Gabriola Sew-Along: Let’s Talk Fabric and Supplies!

The Gabriola Sew-Along starts in just a few short weeks. So let’s have a quick chat about fabric choices.

For the Gabriola Skirt, we suggest light to medium weight woven fabrics. Some examples are rayon challis, crepe, woven cottons like voile or lawn, shirting, or even cotton/linen blends! This skirt is not lined so we want something opaque, but it’s quite a flowy style so we don’t want anything that is too stiff. Consider when you plan on wearing your skirt while you choose your fabric. If it’s going to be a summer skirt, stick with natural fibers! A polyester maxi skirt in the summer would not be fun.

I found some great fabric options from around the web. You can click the number below the photo and it will lead you to the source.


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

Remember, if you are using striped or plaid fabric, you’ll want to get extra fabric to be sure you can match things up nicely.

There are handy lengthen and shorten lines on the pattern pieces. If you are taller or more petite, you may want to check the finished length measurements on the back of the pattern envelope, and lengthen or shorten your pieces right away.

If you’re participating in the sew-along with me, beginning Monday, March 17th, you’ll want to have your fabric cut out, and make sure you have gathered all your materials.


We wont be using the zipper or button until a later date, so those are not urgent. But you will definitely need thread and interfacing.

Want to see my fabric?


It’s a gorgeous viscose satin print from TÉLIO. It’s the same fabric base that I used for my Saltspring dress from the previous sew-along, just a different print. Goodness, I love this fabric. It’s soft, flowy, and luxurious.

If you still haven’t ordered your pattern, you can do so in our shop. If you are shopping for fabric and supplies and need to know how much to get, you can see the envelope back in PDF format here (metric version here).

I always suggest pre-washing fabric, especially if it’s a natural fiber like cotton or rayon – natural fibers will shrink in the wash. Pre-wash your fabric once or twice, the same way you will wash your finished garment, and then cut out your pieces!

We’ll be back between now and the beginning of the sew-along with some pattern tester versions! Happy prepping everyone!

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29 Responses to Gabriola Sew-Along: Let’s Talk Fabric and Supplies!

  1. aspen @ little green orchids March 3, 2014 at 7:09 am #

    I’m getting so excited for this. My first sew-along! I chose a solid navy blue rayon challis but seeing some of those fabric options you posted is giving me a little bit of buyer’s remorse. :) And oh my goodness your viscose satin is stunning. Wowza. Crossing my fingers my pattern arrives in time!

  2. Kristin March 3, 2014 at 8:46 am #

    Would a chambray work for this skirt?

  3. elle March 3, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    I notice the (utterly gorgeous) silk crepe de chine you linked to is described as semi-sheer. How would you suggest lining this if you absolutely needed to?

    • Caroline Amanda March 4, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

      Hi Elle! Good catch. I totally did not see that in the fabric description, I was just so smitten with the print and to me, crepe de chine is so rarely sheer I did not even consider that it could be. From the photo it looks like it still may not need to be lined. BUT, if it did, it would be pretty easy to add a lining to the Gabriola skirt. My first instinct would be to cut all of the skirt pieces out of lining as well, and attach the lining to the skirt before we attach the waistband. I am going to explore this a bit and do a post about it. Bear with me, I’m working on it. Thanks for bringing this up!

      • elle March 8, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

        Thank you! I’m such a newbie to sewing that any tips are hugely appreciated. And I don’t blame you being smitten by that print – it’s a stunner!

  4. Sarah March 3, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

    Another who can’t wait for the sewalong and hoping the pattern arrives in time (Australia)!

    My question is similar to Elle’s. I know you have said that the skirt isn’t lined, but most of the light weight fabrics that I have looked at would need lining. Would you consider including a step in the sewalong for those of us who want to do this?

    Absolutely love the new patterns, can’t wait for the blouse in April. :)

    • Ada March 4, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

      Oh, I second this! I bought some gorgeous (cheap) lightweight fabric last summer for a maxi skirt and I never ended up using it. I’d love to make the Gabriola skirt but this stuff is sheer, and it really needs to be lined.

      • Caroline Amanda March 4, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

        Hi Ada. I’m on it! I’m going to explore the best way to line this skirt and write a post about it for the sew-along. Thanks for the suggestion!

    • Caroline Amanda March 4, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

      Hi Sarah, absolutely! It seems like there are lots of questions about adding a lining, so I’m going to explore this and write a post about adding a lining. It’s totally do-able, but I’d just like to test it out to be sure it works and take some photos so I can walk you guys through it. I’m on it! Thanks for the suggestion :)

  5. Susan March 4, 2014 at 9:29 am #

    Hello! I love #6 but the link doesn’t work. Can you tell me about it?

  6. Sue March 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    I’m all set, but looking at the sizing chart, I’m a bit concerned. I have a 72cm waist, but my hips are 88cm, will I be able to grade from an 8 (waist) to 0 (hips)? Seems like a big jump??

    • Caroline Amanda March 4, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

      Hi Sue! Yes our sizing is based on a pear shaped figure, which is why you would span so many sizes if you are not pear shaped. The good news is that the skirt should be fitted at the waist (where the waistband is), and it would be great even if it is not super snug at the hips. I feel part of the beauty of this skirt is it’s flowy silhouette so if it’s a bit loose at the hips it would still look lovely. You could grade down at the hips but I don’t think you would need to grade quite so much. you can perhaps grade to a 4 or 6 at the hips and see how it looks in a muslin. Hope this helps! Would it help if I did a post about grading between sizes? Let me know :)

      • Rose March 5, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

        Yes, a post about grading would be wonderful. I’m a waist 10 – hips 8.
        Also, I am tall – I will probably need to add an inch or two to the length. Is
        there an adjustment line on the pattern?
        Thank you!

  7. barbara March 6, 2014 at 1:10 am #

    my pattern arrived today, id love to join in. I have a hankering for a velvet skirt, a winter skirt to wear to the opera, how do you think velvet would work? mind you I am having trouble finding any velvet.

  8. Laura March 9, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

    I would really appreciate a post on grading. Thanks!

  9. Sewbusylizzy March 11, 2014 at 2:24 am #

    Do you think this skirt would work in a silk charmuese?

  10. Natalie March 12, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

    I just posted (and then deleted) a comment on your fanpage asking about any sewalongs! haha

    I just started a blog for my newbie sewing adventures and have been looking for sewalongs – super excited to take part in one from a local Vancouver seamstress!

    When exactly is this going to start? Want to make sure I get fabric in time :)

    • Caroline Amanda March 13, 2014 at 7:41 am #

      Hey Natalie! The sew along starts on Monday, but we’ll be going at a super manageable pace, so don’t worry if you need to start a bit later. Looking forward to having you join us!

  11. Sandra March 20, 2014 at 6:34 am #

    Hey Caroline,
    I am doing the sew along. Thou I am a litte behind schedule. I chose a flowy viscose fabric. I am trying to get the fabric laid out properly. It always slips and I am afraid to not get the grainlines aligned. Any tips on how I can make sure the grain is fine and how I can cut it easier?
    Thanks a lot.

    • Caroline Amanda March 27, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

      Oh my goodness I’m so sorry Sandra, I totally missed you comments and am now probably much too late! In terms of ease of cutting the fabric – I have heard that using fabric starch to stiffen the fabric will help it not be so slippery and tough to manage (it will wash out afterwards). Gertie also did a post about cutting with tissue paper that really made me want to try it!
      Personally, I just use lots of pins and pattern weights, and go really slowly with a good quality chalk pen to trace my pieces.
      For the grain, you can lay your fabric flat and take your time lining things up so that the fold is smooth and your grainline looks good, and then pin two layers along the selvedge to secure them together so the fabric doesn’t shift.
      Hope this helps for the future!

  12. Natalie March 20, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

    What about a sketch jersey? ;) I have so much of that type of material atm

    • Caroline Amanda March 27, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

      Hi Natalie – so sorry for the late reply, it seems I missed your comment! I don’t think that jersey would work for this pattern, with all of the bias seams I don’t think it will hang right – it would need a good amount of changes and fitting for it to work in a jersey.

  13. Ali Boncha March 29, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

    I have a question on the amount of fabric needed and laying out the fabric for cutting! I have fabric that has the same pattern on right and wrong sides (its actually the black version of #8 from your fabric suggestions above!).

    As I am laying out the pattern pieces for cutting…it SEEMS I can save quite a bit of fabric by cutting out pieces 1 and 3 differently. Following the instructions for view B, 44″ fabric…pieces 1 and 3 are laid out one after the other. BUT if I lay them out #1 on fold and #3 on top portion of fabric (I’d have to flip #3 horizontally for this to work)…well then…it seems I can save fabric! Am I going to run into any problems cutting out the pattern pieces this way??

    • Ali Boncha March 29, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

      P.S. in case it’s easier to see pictures, I took pictures of the two cutting variations and asked this same question to a sewing group online. You can see the post here:

    • Caroline Amanda March 29, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

      Hi Ali, I noticed from your sewing group board that you already did cut it out, but I thought I’d answer anyways! It wont make any difference, so better to save fabric for sure. We have to create these cutting layouts with the largest size in mind (size 16), I’m not positive but I’m pretty sure that the size 16 would probably not have worked with your layout on 44″ fabric, which is why we had to lay it out the way we did. Since your fabric does not have a directional design, you are good to cut however you’d like as long as you follow the grainlines. :) Happy sewing!

  14. maymunah September 22, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    hi tashia I love that fabric from telio how can I buy fabric from them