Thursday, 21 August 2014

Cheers! The Champagne Skirt by Capital Chic

A short while ago, Sally from Charity Shop Chic launched a collection of patterns under her label Capital Chic. If you follow Sally's blog, you'll know that she's all about re-creating high fashion, sophisticated looks on a budget, and this ethos is carried through into her pattern collection. These are minimal, grown-up pieces which would work well in the office, or take you through to drinks in the evening.

I'm lucky enough to know Sally, and she was kind enough to offer me a free download to try out. I jumped at the chance to try out the Champagne Skirt:

Sally in the Champagne skirt - she does all her own modelling!

It's a pencil skirt, and it has frills - what isn't there to like!? I decided this would be a perfect work skirt for me.

Out came the scissors and tape - all of Capital Chic's patterns are PDF downloads - and I quickly put it all together. I've only ever used 1 PDF pattern before, and the download of that didn't go well (wrong size, etc), but this was a breeze. Sally has obviously put loads of work into making sure the assembly of the pattern is as pain-free as possible. There are lots of little numbers and letters in strategic places to help you match everything up, and nice clear cutting diagrams.

Enough of my waffling - here's my version:

I'm much more curvaceous than Sally, so the skirt is more figure hugging than in the website photo. I used a stretch sateen, meaning it could be tight without being uncomfortable, and lined it with a rose polyester. This is a size 14, which works well, though the wrinkles across the front are bothering me - either I need to add a bit of room across the hips in future versions, or I've just forgotten how to stand! Also, this fabric does tend to show every wrinkle, despite being black.

Back view
It's a pretty straight forward project, and only really took about a day of sewing to complete (probably less if you don't get distracted easily like I do). The instructions are clear, with excellent diagrams - check out this iron!:

Sally explains all the steps clearly and simply - I think a beginner could follow them easily - but of course I went rogue and used some of my own techniques. First,before I attached the frill to the skirt, I stitched it to it's lining, right sides facing. After trimming and clipping the seam I then turned the pieces right side out and under stitched the seam allowance towards the inside to give the hem a crisp finish. 

That probably sounds like gobbledygook, so here's a picture to help you understand:

The finished frill, with seam allowance under stitched to the inside. 
Then I attached the frill to the skirt, sandwiched between the lining and the body of the skirt; this seam was also under stitched.

I've worn this skirt to work several times already, and even had a few complements on it - this is definitely one I'd make again. Well done, Sally!

But don't just take my word for it - visit Capital Chic for yourself!


  1. I love it! This wasn't one that I was initially drawn too, but after seeing yours I am!

  2. Charity Shop Chic21 August 2014 at 09:55

    Ah I love it! it looks great on you. I love that you used red lining! Perfect fit as well, and what a great idea to use a stretch sateen to allow a closer fit.
    HAHA I'm glad you liked the iron, I had my actual iron out to draw it and I'm proud of my newly found drawing skills :)
    Also - I love your stockings!

  3. Oooh Nicole it is adorable - such a sultry skirt - & as Sally's patterns are designed to be work appropriate it's good to see how you've made a little black skirt pack a pretty punch! (I have one up my sleeve too .....nudge nudge wink wink ;-) )

  4. Gorgeous skirt, Nicole! I've always been put off by PDF patterns but maybe I'll have to give it a go, there seem to be a lot of good ones popping up lately, this one included.

  5. Really, really lovely Nicole - perfectly chic and perfectly you! I'm sure you'll wear it a lot. I like your stockings too! x

  6. This is lovely, the frill is so pretty and easier to walk in than a pencil skirt! Lynne

  7. What a great pattern the frill is adorable and so much more practical to move around in, I love pencil skirts but when you are late for work as I always seem to be, running like a loon for a bus is nigh on impossible! I will have to check this pattern out!

  8. Great skirt! It looks like such a universally-flattering and classic style. I've never used a PDF pattern before but you've given me hope!

  9. Fantastic fabric! Love the colors and the surfer dudes! Looks amazing on you!


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