Saturday, March 12, 2011

Embroidered skirt

Here is a pic of an embroidered skirt I´ve just finished (with the green funked out peasant blouse I finished last year). I drew up the pattern for the skirt myself after reading Cal Patch´s wonderful book Design It Yourself: Patternmaking Simplified. It is the same pattern as my blue skirt, but slightly longer and with two inches less sweep.

This is the front of the skirt (it is even in real life - I´ve just taken the photo on a slight angle). The embroidery motif is from Alison Willoughby´s book 49 Sensational Skirts: Creative Embellishments for One of a Kind Designs. This is number 28, the Running in Circles embellishment (although in the book they did more circles on a longer skirt). The book comes with one skirt pattern, but it has 49 different ways to embellish the skirt. My next one will probably be number 30, the X-stitch embellishment. I really like the book. Although I wouldn´t necessarily make 49 skirts, it does have so many original embellishment ideas that I haven´t seen anywhere else, that it is quite inspirational. It is also supporting the recycling of old materials and fabrics, or the embellishing vintage skirts, which is also a good thing (fits in with the whole Alabama Chanin philosophy too). I could imagine trying to mix some of the ideas from these two books together, on a pattern of I´ve made myself with the Cal Patch book. Mmm...

A close up of the front embroidered circle. The embroidery wasn´t hard to do. You just use a an embroidery hoop and start from the outside working in, following the shape of the hoop. It´s all one long line, going round and round., finishing in the middle. Once the first outer circle is done, it´s just a matter of keeping the lines an equal distance from the line before.

This is the back of the skirt and a close up pic, although the camera is having trouble with exposure because the skirt material is so dark. There is no pattern to the colour changes of the embroidery. I just had three colours (dark green, medium dark green, and deep sea blue), and I changed colour whenever the thread ended. As the circles are different sizes, the colours end up changing at random points. I contemplated doing more circles on the front and back, but I think it would have been too much on a short skirt.

I wanted to do something a bit different for the hem, but I didn´t want it to detract from the embroidery. So I did an 1 1/2 inch band, with random pin tuck pleats. It is barely visible, but I guess at least I know they are there ;o). The hem is in two pieces: inner and outer side. Only the outer bit has the pleats and I added them on the pattern piece, cutting it and extending the piece out by 1/4 inch for every pleat. The pleats were then marked with pen on the fabric, ironed in place and sewn down. Then the hem band was sewn by hand onto the skirt in the usual way.

The entrance to the Marlborough Sounds, Cook Strait, South Island, New Zealand


Kerrie said...

You did a gorgeous job on this skirt! That embroidery makes all the difference. Keep it up, and you will be able to open up a shop :)

Jo said...

Your skirt is just beautiful! I found you via the Design-it-yourself Flickr group. And the embellishment is lovely, very inspiring. I'm going to go and pin you on my Pinterest 'sewing inspiration' board :-)

Kiwibear 153 said...

Thank you! Sorry, I only just noticed your comment (must have my comment notifications switched off somehow).