

 Shown Above: ModCloth’s Air Of Adorable Dress made with Lizzy House’s Pearl Bracelet print

Quilt industry fabric manufacturers, like Westminster/Free Spirit, often license their prints to companies for commercial use, as well as for the home sewer. Vintage inspired Fit & Flare dresses are a popular pair for quilting cottons and ModCloth seems to agree! I think having the option to buy a dress or, quite literally, make it yourself is pretty awesome, not to mention the fabric designers who receive royalties per yard are being supported in multiple ways. I think that’s pretty awesome, too!


Shown Above: ModCloth’s Owl-Time Favorite Dress made with Joel Dewberry’s Barn Owl print


Shown Above: ModCloth’s Prancing in the Reindeer Dress made with Emily Herrick’s Yes Deer print


Shown Above: ModCloth’s Mew Should be a Model Dress made with Michael Miller’s Atomic Tabby print


Shown Above: ModCloth’s Biographical Book Club Dress made with Violet Craft’s Timber Valley print

Though my personal preference is to try and sew my own clothes whenever I can, I do love ModCloth for bringing cute, vintage inspired clothing to the masses. Not everyone has the time or the ability to try and recreate every cute dress they see out there, so I think it’s great you can get the same fantastic cotton prints in a ready-made dress!

While I haven’t quite decided which sewing pattern to use for my Spring For Cotton project yet, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be using a quilt industry cotton 😉


*this is not a sponsored or affiliated post

  • Maggie

    Hi friends! I bought beautiful QC for a shift dress (2 piece total–one front/ one back, no darts/ modern hippie). When I got home, the original dress label I was patterning read: “100 Rayon”– uh oh! I am a quilter, not a dress maker–can you all recommend how different the drape will be? Should I go ahead and try, or just give this beautiful fabric to a future quilt? Thank you!

  • This blog post single handedly encouraged me to start designing my own prints. Thanks!! 🙂

  • I love sewing clothes from QC!
    Beware of “Alexander Henry” fabric & “Robert Kaufman” I have tried a cut from each of them, and had a BIG problem: the dye ran when I pre-washed the fabric! It’s a shame because the fabric itself is a nice weight & quality. I’ll not buy from them again!

  • What a great post! I love sewing with quilting cotton, it presses so nicely and is so nice to sew with!

  • Janie

    there’s definitely crossover from mod cloth and the online sewing community. Those prints definitely remind me of you, looking forward to see what you make next.

  • I hadn’t thought of quilting cotton being a bad thing for clothing… it’s got some of the best colors and patterns for one of a kind outfits, and it’s easier to sew than other materials for beginners.

  • Lisa

    I can’t sew clothing yet so ModCloth is one of my favorite places to get dresses. These dresses are great! I really want the Prancing in the Reindeer dress.

  • DeAnna T

    I always use quilting cotton because it’s colorful and just plain good stuff! It’s so much more durable and easy to maintain. I too love all these fabrics! Especially the atomic cats 🙂

  • Cindy A

    Now I want to buy all of these fabrics! I think the key is knowing when to use them. I’ve found that they’re great for more structured items like a 50s style dress a la Alfred Shaheen.

  • Debra Ward

    I’d have a look through Modcloth to see what’s what and see a cute dress and say ” Umm that print is my guest room curtains.” Then I’d stand in the doorway of the bedroom staring at them thinking about what I could make if I took them down.
    Quilting cotton is my preferred fabric to work with. It usually does what I want and rarely ever talks back.

  • Lisette

    You have quite an eye to spot these! I love a good QC myself.

  • Bianca Esposito

    I have made many many garments out of quilting cotton over the years! I certainly don’t mind using it, even if I often dream of using something finer. I find it absurdly difficult to find any other type of cotton really, especially for prints, but even for solids. There aren’t many fabric stores around where I live, and Joanns doesn’t carry much of a selection when it comes to non-quilting cottons. I often use quilting cottons because they are my only option, I wish there was more of a selection out there!

  • evilincarKnit

    I love quilting cottons too! I’ve just stopped putting my garments in the dryer to help than last a bit longer and not fade (as much). I have dresses I’ve worn regularly for about 5-6 years, machine washed the hell out of them, and they still rock to this day.

    I’m so over the side-eye we QC-lovers get from other seamsters.

    • Maggie


      Good idea using less heat in your dryer on your QC clothes.

      I hope you also turn your cotton clothes inside out when you wash and dry them. This will prevent any fabric softener or bleaches (esp from a shared washing machine) or inks from unnoticed pens, etc., to spill onto your beautiful garment. The spill may reach the inside, but not the outside, of your garment bc it was turned inside out. Additionally, the friction of the soap and agitation paddles (and later, the heat) will be lessened, again bc the garment was turned inside out.

      Maggie, fellow QC clothes wearer!

  • I am firmly on Team Quilting Cotton, too! I have that Michael Miller atomic kitty print and it’s even more fun in real life. I’d love to participate in SFC but I don’t have a vintage pattern that’s caught my eye yet. *sigh*

  • Sara @ Sew Sweetness

    Thanks for this post! As someone who is personally a fan of using quilting cottons for garments, I love that ModCloth uses quilting cotton for their dresses too. They purchase the fabric directly from the manufacturer, so it is the same quality that you would expect if you had purchased yardage of your own. It’s a great support for fabric designers as they purchase a substantial amount of fabric for just 1 dress design.

    While I do like quilting cotton for clothes, I do like the point that you made that’s it not meant for all things, and I like that you said the word structured. Of course it is my personal preference but I feel because quilting cotton doesn’t drape as well as some other substrates do that it’s best for structured pieces. If I’m making something loose or the design calls for it, I’ll use voile or something else (a good amount of quilting cotton designers release prints on voile).