Fabric choice help please

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I'm very much a beginner but I have successfully made McCall's 4258 -
http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M4258.htm?search=4258&page=1 - in a
couple of different fabrics - one cotton and one polyester.

The pattern says that it's suitable for lightweight fabrics. I would
like to make a version in a heavier fabric suitable for cooler autumn
weather. Would that cause problems? I suppose that the extra weight
might pull it out of shape because it's cut on the bias.


Northumberland, UK

Re: Fabric choice help please

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The suggested fabrics types also include challis and crepe,
either of which would be a good choice. However, I would
disinclined to make view B of a really heavy wool, for
instance, just because it would loose the drapeablility.
You might want to cut deeper seam allowances then called
for, so that you have enough fabric for alteration if you
need to let it out at the hip and waist after it hangs for a
day or two.  You might also find a similar skirt pattern
drafted for winter-weight fabrics and compare the pattern


Re: Fabric choice help please

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The basic problems are two: 1) the weight of the fabric will tend to pull the
seams down more in heavier fabric and 2) generally speaking, thicker fabric
will hang farther from the body than thinner fabric because the thicker fabric
tends to have less drape.  That visual bulk can be less than flattering.

My suggestion, if you like the skirts you've made, is to take one along when
fabric shopping.  Pick a new fabric that hangs like the current skirt when
draped on the bias.... similar sorts of folds.  If you happen to have a
fairly large piece of leftover fabric from the skirts, that would be my
choice to take instead of the actual skirt.

If you like the way bias skirts hang, you might also consider bias gored
skirts... they almost always hang beautifully.

If you can get hold of a book called Fabric, Form and Flat Pattern Cutting
by Winifred Aldrich, there's a handy list in the back of what fabrics
drape similarly.  Also Debbie Ann Gioello's book, Profiling Fabrics, can
be useful for comparing drape -- the same fabric is shown draped on straight
of grain and on bias.

Matching fabric to pattern is one of those things that can be rather difficult.
If you make up the same pattern in three fabrics, one drapey, one medium, and
one rather stiff, and the pattern looks good in the medium-drapey, the one
made in the more drapey fabric often looks cheap, like it wasn't well cut,
and the stiff one looks like a circus tent.  


Re: Fabric choice help please

Anne Donnelly wrote:
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Thanks Beverly and Kay. I've a better understanding now of the possible
pitfalls of using heavier fabric. And also what some of the fabric names


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