Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Rooibos and Peony fabric choice dilemmas!

So my Rooibos and Peony patterns are altered and ready to go.  I had some existing fabric in my stash that I could possibly use, but I also bought some new fabric in a recent splurge in Ditto.

But now I've sat down and looked at the fabrics I am stumped about what to use!  I am totally overwhelmed by fabric, weight, composition, draperyness, it's all so confusing!  I usually just go for cotton poplins or twills when making things as they are so easy to find and don't scare me.  But I really fancied trying something a bit different with these makes.

But onto the actual possible choices.  First up Peony:

I have this lovely cotton sateen in my stash, it's heavy and quite stiff, but still has movement:

It's quite thick though and I wasn't sure it's work with this dress pattern, it feels like it needs something lighter.

I found this lush viscose fabric in Ditto, it is so soft and drapey and lovely I just fell for it.

But this pattern recommends a crisp fabric, and this fabric is anything but crisp!  The pattern actually suggests a poplin, but this is something that Karen at Did you make that, does not recommend.  And she's made up a fab version of this dress, so she should know!  So could I get away with a drapey soft soft fabric rather than something more crisp and stiff?

Is it worth doing a wearable muslin in a poplin to see whether the pattern works better with stiff or drapey?


And then there's my possible choice for Rooibos:

I wanted a nice thick warm fabric and was looking for a gabardine, but have struggled to find any, and anyway is wool gabardine machine washable? If not can you get a cotton/wool mix?? 

I did find this lovely olive green needlecord with orange running through it.  It was so hard to photograph though!.
But now I have it home it seems really drapey and I think drapey is bad with Rooibos, I want stiff right?  Also it is fairly light (for a corduroy) which I think is also bad. 

I did also buy some more needlcord, it's almost velvety, the cording is so fine. 

But it has a pattern on it, and Rooibos has a lot of seams, so I wasn't sure it would work for this make.  I just couldn't pass up this cord, it' so pretty!

Argh maybe I should just buy a cotton twill and be done with it. I so wanted to be more adventurous with my fabric choice though.

I repeat, help!


  1. Came here via Jellybean and cannot resist adding my tuppence-worth!

    The Peony - is the viscose a stretch fabric? Because assuming it's a woven, personally what I'd do is underline it with cotton batiste to give it a bit more weight and structure without too much thickness. It is gorgeous, and I'd be nervous about a heavily bust-darted style in the thicker sateen.

    The Rooibos - either cord would probably work. I accept that it's hard to tell just from a picture, but that orange/green needlecord doesn't look *too* drapy. A drapier fabric will still work, I think - it'll just result in a softer, more fluid skirt than a stiff triangle, if you see what I mean. If you go for the brown patterned stuff, how about adding some cream piping to bring out the seams?

    *toddles off*

  2. On the positive you've options!! I'm afraid I'm not an expert on peony, so will only comment on rooibos. I've made it once out of quite lightweight linen, so I suspect fine cord would be ok. I'd be tempted to go for kerpow golden cord and graduate onto the ditsy velvet cord for #2 when you are confident to add piping to the pockets?! Woo hoo! You are so close to cutting out, I can feel it!

  3. Hm I plan to make the Peony, but have filed away Karen's tip that something drapey is best so maybe steer away from anything too stiff - maybe the viscose? I reckon that'd make a great Peony.

    As for the Rooibos, I've made three, and yes, you definitely don't want anything too drapey or it just won't sit right. I have never sewn with needle cord but I would imagine it's probably a good fabric for it. As for the patterned fabric - yep Rooibos has a lot of seams, but it looks to be quite a small pattern which I'd say would probably be fine.

    Looking forward to seeing the finished items!

  4. for the peony I think either would work. The sateen would make a dress similar to the example ones, and the print would make a more flowy dress. you could always underline the fabric to make it a little more crisp/stiff.

    for the rooibos I think i'd go for the print. it's quite a small print so the seam lines shouldn't be a problem, and you could even add piping on some of the seamlines to accentuate them (for example like this version:

  5. Just seen stitchandtwitter made a peony from a bed sheet ... And agree with Carly on rooibos. The viscose wouldn't work for that one. Would the sateen be a possibility for the rooibos as well? Maybe that helps decide on peony choice- process of elimination!!

  6. Oh god I've never made either so I'm really no help at all to you... but I just had to say that I love that needle cord! I think the idea of cream piping with it is lovely too.

    Looking forward to seeing what you decide!

  7. Karen here! There might be a bit of confusion here. I said I'd recommend avoiding crisp cottons for the Peony, so a poplin might be good. Nice suggestion from Lucy re underlining it. I'd look at the bodice darts in the Peony and try to imagine how obvious they're going to be in your fabric choice. My taffeta seemed to just make them melt away out of sight. I think cord would be perfect for the Rooibos!


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