We are so thankful for your enthusiastic response to the Zoey pattern and can't wait to get started on the sewalong next week. In the meantime, I wanted to talk about about fabric and notions. Let's start with fabric.
The Zoey recommends fabrics with 25% or more stretch. To figure out what your stretch percentage is, cut a 4 inch piece of fabric, and hold it at each end. Line it up with the fabric stretch chart on the instructions, and pull the right end along the arrow. If it easily stretches to the 25% marking or beyond then it has enough stretch.
Let's talk a bit about recovery because it is really important with this pattern, especially for the straps. Look for fabrics with spandex content, instead of just mechanical stretch. Spandex gives some stability to knit fabrics and allows it to bounce back into place once stretched. If your fabric does not have good recovery, then your straps will most likely stretch out during sewing and will be too long.
Weight / Types
We recommend medium weight fabrics with some stability (somewhere in the 5-10oz range). Super light weight or slinky fabrics may not hold up well, especially for the straps. Super thick fabrics are going to be too bulky for the straps.
Our favorite fabrics are rib knits (we used a medium weight bamboo rib knit for all of our samples and for the sewalong), Tshirt knits, and cotton/spandex blends to name a few. Consider mixing and matching fabrics for the main tank or dress and the bindings for a really fun look.
You will need a coordinating all purpose polyester thread for your Zoey. If you are using contrasting fabrics I would recommend getting both colors as there is some visible stitching on all parts of the garment.
You are also going to want a sewing machine needle that is specific for stretch fabrics. The ballpoint end to these needles prevents it from damaging the fabric and creating holes.
The Zoey has a lot of pressing and folding required for the straps. After sewing up many of these, I have found two items to be a huge help in getting a professional finish. The first is spray starch. I find that if my straps don't want to hold a press well, that spray starch really helps them keep their shape during assembly.
I am also a huge fan of HeantnBond Soft Stretch. It comes in lite and ultra and I don't find a huge difference in them. Just get whichever one matches the weight of your fabric better. This fusible knit tape gives stability to your straps and hem so that the machine has something to grab onto when sewing and doesn't stretch out your fabric as it goes. It also acts as pins and keeps everything nicely in place as you go. I can't recommend this stuff enough for sewing knits. I use it on the Zoey, Nikko and Rio every time I make them.
That is it for today! The Sewalong starts next Tuesday and will include a photo sewalong on the blog and a video sewalong on Youtube. If you still need to purchase your Zoey you can do so here.