Most seamstresses will tell you planning your project is the most creative point . You have decided you want to make that gift for a friend instead of buying a ready made item. For the sake of this discussion we will choose a simple project such as a baby shower gift. You know how your friend is decorating. Let's get creative, then. Find a fabric store with a good selection of patterns. Browse and decide what you should make. Should you make a comforter or bumper pads? Maybe you could use the colors she chose and make a co-ordinating stuffed toy. A diaper bag is something everyone needs. That's the project you choose. Now you must decide which style. Next you must pick the fabric. Here is where the colors and textures come in. For this you need a sturdy fabric. It will need to be durable, washable, and thick enough to withstand weight. There are pre-quilted durable cotton blends available now. There are also materials that are pre-treated or can be treated with scotch guard to ward off stains. If you have any doubts ask the person working in the fabric section and utilize the labeling on the ends of the fabric bolts. All patterns show suggested materials on the backs as well. I suggest sticking with the suggested fabrics until you have sewn enough to know what will work and what may not be suitable. Learn to look for color fastness and know which materials should be pre-washed due to fading of dyes. Picking a fabric is more than picking the right colors and choosing the proper fabric will determine how succesful your project is and how big the smile is the day of the shower.