If you want to add an immediate goth touch to your closet, Halloween prints are an easy way to get some ghoulish vibes. Gone are the days when Halloween fabric was restricted in offerings and limited to one month out of the year. Today, you can find skulls, ghosts, and all matter of spooky stuff year round, and the choices available during Halloween season are so many that a trip to Joanns might severely deplete your bank account.
Of course, not all Halloween prints are created equal, but there are so many options that you are sure to find something that matches your aesthetics. I stay away from anything too colorful or cutesy. My preferences lie with black background, white details, or monochromatic prints. You favor bright colors and bold prints? Let’s be friends! There is something for everyone.
Where to Find Halloween Fabric
Joann is a juggernaut in the world of fabrics and crafts. Halloween season starts early here—I was reading Halloween/sewing forum posts about Joann releases back in June/July. There are lots of options: cute Halloween, Disney spooky prints, pinup zombies… pick your monster, and Joann will have it.
Some of the prints are available year round from the online store. Others are released only for the current season. If you find a print that you really like, it is not a bad idea to buy a bit more—just in case this is not one of their perennial options.
Now that Joann has entered the space of print-to-order, many of its Halloween prints are available in a variety of fibers and fabric types. Joann also carries a collection of costume fabrics that includes pleather, vinyl, and net fabric. I bought a few yards of this gorgeous skull and bones net fabric, but I wish I had bought more.
With so many options, you are bound to find something spooky at Fabric.com—just be prepared to browse the hell out of the site. The easiest way to find your way through Fabric.com’s dizzyingly large inventory is using the search feature. Run a search for the term Halloween, and you will find lots and lots of options. I also like to look for words that are related to spooky or scary things.
I found my two most favorite fabrics here. The first one is Goth Bugs by Michael Miller, the other Art Gallery’s Purranormal Activity. Unfortunately, neither is available.
Spoonflower is the place for, well, anything you can think of. Much like with the two stores above, the vastness of Spoonflower’s selections make it time consuming to find anything. The good thing is, once you find a designer that you like, you can explore their work, or you can use one of the terms associated with the design to expand your search.
The greatest advantage of Spoonflower is the variety of fibers and options when it comes to fabric. Most Halloween prints come in quilting cotton. With Spoonflower, however, you can choose the fabric—cotton, linen, velvet, chiffon, pique… no other store offers as many options.
Most of the Spoonflower stuff is quite busy, and I’ve read and heard that black backgrounds don’t come out black, so there is not a lot for me here. There is one designer that I follow and find her work amazing. You will find her as Dorkabrain on Spoonflower. Her work is a mixture of spooky themes with a whimsical touch.
Mood has just released a couple of Halloween-inspired collections. The prints are more sophisticated and come in fibers not usually found with Halloween prints.
The Nevermore Collection, inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe, come in a black, white, and red palette in premium printed rayon batiste and stretch cotton poplin fabrics. Black Cat (black cats against a red background in rayon batiste or stretch cotton poplin) and Berenice (black teeth against a white background in rayon batiste or stretch cotton poplin) fill my librarian’s heart with joy.
The Abandoned Collection explores forlorn houses, archways, and handprints. The collection includes rayon batiste and stretch cotton poplin fabrics in black, cream, green, and rust colors.
The most Halloween of all the collections is the Jack-O-Lantern. In purple, orange, and yellow, the prints focus on, well, Jack-O-Laterns. It is the collection with the widest variety of fibers— stretch cotton sateen, linen woven, and rayon batiste.
How to Use Halloween Fabrics
You can sew anything with Halloween fabrics. I favor patterns that do not have a lot of details so that I don’t have to try to match the print across seams. I especially like skirts with no front seams so that the glorious Halloween print can shine. Pick your monster, pick your pattern, and wear your Halloween garment any time you want.
What are you going to share your favorite Halloween fabric year round? Let me know in the comments below.