Fabric Pull Fun

Prep for sewing the Smart Sofa Station

Jun 23

Let's dive into fabric choices and how to get a result you'll absolutely adore!

I hope you’ve all had a great few days over this holiday time, and were able to spend it with your loved ones, and fitting in some refreshing R&R.

Now that you've purchased your Smart Sofa Station pattern, it’s time to start gathering your supplies, and I thought I’d pop in and share some ideas for choosing your fabric and also share my fabric pull for one of the versions I’ve made.

If you’ve bought a kit with fabric included, then you won’t have to worry about fabric selection, but if you’re winging this, here’s my favourite tips for getting a similar look.

Scroll down to download the free printable planning page,where you can plan your pocket combination, colour in and/or glue on fabric swatches.

It’s not too late to join in the Sew-Along, so just click the link to sign up, and go and grab your pattern.

When you buy the pattern you’ll receive a welcome email, and access to the Arabesque community group where we all share our progress and encourage each other.

Choose Your Overall Style

When I’m starting to pull fabric for this, I think about the overall effect I’m after.

  • Do I want to match my decor by blending in or do I want to make a statement?
  • Do I want to match my personal style and be flamboyant, cute, rustic or classic?

I’m sharing 4 variations I’ve made below to give you some examples for how to get different looks for different effects.

Fabric Pull Fun - Prepping for the Smart Sofa Station Sew-Along - Tilda Windy Days

For each one, I’ve chosen about 5 fabrics overall, as this gives a nice variety without it being too busy.

Fabric Pull Fun - Prepping for the Smart Sofa Station Sew-Along - Ruby Star Society Purl Fabric

Some of mine are softer, subtle shades overall, and some are loud and fun, showcasing fussy cuts and making use of large prints.

As my general rule, I’ve used solid/low volume for the base, and paired it with a contrasting small print.

This example shows a base that's not low volume - it's busy!

In this case I really love the effect...even though the handquilting doesn't shine that much.

Fabric Pull Fun - Prepping for the Smart Sofa Station Sew-Along - A Blooming Bunch by Moda Fabrics

The purpose of making the base in two sections is to

  • use smaller cuts of fabric overall, making it a great scrap buster
  • help the combination of machine and hand quilting to really pop, as the effect of this can be a bit lost if the base fabrics are really busy prints
  • to enable greater contrast between the base fabric and the pockets at either end. With each end being different and low volume, you have more option to showcase larger prints.
Fabric Pull Fun - Prepping for the Smart Sofa Station Sew-Along - Heather Ross Fun Frogs

If you want your pockets to stand out a bit, then sticking to this method is great idea.


There’s a lot of binding in this, so I generally wanted mine to standout.

I absolutely love doing a micro striped binding, as it really frames everything like a picture, and makes it really look smart.

But whether you use stripes or not, contrast is the key here to make a great finishing statement.

If you don't want all your hard work lost in a sea of prints, then pick a binding fabric that stands out from the rest.

Backing Fabric

My last tip here is to use whatever old fabric you have lying around for the backing.

It won’t be seen at all, and it’s a great opportunity to use that unloved fabric that you really don’t want to chuck, but don’t want to see anywhere.

Start by busting that stash early in the year!

My Fabric Pull

For this Sofa Station, I've used Tilda Cotton Beach, and pairing it with a Devonstone solid for the base, and another of the blenders that Tilda bought out a few years ago.

Fabric Pull Fun - Prepping for the Smart Sofa Station Sew-Along - Tilda Cotton Beach
Fabric Pull Fun - Prepping for the Smart Sofa Station Sew-Along - How to pull fabric
Fabric Pull Fun - Prepping for the Smart Sofa Station Sew-Along - A cohesive fabric pull

Fabric Pull Fun - Prepping for Sewing the Smart Sofa Station

This will enable the hand quilting to really stand out, and I have to say this part is my favourite feature that adds just the right amount of handmade charm.

Also if you’re still stuck with where to buy the rest of the supplies like the magnets, self-cover button for the needle minder, and interfacings, just head to my shop page and you’ll find the shopping list there with clickable links for where to buy everything.

Fabric Pull Fun - Prepping for the Smart Sofa Station Sew-Along - Free colouring swatch sheet

Here's my planning page all filled out with the version I'm planning to make, with my swatches pasted in place.

I don't know about you, but if I don't stick them in and note down my choices, when I come back a few days later I can't remember what I decided!

Download your planning page here, and fill out your swatches, then share your fabric pull plans in the facebook group.

I'll also be sharing a few snippets over on Instagram using #SmartSofaStation

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