Top 5 Best Fabrics For Hot Weather

DIY Couture Deep V Tunic

Anyone out there sweltering? Me, too! Here’s a quick run down of the fabrics I love to sew for summer. Needless to say, they’re all natural.


The above Deep V Tunic top from DIY Couture’s No Patterns Needed book has become my summer go-to. Pair it with shorts, and I have my summer uniform right there. It’s stylish, floaty and provides good coverage whilst still allowing my body to breath.

And it’s sewn in silk.

Judge your silk. You want a fabric with enough heft that it shan’t crease, show what you had for dinner or be a nightmare to launder. (The great detail with this top is that because it’s so floaty you can manage a few wears before the next launder.)

This make also works great in a floaty viscose – my second natural fabric for summer. Yes, you can call viscose natural because it’s made from wood pulp. Further details here in my Fabric Focus series.

Double Gauze


Here I am on a Greek holiday. If you’re gonna get hot, you need double gauze in your life. My go-to supplier remains The Village Haberdashery and you should see what they have in. Double gauze is made of two fine layers of cotton that are tacked together at intervals. This makes double gauze very, very breathable – but again, you don’t need to worry about sunlight piercing the fabric.

This cotton is also very adaptable to different makes. As I type, I am wearing the below Tofino shorts sewn four years ago. Four! I think we call that a successful make.

double gauze shorts


linen dress

This is my Lilou dress in linen. I remain very proud of the split bust darts on this make, so here’s another gratuitous shot of my chest :

Lilou Bodice Darts

Split bust darts are great for if you have a larger chest to accommodate, and want to avoid The Pointy Chest Of Doom. Full details of what I did here.

Again, I have another comprehensive Fabric Focus on linen. Top tip – pre-wash the fabric more than once.

Stretch Cotton Sateen

Simplicity 1882 William Morris Gallery

This one’s a cheat. With the stretch factor, this fabric can’t be 100% natural. But bear with me. Stretch cotton sateen often comes with great colour saturation, lively prints, it’s affordable – and I find it really easy to sew with. Again, dense enough that you needn’t wear a slip unless you want to. Perfect for a smarter summer dress, like the Simplicity 1882.

Any other fabrics that you recommend for summer?

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22 Responses to Top 5 Best Fabrics For Hot Weather

  1. wakeymakes says:

    Definitely cotton lawn. I have a busy print sleeveless SOI pussybow blouse and it’s not see through. Looking forward to trying double gauze soon K xXx

  2. Elle C says:

    Cotton voile. It’s my go to fabric for the hottest days of summer.

  3. lauriesannie says:


  4. nothy says:

    This is very timely for everyone in the UK right now, isn’t it? You have our weather and we have yours – it has rained and rained here. I feel like I should build an ark! I agree with the linen and cotton sateen, they are both great for hot weather. Another poster said seersucker and I agree. There is something about seersucker that means summer to me. And silk likely is too but it is outside my price range. Great post!

  5. Deb says:

    Hi, what pattern is the double gauze dress? Thanks!

  6. Jen (NY) says:

    Generally I think that knits trap heat rather than dissipate it. However, I have found that some flowy non-cotton knit dresses can be very comfortably in warm weather, such as lightweight modal knit. Modal is essentially rayon and I suspect that is why it is more comfortable. Otherwise, definitely linen and related fibers like ramie.

    It’s nice to see your lovely summer garments – thanks for sharing!

    • brendamarksstudio says:

      I’ve heard that knits are warmer than wovens, too. This is really too bad because I love tshirts in the summer. Wait – how about wickaway fabrics?

      • Jen (NY) says:

        Yeah, wicking fabrics are great, but it’s really hard to find good, lightweight, retail quality fabrics by the yard/meter in my experience. Some people don’t like the artificial fibers, but IMO they are a necessity for bacteria-free exercising.

      • Janet says:

        I have a viscose knit dress that I wear a lot in the heat. It’s good up to about 25 degrees – after that I start to melt, whatever I’m wearing…

  7. brendamarksstudio says:

    Good reminders – and nice pics of you in your makes. : )

  8. jocolumbine says:

    The “great” thing about the UK is that you really only need to worry about hot weather for a week or so …rainy, 13 degrees and back to sweat shirt and tracky bottoms. Sigh.

  9. A cupro slip, or cupro lining is a great way to deal with the dreaded see-through effect.

  10. shoes15 says:

    Double gauze is the best – agree?

  11. How do you manage to wear anything more than once without laundering it?!?! Your summers must not be nearly as hot as ours–we’re usually clocking in at a sultry 90*F or more by now, and by the end of the day my clothes are begging to have the sweat washed out of them. Also, what weaves of silk do you recommend for washing by machine and wearing? I wear a fair amount of rayon, but it’s VERY hard to find stuff that doesn’t get holes in the wash quickly regardless of wash cycle/price. 🙁

  12. Robin says:

    Viscose/rayon is my current choice, either in challis or jersey knit. It is always cool to the touch, yet is substantial enough to keep you comfortable in an air conditioned setting. I am currently completing a summer travel capsule wardrobe that includes silk broadcloth, tropical weight wool (lined with bemberg rayon), and cotton and rayon knits. Linen is such a great choice too, but I have to make the effort to line it in rayon for best results. I haven’t tried double gauze cotton, but I had a collared shirt once, in a madras plaid gauze (I miss that shirt!) that was terrific in the summer. I hear it’s a challenge to sew with though. I also agree with other commenters on cotton voile, and it looks great ironed or not too.

  13. Jen M says:

    I live in Tucson, Arizona, which is, as we say, “A screen door away from Hell.” I swear by floaty rayon dresses and tops all summer. Good quality rayon can be machine washed and dried, no ironing. I’m glad to hear from you that double gauze may be an option too – the word double made me think it’d be heavy/hot.

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