Well have I got a treat for you today! I alluded to this when I shared my Champagne skirt with you – a guest post written by the designer of the Champagne Skirt herself, Sally from Capital Chic patterns aka CharityShopChic.
What do you need to know before I let Sally take the reins? Well, apart from the fact that my Champagne skirt has become my stalwart office skirt, being the one that I opt for on a weekly basis because I really do love how I feel professional yet *hand designed* in it? Yes, apart from that, when emailing Sally about possible ideas for a guest post, I was hopefully as interested as you could be to know how to approach working with different fabrics to great effect. For my Champagne skirt I opted for rather a safe option- choosing the same fabric, but one that is reversible with different textures. How could I be more brave? What should I consider to create yet another memorable skirt with that designer look & feel about it? So, have a read about what Sally’s thoughts are when she designed this skirt to give you just that level of freedom to let loose some interesting uses of fabric. (Of course we are concentrating on the Champagne skirt here, but there will be other garments – skirts & dresses that some of these tips could be applied to!)
Hello and thank you for having me, Winnie!
Today I’m very excited to be talking a bit about fabric choices for the Champagne skirt pattern.
If you’re looking for inspiration, I have a pinterest board here where I will be adding pictures of finished Champagne skirts from around the interweb.
Suitable fabrics for the Champagne skirt include most medium-weight woven skirt fabrics. You can choose a woven with lycra (less than 10% stretch) if you like a really close fit. You want something with a bit of drape for the hem band as it’s a flounce so it’ll need to fall nicely. In the shop, hold up the fabric to see what it’ll look like when it drapes!
Unsuitable fabrics include knitted fabrics, fabrics with more than 10% stretch or fabrics that are too stiff/heavy to drape nicely around the hem. It’s also not great for stripes/plaid/tartan, unless you use something else for the hem band (see ‘Different textures’ below).
Of course, you can make the skirt using only one fabric – like Alison’s , Nicole’s or Katie’s which are all stunning. But I think the real fun lies in choosing two different fabrics to complement each other. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Colour blocking is a fairly simple idea. All you need to do is find the same fabric in more than one colour and you’re set. For my blue and black skirt I used blue crepe, with a black crepe hem band. The waistband is made from the blue crepe.
Consider what you’ll be wearing the finished skirt with and decide which colour should be on which portion of the skirt. Then you can cut out your pieces accordingly.
For the lining, I recommend using lining material that matches the colour of both portions of skirt, that is, two different colours of lining will be needed. However, if your colours are relatively similar, you might get away with using one colour only. An entirely black lining obviously wouldn’t work if you are colour blocking with black and white. Just something to think about!
How about Minerva’s poly triple crepe which comes in 10 colours? My personal choice would be ‘Grey’ for the skirt and ‘Fuchsia’ for the band for a really fun look. You could go for ‘Grey’ and ‘Black’, ‘Royal Blue’ and ‘Black’… there are a lot of possibilities.
Or, you can choose a print for your hem band and match one of the colours in your print to a solid colour fabric. Note that this is best done offline – websites don’t always show the colours accurately enough to match them and fabric is non-returnable! As an example, I chose the ‘Royal Blue’ triple crepe to match this rather fabulous animal print in black and blue but I could just as easily have chosen ‘Ivory’ or ‘Black’.
Winnie and I both had the same idea when it came to different textures, that is, using the infamous Prada satin-backed crepe . This fabric is crepe-like on one side and shiny like satin on the reverse, and it comes in 11 colours. The shiny side can be used for the hem band and the matte side for the skirt for a really professional looking skirt.
I used the ‘Ivory’ for mine, Winnie used the ‘Purple’, but the colours include ‘Jade’, ‘Royal Blue’, ‘Cerise’ and more. The beauty of using a fabric with two good sides like this one is that the colour match will always be perfect.
The other option is to go for two different fabrics with entirely different textures. My personal preference when using differing textures would be to stick to the same colour, or tones of the same colour. But of course it’s totally up to you.
You could make a beautiful evening skirt using the black crepe along with a hem band made from sequinned fabric like this one , for example.
Or how about something really crazy like tartan for the skirt with soft pleather for the hem band, for that mid 90s punk vibe? I chose this one and this one from Minerva to illustrate, but in reality I wouldn’t want to be choosing pleather without sampling it first to check it’s the right weight and drape (and quality) for skirts. Most websites offer a sampling service for this reason.
I hope that’s given you a few ideas for your Champagne skirts. If you have any questions, do leave a comment here or tweet me @capitalchic – I would love to hear your ideas for contrasting fabrics and see pictures of your finished skirts!
Thank you Sally- this has really given me loads of food for thought ….I am particularly drawn to the sequinned hem band….wouldn’t that be so classy for the party season ? But I am also drawn to the tartan/ pleather in a Vivien Westwood kind of way ….Now, it’s time for you to get creative!! Sally is very kindly offering a copy of the Champagne skirt to one lucky reader. If you would like to be entered into the draw please leave a comment and your choice of contrasting fabrics! Whilst the winner will be chosen at random, I will share the fabric combo that you suggest. The fabric can be links to real live fabrics from websites or your own description (but if using words please do not forget to tell me what colours you are imagining! I want to get a real picture of all these awesome ideas – let loose your imagination & creativity! )
The giveaway is open until the end of Friday 3rd October.