Wintry Pavlova Fabric Picks & Position 1

Wintry Pavlova In Woolens 2 | Cake Patterns | American Duchess

Two weeks ago, I shared with you Lauren American Duchess’ Wintry Pavlova photoshoot. It’s our “Position 1” for the Pavlova Skirt- a drapey but solid fabric. has a few references created from this skirt including a lace faced hem, seam binding on Pavlova and the waist binding page.

The thing to remember about circle skirts is that even shorter circles are voluminous.   One side effect is that a circle skirt, more than any other skirt, is defined by the type of fabric used to construct it.  This wintry version is made in a soft wool suiting, though it could be used for a coat as well.  It has a quiet windowpane check and a gentle napped surface.


It also features in the Pavlova Fingertip Knowledge swatch book.  This is a drapey yet solid fabric in a neutral color (or colors, depending on how you see it) that slinks close to the body, which creates a silhouette that slips easily into modern life.

Fabric Shopping Guide

In the lead up to the Pavlova 30 Minutes A Day sewalong, I had a few questions about fabric shopping online.  In the interests of simplicity, and because I trust them, I say go to  I did a little “fabric shopping” at to turn up a few sample fabrics that would give much the same “feel” as the Wintry Pavlova.  I hope this helps as a guide for shopping (or using what you have on hand).

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This one is not neutral, but I think it’d look smashing on the right person, and it should drape much like the Wintry Pavlova. (swatch it first)

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A pretty weave like this would make a nice Pavlova skirt. Just check it isn’t terribly bulky.

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I almost, almost made Lauren’s skirt in houdstooth.  I bet it would be delicious…

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As a wildcard, I picked out this double sided plushy flannel.  I haven’t tried it, but unless it’s wicked bulky this could work.

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A herringbone weave wool is another good choice for a dependable wardrobe basic.  It’s a tough weave, quiet but visually interesting in a finished garment.

Always swatch and probably test-wash first.  “Dry Clean Only” doesn’t mean much.

Shipping Updates

Day 1 Shipping Updates

The Pavlova Pattern is making its way to sewing rooms in Brisbane and Melbourne today!  When you get yours, let me know!  (And psst, check out the Pavlova Sizing Guide I wrote over the weekend.)

Which is your favorite wintry pick above?  I think I’m most tempted by the houndstooth…


  1. Personally I think the Green herringbone is gorgeous (but not my colour). The houndstooth would be fabulous (and so classic)! I think I’m going to use my tencel for the skirt, but I haven’t got a knit fabric for the top. I need to look at my tencel in the daylight but if I recall correctly it is a dark grey / donkey colour. I’m thinking that a nice baby pink top may work. I have some watermelon pink in my stash but I just think it would overwhelm the skirt. I think I shall have to go for a meander at The Fabric Store to assist me! Kelly green, purple or baby blue could also work perhaps…

    • Tencel would be very nice. :) Oooh you mean from Sewco? Yes, that will work well. Pale pink and donkey sounds lovely… You have good taste, Dianne, I’m sure yours will be lovely.

  2. hmm, also not really my colours. i think i am going to use a red twill i thrifted. i also have some denim but worried after reading this that they won’t be drapey enough?

    • They’re not so much mine, either, BUT they show a good sampling of weaves that would work to make a suiting type skirt. The weaves, the drape. For me, the color, not so much.

      We’ll talk twill tonight. :) Also, all twills are not created equal. A lighterweight twill (or one that’s been worn in a bit) is much much drapier than a medium to heavy weight twill. And then silk twills are very very drapey, while cotton twill (like denim) can be very stiff. Twill is interesting.

  3. I like the green herringbone and the pink ‘tweedy’ weave, but I’m making a summer Pavlova and I’ve already ordered my fabrics – navy & white polka dot cotton sateen, and some chartreuse coloured bamboo knit.
    Can’t wait to start!

  4. Got my pattern today! I’m in Seattle, WA. Still a bit freezing here, but I think I’m going to go for a springy Pavlova anyway. Off to shop my stash!

  5. I love that houndstooth! When I was in college, one of my favorite skirts was a knee-length, pleated, black/white houndstooth skirt.

  6. I just got home from work (here in Pennsylvania) and my pattern was in the mailbox! I’m in the Strawberry house. The houndstooth would make a very classy Pavlova skirt. I love the colors in the weave fabric too. I’m making my skirt in an off white medium weight linen that has darker threads running through it. Can’t wait to start!

    • Oooh, that will be lovely. :) You probably have, but I wanted to mention pre-washing…. Linen loves it. :) And your ripples will have such a great bounce, too, from the linen fibers.

  7. Hi Steph, My passionfruit yellow Pavlova has just arrived here in Adelaide. Can’t wait to get started! Thanks Kim x

    Sent from my iPad

  8. I am a little partial to the pink fabrics but I always tend to buy the greys or brown shades, especially for winter. It seems like such a versatile pattern that I can picture it in many different fabrics. A slight, slight, chill in the air this morning here in Brisbane Steph, or am I just imagining it! A wintery pavlova might not be too far away :)

    • Yes, it is a bit cool this morning. I appreciate it, and also the rainy and cloud cover we had last month. The long summer is over! Time for the easy months of the year… :)

    • Ooh, so just a little jealous! Would love to go to Mood. There seems like so many fabrics to chose from, or maybe I just watch a little too much Project Runway.

  9. I’m in Lincoln Nebraska and received my Pavlova today – I still need to shop for fabrics, but I’m so excited to get started!

  10. Hi Steph,
    My pattern was waiting for me when I got home this evening in Healesville Victoria. Thank you it looks beautiful and I can’t wait to start making.

  11. I am so excited – got the shipped notice from etsy so mine is on its way to Malta:)… love the herringbone – great green – and kind of like the pinky/beigey tweed too. I have a couple of beautiful wool suiting fabrics from the men’s shop I told you about – Dormeuil – wool/mohair and microlight twill in black and in grey – plus a smooth beigey brown tweed which is drapey enough for this skirt…. they are very insistent on not washing – but I hate drycleaning, because of the chemicals, the hassle, and the not clean feel without water – so nowadays I wash everything before sewing! I am not going to with these fabrics because they are pre-shrunk, but I am going to measure off and wash a piece after they’re made to see how the fabric goes. Hopefully I can keep on washing them…..

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