Wednesday, August 12, 2020

A Patchwork Skirt

My friend Mr. Preston texted me early one morning back in May sometime. He was getting in some repro 80's style parody t shirts, and thought I might like one. Of course I wanted one! While I waited the few weeks til he got them in I decided it was a good time to make a patchwork skirt to go with the new tshirt. 

I've wanted to make a patchwork skirt for awhile. I saved a bunch of images last year of patchwork skirts from the 60's, 70's and 80's. They are all cute and I love how they go with anything. I remember having some clothes made of not real patchwork back in the 90's, but patchwork printed fabric so it looked like patchwork without, well, all the work. 😂

A lot of the earlier patchwork skirts I looked at seemed to be made of simple blocks sewn together into a tube with a drawstring or elastic waist, and sometimes a slit for leg movement. I did find one from, according to the site it was listed on, the 60's and it intrigued me since it was made of a series of graduated blocks, smaller at the waist and largest at the hem. This made a very pretty shape without the need of elastics or drawstrings or slits. I decided to go with that style, even though my tshirt is from two decades later. 

Some simple math later I had made paper templates for all my blocks and it was time to choose fabrics from my stash. It was fun looking at the different combinations and deciding how to lay them out. I like my end product a lot! Each fabric is meaningful to me in different ways. Some of the fabrics are truly quite old and vintage and some are new - like the soft yellow that I used for Rosie's birthday dress back in April. While I sewed this skirt my Grandma was dying of cancer and so a lot of thoughts of her are stitched into the dress as she was constantly on my mind. 

I wanted to do a good job making this so I took the time to try to match all the seams nicely and serged every seam. Then, to protect the seams further from wear and tear I put in a lining. The waist came out a little big so I had to ease it to a binding to fit my waist and that is probably the only thing I don't like about the skirt. I would prefer it if it fit smoothly without easing but this is how it had to be! 

My shirt came in late June and I love it! I don't wear tshirts a lot but this one is certainly a favorite. I wore it on the 4th of July as an attempt at red-white-and-blue and my son took some pictures for me at Fort Salem, a sacred site near here. My Grandma was not expected to make it through the day (although she did, passing a few days later) so she was very present in my mind. I brought my flute out and my drum as it seemed the right thing to do. Later that night I went to a nature preserve with Malachi and brought my guitar. We watched the sunset and saw a beautiful turtle and just enjoyed the moments. They all seemed precious as they dropped off, one by one, to the time of my Grandmas crossing.

I like the skirt with other shirts too - like I mentioned, these skirts go with anything! This white blouse with yellow embroidery is one I've worn to death since getting at Goodwill a few years ago. I really need to make a replacement blouse for it. Actually, I think I have. . .but I still have kept, and wear, this one! 😂

Making this skirt was a slow process of love and memories. It did make me realize I need to make a few more skirts. I am down to just a few I wear in regular rotation and all my others are pretty well faded and not so nice anymore. I currently am making a set of cape dresses for a friend but once I have completed those, maybe I will make another skirt. There are lots of different patchwork styles I could try. Or I could just go with my usual, basic, peasant skirt. I am liking fitted waists again and would like a few skirts that are more structured, maybe with buttons and pockets. Maybe corduroy for cooler weather. Because, yes, the weather is cooling and soon autumn will be here and my heart is so, so glad. I so love this time. Mabon comes. 



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