by Shannon Gifford
  • sewing tutorials
  • sewing guides 2004-2009
  • inspiration
  • fabric store
  • Shirtings

    Shirting fabric is a soft, plain weave fabric, generally made of cotton or a cotton blended with a synthetic. You will also sometimes find shirtings with linen in the fiber content. All of these are easy to sew; in fact, shirting is an excellent fabric for beginners! It responds well to a variety of sewing techniques. Shirting is not just for shirts!


    Machine wash, tumble dry. Use bleach sparingly, only for pure white shirtings.

    Needles and Thread:

    Size 11 universal point machine needles work for most shirtings. Cotton, cotton/polyester, all polyester, or silk threads work well for both construction and embellishment. If you can find cotton embroidery thread in a coordinating color, it is an excellent construction thread for shirtings.

    Seams, Seam Finishes, and Hems:

    Plain seams, fell seams, French seams, bound seams, zigzagged seams, and folded seams are all appropriate seams, based on your project.


    For crisp collars, use a fusible interfacing specifically for shirts, such as Shir-tailor. VeriShape, or fusible hair canvas. A good sew-in crisp interfacing is handkerchief linen, cut on the bias. For softer interfacing, use a fusible tricot, such as Fusi-Knit. For the perfect interfacing for all projects, use a layer of the actual shirting fabric. The weight is perfect, the color always matches, and the fabric interfacing will add just the right amount of support.

    Pattern Suggestions:

    Shirts, blouses, shirt-jackets, vests, tops, shirt dresses

    Creative Possibilities:

    There are so many possibilities with shirtings! Use heirloom laces for a vintage, romantic look. Machine embroidery works beautifully on shirtings. Tucks, pleats, and gathers are all good techniques to try with this versatile fabric.

    Additional Tips:

    Shirting likes to be ironed with moisture, so keep a spray bottle full of water handy when you iron this fabric.

    Copyright (c) 2018 by EmmaOneSock