CHOOSING A PATTERN
Look at the picture on the front of the envelope. How old is the person? Is that person the age of the person who the pattern is for? Look on the envelope for the year the pattern was produced. It will help with style.
Remember the least amount of pattern pieces (generally) the quicker it will be to complete.
Look closely at the details...for instance, if the pattern is for pajama pants...How do they fit on the model?...baggy? fitted? ...Is there a band around the bottom... Is there a slit?...Is the bottom of the pants wide?... narrow? Is there a separate waistband?
Look at the back of the pattern. It will tell you fabric suggestions. Follow it. Also, the front picture gives ideas as to fabric choice. Check to see if it says knit. If it does use the gauge on the side of the back of the envelope.
Look at the size range on the pattern envelope. pay particuler attention to this. Make sure it is the size you need. If it is not don't buy it.
Measure chest for dresses, tops, Jackets, coats, rompers, and shirts.
Measure hips for skirts, pants, skorts, and shorts.
CHOOSING A FABRIC
The decision has been made. You chose a project. Make the decision to choose the fabric easy. First look at the front of the pattern envelope to view the recommendations. Then look at the back of the envelope to read the "suggested fabrics."
When you see a fabric in the store that you like pull it off the shelf and unroll it a bit and hang it over your hand to see how it drapes. This is called the "hand of the fabric." Hold it up to your body if the fabric is for clothing. If there is a mirror walk over and stand in front of it.
You will know by the feel and look if it is the right fabric or not.