Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Every Day Skirts

I love how my clothes have stories.
Take this staple-of-a-wardrobe brown skirt. It started out as an absolutely hideous pink wool jersey that I had purchased at Baer fabrics.  The wool jersey was so fantastic and so deeply on sale that I could not pass it up. I bought 5 yards. Something had to be done about the color, so I threw it in the dyepot, and threw it in the washer and carelessly tossed it in the dryer. And then I repeated.
Of course, it shrunk, and it was this beautiful, nubby, brown, earthy, soft, wooly piece of heaven. I just wanted to touch it and look at it. After I did that, inspiration hit and I actually CUT it. But not too much...it was like cutting out an A-line skirt for a super-size paper doll, and cutting two of them!
On to the serger...two side seams, and a pass around the top and bottom while stretching the fabric. Because, joy of joys, felting the jersey had not caused it to lose elasticity.
I've had this skirt now for 5 or 6 years. I always get compliments on it. It is the quintessential winter skirt for me, long enough to warm my legs, stretchy enough to hug my body through thin times and those other times, and stylishly simple enough to be versatile. Speaking of those "other times", I simply have to roll the top yoga-pant-style to give myself some extra room in there.
So that's "Brownie" and I present her to you in all her wrinkled, worn, out-of-the-dryer glory.
Another skirt with a story. "Stripey" started as 4 bags full of scrap fabric...the most precious scrap fabric imaginable. You see, a friend of my husband's is a long-time, well-known weaver around these here parts. She graciously gifted me with scraps of her hand-woven fabric, which I used some at school in projects with the children, but there were four bags.That's a lot of scrap fabric, and much of it was very small. What to do?
I just started at it, lovingly fondled the fabric, organized it by color and size (my laundry probably suffered that day!)and then I got inspired. I was going to make a skirt!
So, it's a little wobbly, and could definitely use some polishing, kind of like me. I took the lazy route with this one, too, and did it entirely on the serger, except for the elastic waist, where I even skimped there and just sewed the elastic to the right side of the fabric at the top, then folded it over and sewed the top seam, making sure the elastic didn't poke over the top. It WAS a challenge to sew all those pieces of fabric together, for they all had differing grains, and some were downright stretchy.
I tried once to correct this flaw by sewing rick-rack over the seams. That was 4 years ago. For four years, this skirt has needed finishing. I looked at that cutesy rick-rack and just lost heart. For God's sake, I'm 42. I'm supposed to be over rick-rack and on to grey linen. Well, finally, I mustered up the courage to rip off the rick rack and see the skirt for who it was. Without rick-rack, I was free to love again and the waistband went on when I had 5 minutes to sew. Now I've been "racking" up the compliments.

Here she is in all her wrinkled, out-of-the-dryer glory. The fabric is amazing. I am going to properly draft a pattern for this one and can see another, longer skirt made of recycled soft sweaters, or made of designer quilting fabric, scraps even.
So there you go.

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