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Spring is in the air, and we’ve been busy reorganizing different sections of the shop and rediscovering great fabrics in every group. Lately we’ve been especially inspired by our collection of light, breezy cottons—we can’t wait to wear them in the warmer days ahead! Our favorites of the lightweight cotton wovens? Definitely shirtings and lawns!

Traditionally used for button-up shirts, shirting fabrics are lightweight, yarn dyed fabrics with a fine weave and a high thread count. These fabrics are opaque with a smooth, crisp hand. Yarn dyed fabrics get their patterns from colored threads woven together, so many of the shirtings we stock have patterns like stripes, plaids, and gingham. You can find many of our shirtings by exploring the Yarn Dyed & Chambray category.

Cotton lawns are lightweight, tightly-woven cottons with a delicate, smooth hand and a pretty drape. Although they are very light, cotton lawns are quite opaque, so they are perfect for airy, warm-weather garments. You can find many of our cotton lawns by exploring the Voile & Lawn category.

While button-up shirts are an obvious choice for lawns and shirtings, these cottons will work well for all kinds of garments that require crisp, lightweight cotton with a bit of body—think shirts, skirts, dresses, light jackets, and more.

One of the things we love most about sewing is being able to make garments to fit exactly the way we like. A classic button-up shirt is a great skill-builder and an incredibly satisfying garment to customize. To inspire you, we’ve picked out a few of our favorite classic button-up patterns below. If you’re a beginning sewist, we recommend starting with a pattern like the Grainline Archer —this style of garment is a big project, so Grainline Studio has created sew-along videos to walk you through every step of the process!

If a classic button-up isn’t your style, there are so many other possibilities for lawns and shirtings! Whether you choose a simple shift, a swingy skirt, or a dress with a wrap (or a twist!), your only limit is your imagination. For best results, look for a pattern that calls for a lightweight woven fabric with a bit of structure.