Our favorite prints for clothing


Yesterday, we asked you for a few of your favorite kinds of prints for making clothing. Today, we’re sharing some of our personal favorites.

Here are a few of our favorite prints.

Premier Prints ZigZag Village Blue/Natural
, vintage silk with crosses and dots from my collection,
Premier Prints Oxygen Dots Black/White
, vintage floral silk from my collection, floral from Mood Fabrics

I tend to like geometric shapes such as chevrons and polka dots, but I also like vintage florals in a big way. For garment sewing, I really like florals with plenty of negative space, which are so hard to find these days. I also like very abstract florals. Think 60s flowers, or art deco designs. In fact, art deco designs are the ideal merging of geometics, soft gorgeous colors, and abstract florals.

Images: Feedsack Squiggles, Blue Floral, Floral Chintz, Ikat, Blue Seersucker


I am really drawn toward pretty feedsack prints from the 1930s. They come in calico or squiggles or geometric shapes and in a variety of colors you don’t normally see today. I just think they are so cute and would make perfect summer tank tops. One of my favorite type of prints are those beautiful watercolor flowers from the 1950s. Especially in blue! I have yet to find a substantial amount of a blue watercolor rose fabric, but when I do, I’m going to make a short-sleeved Peony dress with it.

Ikat designs are another favorite. I love the blurred aspect of ikat and how different cultures use it. While ikat is usually woven, it can also be a printed design. Some florals have an ikat look, and I love those too! Perhaps it is part of the visual stimulation of looking at a blurred design that’s so interesting. As far as color goes, I prefer muted instead of bold. Grays and blues are my current favorites, perhaps because they are calm. That’s not to say I don’t love a good bright print!

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 24



I know y’all don’t like to sew with quilting fabric, but Dear Stellq has just come out with some beautiful Ikats in grays and blues and I’ve heard that they are going to do apparel fabric. Check them out!


I meant Dear StellA, of course! Bad typist!


Thanks, Coleen! I’ll be sure to check them out!


Lovely! I’m drawn to geometric, too. May I ask what ‘negative space’ is? Thank you!


I’m pretty sure that negative space means that the flower or other print doesn’t take up the entire background; that the background, be it white or blue or cream, is still very much in the picture. See the bottom right floral of Sarai’s pick.

If I’m wrong, somebody please correct me!


I love prints. I am such a sucker for polka dots or geometrics. I am still a little scared of things like plaid where lining up prints is really important, so I like prints that are random enough that I don’t need to do that. I don’t think I realized how much I liked polkadots until I realized I made 3 dresses in polka dots and still wanted to buy more fabric.


I focus on colors for clothing fabrics. I am all about colors.(corals, jewel tones, soft pinks) Texture and feel are important, as well. For me, a print that I love is an added bonus, but will not outweigh the other two factors. I would rather have a solid that feels amazing, than an amazing print that feels less than. Bold florals, kitschy vintage, and simple geometrics (but larger scale) seem to pull me in the most. I love all the examples shown above.

Diane Williams http

Standing alone I would have picked most of them, a couple of them, no.
However, all together they work absolutely beautiful. Caitlin you have “An Eye For It”.


Thank you, Diane :)

Dr Duckie

Can’t beat Spoonfolower for an original print. Given that if I’m going to use a print, subtlety goes completely out of the window, I love shopping around the variety on offer for something epic. Current favourite is Sammy K’s stained glass window inspired print. Beautiful jewel colours and very unusual.

Although that said, my latest purchase has been two metres of an outstanding black and white car print…

Dr Duckie

Car!? I mean CAT! Meow, not vroooom…


Hey there I’m a huge fan of floral prints. They are just so feminine! I just recieved your book in the mail yesterday. Unfortunatly I bought it used and the patterns are missing. I was so bummed! I contacted the seller so hopefully I’ll hear ack soon. Anyhow I have been flipping through it and I’m already feeling like a more experienced seamstress. Thank you!


Wow. I can’t believe anyone would sell that book without the patterns. I feel for you. Good luck getting them or getting your money returned.


Thanks! I’m confident it will be resolved.


They are worth the wait. :)

In the meantime, there’s so much real information in the book. It’s one of my favorite buys ever. Ever.


Glad you like our prints here at Mood, Sarai! I like your blog right back!


That blue and white chevron in blowing my mind!

so sew

I’m with you on liking prints with lots of negative space and wishing it was easier to find.


I’m also glad you brought up negative space, which i hadn’t thought to think about! it’s so important! and why, for me, i’m not keen on the prints from quilting fabrics for garments… they frequently lack negative space. again, great for quilts and decor, not necessarily ideal for garments.

the fabric with the blue dots and crosses is swoonworthy!


I LOVE LOVE LOVE prints – these are all great!

Jennifer “Hope” Ogden

The vintage silk with crosses and dots from your collection would make a beautiful dress.


Love your patterns and information here, but why don’t you adapt your patterns for larger size women? Would really like to see all available patterns in plus-size versions as well (until the diet is successful). Can you advise if you are considering any possibilities such as this in the near future? I could try to resize your patterns, but I’m still pretty much a novice sewer, don’t feel too confident in my pattern-altering abilities. Just a thought, would love to make ALL of your patterns A.S.A.P. Thanks for listening!!!


Hi Kathleen. I totally understand your frustration. Unfortunately, 10 sizes is about the limit of how many we can fit on a sheet without it getting hard to read, and to print additional sheets would be a big cost for us. On top of that, I don’t have a lot of expertise in grading for plus sizes (as opposed to misses sizes), so we’re limited there as well. It’s something we’re well aware of though, and I’d like to address it at some point.


On the Craftsy website, there is a video course called, “Plus-Size Pattern Fitting & Design” with Barbara Deckert, that has helped me immensely. It takes you through one step at a time, and is filled with great information. I do find the videos play better on Google Chrome. Hope this helps, it has made my life so much easier to be fashionable.

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