Double Gauze Fabric 101: The Ultimate Guide

Guide for Sewing with Double Gauze Fabric

This article will guide you through the tips and tricks of sewing with double gauze fabric.

One of the most lovely, lightweight, woven fabrics to sew is double gauze. Once you learn how to handle this unique fabric, sewing with it is a breeze! You can use double gauze anywhere you would use a normal woven fabric like quilting cotton, linen, or poplin.

Because of its crinkly texture, it is sometimes a little finicky for precise applications like plackets or pleats, but that crinkly texture also adds to its lovely worn-in (dare I say wrinkly!) appeal in much the same way that linen does.

Sewing with Double Gauze Fabric

So What Exactly is Double Gauze Fabric?

If you guessed that doubled must indicate two layers of something, you are correct! Most double gauze comprises two layers of cotton fabric that have been basted together with small stitches. It has a slight, horizontal two-way stretch.

It may be marketed under various names, such as: Nursery Swaddle Fabric, Muslin, Cheesecloth, or Bubble Gauze. It is most commonly used for lightweight baby blankets, but has more recently made a surge in the clothing world.  

Lighter colors will most likely appear see-through, whereas darker colors or bold patterns will make it seem more opaque. It has a natural crinkly appearance, which makes it seem like the fabric shrinks when washed and dried or grows while being worn.

Washing, Drying, Pressing, and Cutting Double Gauze Fabric

First, always wash and dry double gauze fabric however you would like your finished garment…or should I say, however, the worst laundry-doer in your house would wash your finished garment. This is especially important for double gauze because it tends to shrink, crinkle, and turn into a (temporary) funky shape after washing. The edges will also fray, and because of the open weave, it can snag easily. Try not to wash it with rough fabric like towels, jeans, or anything else on which the fabric might catch.

Once the fabric is washed, I prefer to press double gauze using spray starch before cutting out a pattern. The starch will make the fabric a little more stiff and easier to cut.

This fabric is naturally shifty while cutting, so pattern weights are beneficial.

And for a final tip, make sure all seams are finished. I usually use my serger to accomplish this, but if you do not have a serger, French seams or a wide zigzag stitch will also work.

Sewing Tips for Double Gauze Fabric

  • I recommend using sewing clips over pins so as not to damage the fabric.

  • I have had varying success with different needles in my different machines, but I usually start with a 70/10 for double gauze fabric. If that doesn’t work, I start experimenting with other sizes. Again, because of the more open weave, it may be more difficult for the needle thread to "catch" the bobbin thread. Always check your needle and settings on a scrap piece of fabric.

  • A walking foot is helpful since the layers of double gauze fabric may feed through at different rates.

  • Following your pattern’s seam allowance is important, but keep in mind that sewing very close to the raw edge may lead to stitches not catching or the fabric fraying. I most notice this when sewing and gathering stitches since they are often placed closer to the raw edge.  

  • Sewing on the bias or neck/arm holes may need to be stay-stitched to help keep the fabric from stretching.

  • Any garment using snaps or buttons will definitely need to be stabilized with lightweight interfacing.

Ideas of What to Make with Double Gauze Fabric

Double Gauze is a relaxed, breezy, soft fabric. It can be used anywhere a lightweight woven fabric can be used. I often think of double gauze like I do linen.

Flowy tops, dresses, skirts, blankets, baby clothes, pajamas, and accessories like scrunchies or headwraps would do great projects.

Peekaboo Pattern Shop has some great options for giving double gauze a try! Some Peekaboo patterns that would suit double gauze are:

Need more Inspiration?

Search “Double Gauze” in the Peekaboo Facebook Group and see what other group members are sewing up in Double Gauze! Here's a Dreamland Nightgown that Amy made up for her daughter:

Pro's and Con's

Flannel is more fragile in the sense that its weave is typically looser. Always finish off your edges to prevent fraying. Try to avoid seam ripping as well as this may create unwanted holes and fraying in your fabric/project.

Flannel will become softer with each wash.

Directional patterns on flannel such as plaid or tartan will require more yardage so that everything lines up on the final product. It is also a good rule of thumb to purchase extra anyway in the event of mishaps or shrinkage.

What Makes Flannel Fabric Ideal for Winter?

Flannel fabric is perfect for winter due to its exceptional warmth and insulation. Its softness and breathability ensure comfort, even in colder temperatures. With a wide range of colors and patterns, flannel offers both functional and fashionable winter clothing options.

Flannel Takeaways

You may have thought that flannel only came in plaid or tartan patterns, but it can be of a solid color or even have a print design printed onto it. Cotton flannel sheets for your bed aren't only used for the chilly months but can be used all year around if you choose. It is great to use for baby accessories and would make a thoughtful gift for someone expecting! Any leftover scraps of flannel you may accumulate would be put to good use by making a quilt or some holiday decor which is practically zero waste if you are a crafty individual and have multiple projects to use it for.

I recently finished sewing up a shacket for myself just prior to writing this article and I'm excited to wear it! I also love the sound of flannel bedding sheets and will most definitely source some out. A few other items I have made are pajama pants, burp cloth's, even a cute little skirt for my daughter when she was younger all out of flannel and it worked out great!

Whatever project you decide to use your flannel on, I'm sure you will love it, keeping in mind what we've learned above in this article: Flannel comes in different weights, different types, different colors and designs and it is incredibly soft and comfortable. With proper care, it will last a long time which is a cost-efficient bonus in today's economy.

To wrap up, flannel fabric is a versatile and timeless apparel fabric that offers warmth and comfort. Its unique characteristics and rich history make it a popular choice for a variety of applications, ranging from clothing to home decor. Understanding the different types of flannel fabric and how it is woven can help you make informed choices when purchasing or caring for your flannel items. Whether you're snuggling up in a flannel blanket or sporting a cozy flannel shirt, this fabric is sure to keep you warm and stylish during the winter months. Embrace the softness and durability of flannel and enjoy its many benefits for years to come.

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