By Jane Patrick
Good thing for friends. Thank God for friends who sew (thanks MK). Except for the occasional napkin hemming and pants shortening, I’m PJHHE (pre-junior high home ec) when it comes to sewing. This little roadblock, however, didn’t stop me from going along with my staff’s idea to weave and sew skirts to wear to our summer conferences.
I wanted to show off novelty yarns and created what I call my Dibby Dabs skirt, a potpourri of novelty yarns and pearl cotton in a variety of colors and textures. Though we went to the store to buy most of the novelty yarns, this project would be a wonderful way to create cloth from all those odds and ends you have leftover from other projects.
I elicited the assistance of my good friend Mary Kay Stoehr (former designer for Handwoven magazine during my tenure as editor), who was an accomplished seamstress by 12 and a home ec major in college.
Here are a few tips from our sewing session:
- Because the fabric was fairly loosely woven, we took the fabric immediately to the machine after cutting out the pieces and used a broad and long zigzag stitch around all of the pieces.
- To reduce bulk, we cut the facings from a lightweight cotton fabric.
- We lined the skirt, and to further reduce bulk, Mary Kay attached the facing to the top of the skirt and the lining to the facing.
- Mary Kay cut bias strips, about 1 ½” wide from the lining fabric and bound all of the raw seam edges.
- Before hemming, we let the skirt hang overnight to find its natural drape.
- For a bit of fun and accent, we added a silk ruffle along the bottom edge.
If you’re at TNNA or Convergence, stop by the booth to see our creations. Besides my sewing lesson, I learned that cutting into that handwoven fabric isn’t so scary after all—especially under the tutelage of an experienced friend.