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Rayon Challis vs Viscose Poplin

Rayon Challis vs Viscose Poplin compared by Skirt Fixation

Today I’m exploring the difference between rayon and viscose, and between challis and poplin.  In all the pictures, the rayon challis fabric is on the left and the viscose poplin fabric is on the right.

So what exactly is the difference between rayon challis and viscose poplin?  That was a question in my mind, for quite some time.  But since sewing with and wearing both fabrics, and doing some extra research, I think I have some answers.

First of all, we have to split each of these fabrics into two parts.  Rayon and challis, viscose and poplin.  You see, the first word refers to the material the fabric is made from, and the second word basically refers to the weave of each of them.

Rayon Challis vs Viscose Poplin compared by Skirt Fixation

So what is the difference between rayon and viscose?  For the home sewist, practically nothing.  They are basically the same thing, and since we’re not scientists, the tiny differences don’t really matter.  The only difference I could find is that viscose is usually made from bamboo while rayon can be from a wider variety of “plant matter and wood pulp, usually bamboo” and the two are processed the same way.  For cutting, sewing and wearing, rayon and viscose are essentially the same thing.  In fact I’ve even seen some fabric suppliers use the words interchangeably.  So the answer to the first part of the question is…there is not really any difference.

Rayon Challis vs Viscose Poplin compared by Skirt Fixation

Now what is the difference between challis and poplin?  Here the simple home sewist can differentiate a little bit.  Challis and poplin both refer to the weave of the fabric. Interestingly, challis can be made from wool, rayon, cotton, silk or manufactured blends.  Challis usually has a plain weave (each weft yarn passes alternately over and under each warp thread) but can occasionally be found with a twill (diagonal) weave.  Poplin has a very tight plain weave and originally had silk warm and wool weft threads.  Both challis and poplin should be sewn with a new or fine needle.

Rayon Challis vs Viscose Poplin compared by Skirt Fixation

Technical specifics for rayon challis vs viscose poplin:

Rayon Challis:

weight: 0-3.5 oz per yard

opacity: translucent

care: machine wash, tumble dry

width: 44” – 58”

drape: soft liquid

Viscose Poplin:  

weight: 120 gsm (3.5 oz per yard)

opacity: opaque

care: wash warm, dry flat, or dry clean

width: 58”

drape: very fluid

Rayon Challis vs Viscose Poplin compared by Skirt Fixation

Here you can see challis and poplin held up to the light.

Really you have to wear both of them to be able to feel the difference yourself.  It’s very, very subtle, and both are super nice fabrics!  For me, the rayon challis feels a little lighter with a little more drape.  The viscose poplin feels slightly softer, and doesn’t conform to the body quite as much.

Rayon Challis vs Viscose Poplin compared by Skirt Fixation

Here is a comparison of the plain fabric so you can see the drape side by side.

But there are a few differences, so I thought you might appreciate knowing everything I know!  Leave a comment, did I miss anything in this comparison of rayon challis vs. viscose poplin?

Pattern Used: Phoenix Blouse by Hey June Patterns

Fabrics Used:

Rayon Challis from CaliFabrics (review and thoughts on wearing rayon challis in the fall here)

Viscose Poplin fabric from Blackbird Fabrics.  Sold out, but can be found here.  

Rayon Challis vs Viscose Poplin compared by Skirt Fixation

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The Summer of the Phoenix Blouse {part 2}

Phoenix Blouse sewed and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

A while back, I promised this was going to be the summer of the Phoenix Blouse.  So it’s about time for another post about the Phoenix Blouse, don’t you think?  Don’t worry, I’ll make up for it with 2 posts about it this week, okay?

Phoenix Blouse sewed and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

When Aria saw the Phoenix Blouse I sewed for myself, she “needed” one.  And I get it, I “need” a few more myself!  After trying on my Phoenix Blouse, she had some exact requests for her Phoenix Blouse.  She wanted the Amalfi Dress sleeves and for the Phoenix Blouse to be a little more fitted.  These were easy adjustments to make!

To make Aria’s Phoenix Blouse more fitted, we simply basted the sides of the size 6.  Then she tried it on inside out.  I pinned the sides to the amount of fitted-ness that she requested, and then I sewed up the side seams.  

Phoenix Blouse sewed and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

The Phoenix Blouse is made to have the sleeves from the Amalfi Dress fit, so that was an easy adjustment too.  Both patterns are designed by Hey June Patterns, and she deliberately made these two patterns work together.  We just used the size 6 sleeves from the Amalfi Dress pattern, and lengthened them a little so they hit right at Aria’s elbow after hemming.  

Phoenix Blouse sewed and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

Just like on my blouse, we used layers of blue lace on the front yoke.  It creates such a cute boho look! 

The fabric is rayon challis from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  You can find it right here.  It’s perfectly soft and drapey and also cool to wear in hot weather.  Aria has gotten many, many compliments while wearing her new Phoenix Blouse.

Phoenix Blouse sewed and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

To go with her new blouse, Aria requested a new skirt.  She settled on a Runway Skirt made from black stretch sateen with black rayon challis godets.  

Because we were using woven fabric (and the Runway Skirt is designed for knit fabric) we decided to go up a size from where Aria was on the measurement chart.  This was a mistake because we ended up taking the skirt in at every seam (after these photos were taken.)  Next time we sew a woven Runway Skirt, we’ll just stick with the regular size.  The skirt is not designed with negative ease, so making it with woven fabric, or even stretch woven fabric is not an issue as there is a zipper in the back.  Lesson learned!

Phoenix Blouse sewed and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

While Aria can and does sew her own clothes, recently we’ve come to an agreement.  If she cuts out the fabric, I’ll sew it up for her…especially if I’m making two of the same pattern like I was this time.  But more on that in the next post…

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Double Circle Maxi Skirt for Summer

Double circle maxi skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

As I mentioned yesterday, I ordered another summer fabric from the Summer CLUB fabric line at Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  It’s called bubble stripe and I got the version on rayon challis.  (It also comes on jersey knit or french terry.)  This rayon challis is very easy to work with and doesn’t shift and move while you are working with it, like other rayon tends to do.  

Double circle maxi skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

Annie requested a summer maxi skirt.  Since there were a few ideas in my head I wanted to try out, I agreed!  Enter the double circle maxi skirt.  I’m not sure how successfully these worked out in person, so please chime in with your opinion!  I’ve broken the look down into separate ideas I tried with notes/thoughts on the success of that part.

Double circle maxi skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

Idea #1  Double circle skirt:

I used Dana of Made Everyday’s video tutorial for making circle skirts.  The double circle maxi skirt compounds the fun of a circle skirt, and I think this part works well!

Double circle maxi skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

Idea #2 Stripes on Stripes

For the top fabric, I used rayon challis in bubble stripe.  It’s lightweight, floaty, and simply divine for a circle skirt.  The colors are perfect for summer, and the bubbles are not such obvious stripes that they clash with the stripes underneath.  I think this part works too!

Double circle maxi skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

Idea #3 Different types of circles

The top circle skirt is a full circle skirt.  The reason there are side seams is because of a personal error where I forgot to make the 2nd fold.  Embarrassing!!!  But it’s still a full circle.  The skirt underneath is a 1/2 circle skirt with just a seam in the back.  Each would make a great skirt on it’s own, but the dichotomy between the two fullnesses doesn’t quite work, in my opinion.

Double circle maxi skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

Idea #4 Different fabric substrates

The top circle skirt is rayon challis, while the green stripes underneath are a rayon spandex knit.  Because the two fabrics have different weights and drape differently (which could also be part of the difference in fullnesses discussed in idea #3) so this idea is not grabbing me either.

Double circle maxi skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

Idea #5 Maxi circle skirt

With 60” wide fabric, about the longest you can make a full circle skirt is 25 inches.  (It depends on the waist measurement, but this is a child’s measurement, so an adult’s circle skirt will not be any longer.)  But Annie wanted a maxi circle skirt, so that was the reason for using a 1/2 circle underneath.  It’s possible to make a 1/2 circle skirt longer.  However, I think the difference between the two circles is too great.  Perhaps adding another layer in-between to break up the large gap would work better.  The top layer is 25” long, the bottom is 31” long, so adding a layer at 28” would bridge the gap.  You can see an example of a three layer circle skirt we made here.  Another option would be to use our tutorial for making a longer circle skirt with narrow fabric here.

Double circle maxi skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

You know what’s funny though?  All this dissection of the pattern and analysis of the elements of this skirt are only in my brain.  Annie has NO issues with this skirt!  She loves it, and that’s what I need to focus on, right?

Double circle maxi skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

I’m linking this up to the Streak, Stroke, Stripe! sew along at Project Run & Play, even thought I’m not eligible to win!  But you should link up any stripes you’ve sewn so you have a chance to win!

Double circle maxi skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

Leave me a comment with your thoughts and opinions on this skirt.   Or let me know what you do when you overanalyze something you’ve created.

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Women’s Vivienne Skirt {All The Skirts: Violette Field Threads & Raspberry Creek Fabrics}

Women's Vivienne skirt pattern sewn by Violette Field Threads with fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics

Women's Vivienne skirt pattern sewn by Violette Field Threads with fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics

As promised, today we have the final skirt for our All The Skirts series with Violette Field Threads and Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  The women’s Vivienne Skirt is our final sew for this edition of All The Skirts.

Women's Vivienne skirt pattern sewn by Violette Field Threads with fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics

The women’s Vivienne pattern comes with a skirt and blouse pattern.  Let’s start with the skirt.  The women’s Vivienne skirt has the same look and silhouette as the girl’s Vivienne skirt, with one main difference; the overskirt is reversible and removable.  That gives this pattern 3 different looks, making it very versatile.

Women's Vivienne skirt pattern sewn by Violette Field Threads with fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics

The Vivienne overskirt can be made in 9 sizes from 0 to 16.  The blouse and underskirt can be made in 7 different sizes from XXS to XXL.  The underskirt has an elastic waist which is the cause for the sizing options above.

Women's Vivienne skirt pattern sewn by Violette Field Threads with fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics

We opted to eliminate the buttons on the Vivienne overskirt at Allegra’s request.  Our overskirt stays in place by hidden snaps on either side.  This pattern, when made in all black as we did, can be a sneaky 3 piece Little Black Dress.

Women's Vivienne skirt pattern sewn by Violette Field Threads with fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics

The Vivienne patterns are easy to follow and have complete photo illustrations.  This pattern is not a fast sewing project, but the outcome is worth it.

Women's Vivienne skirt pattern sewn by Violette Field Threads with fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics

The fabrics we used for the Vivienne skirt came from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  The black rayon challis we used for the underskirt is the perfect material for that purpose as it ruffles beautifully.  But (confession time here) we also used it for one side of the overskirt, which was not one of the recommended fabrics, and now we know why.  We can now tell you with authority that you should use the same weight fabric for both sides of the overskirt.  I (Audrey) fought and fought and fought to get the two sides of the overskirt to lay right and never managed to get it completely to my satisfaction.  This is NOT the fault of the fabric or the pattern, just poor decision making on my part.  In fact, what I will probably end up doing is taking the overskirt apart and replacing the black rayon challis with a different fabric which is the same weight as the beautiful brick red lightweight chambray interweave cotton on the other side of the overskirt.  Lesson learned.

Women's Vivienne skirt pattern sewn by Violette Field Threads with fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics

The Vivienne blouse is a loose fitting blouse with buttons up the back and gathered sleeves.  We used a lightweight black knit fabric from Girl Charlee, and the only change we made was to topstitch the neck facing in place to prevent it from rolling to the outer side.  I can see many more of the Vivienne pattern in the future!

Women's Vivienne skirt pattern sewn by Violette Field Threads with fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics

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