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Sewing with Cotton Voile

Sew with cotton voile

This guide to sewing with cotton voile fabric has been written by Fabricology.

Cotton voile is a sheer, lightweight fabric that is perfect for summer dresses and shirts. It is constructed using tightly twisted yarns and is lighter than cotton lawn, so it has a handle that is less crisp.

 Voile has a lovely drape, making it a perfect choice for shirts and dresses that require fabric with not much structure.  However, due to its semi sheer nature, voile often needs to be lined or layered.


Prepare your fabric before cutting your pattern pieces

 As with all fabrics, it is crucial to prepare the fabric before sewing. Voile has a moderate amount of shrinkage so it’s best to prepare the fabric by washing it in the washing machine on a cool cycle at least once before cutting your pattern pieces. 

Sewing with cotton voile fabric
Wonderland Enchanted Leaves Plum voile designed by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics

Tips for sewing with cotton voile

– When sewing with cotton voile it is important to staystitch curved areas to prevent stretching. This is especially important around necklines. 

– Cotton voile is a fine fabric so it is advisable to test your sewing machine tension and stitch quality on a scrap of the fabric before starting the construction of your actual garment.  This will enable you to alter stitch length and also evaluate whether a finer needle is required. 

– Back stitching at the beginning and end of your seams can see your fabric pulled into the feed dogs of your machine. So, it is often better to tie threads rather than backstitch on your sewing machine.  

– Due to the lightweight nature of the fabric a French Seam is perfect for seam finishes, providing a professional and neat finish. 

Handling voile fabrics
Indelible Floret Stains Mulberry voile designed by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics

For other fabric handling guides please visit our sewing techniques page and select the ‘fabric handling’ tag from the top.