Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Little Miss Africa

My African Gathered Skirt

Modelled by my tiny mannequin model. I had to clip the skirt back otherwise it would have dropped to the floor. Ooo to have a waist like that.

I bought the fabric off eBay the lady had bought it from a market stall in Zambia. I see a lot of African ladies wearing this type of fabric in their traditional wrap dresses, or whatever they are called.

I actually made this skirt a while back but still have to put a button on it and since it doesn't fit, I have been no hurry to add one.
 
When it arrived I decided I would make another gathered skirt my previous had an elastic waistband and was about ten sizes too small when I had finished with it. A boo boo to the nth degree. 

Anyway I just used the pattern I used before, aka two rectangles,  as I know that was fine and drafted a thick waistband. This was a very light fabric and frayed like there was no tomorrow, turn away for five minutes serious fraying, popped the kettle on, frays galore. At one point after leaving the room I was frightened of returning to an Hawaain skirt.

I used my overlock stitch on the machine as a temporary measure for the seams, but it was clear that this was going to be as effective as a chocolate fireguard. My overlock stitch seems to be only useful on fabrics with more body. Bounding the seam was the only obvious solution, oh how I wish I had an overlocker/serger.

To that end,  I sprinted to the market haberdashery the next day, returning home with brown bias binding in tow. Am telling ya this skirt needed to be whipped with it,  but I was feeling charitable so  just used it on the seams. I have to say the seams looked very pretty even if I say so myself, so will use that method again.

One thing I noted which I had forgotton was the original pattern did not have a hem allowance, so was a little short. Damn! So to preserve a little of what I could I bounded the hem. 

Am actually glad I did this, as since some shop bought bias binding can be a little stiff - it gave the very light fabric body which one likes for gathered and circle skirts. Call it a poor man's horsebraid, or poor womans if you are going all feminist on me. If I could fasten the button this would look uber cute and ideal for the summer. I live in hope though, so watch this space.
 
Bounded Seam.

Once I have shed a bit of the blubber - a couple of inches of the waist , or is it more ? Hmm - I will show you what it is like on. Don't hold your breath though, you're likely to be rushed to ICU.

Bye for now . . .


"In school we are given a lesson then test. In life we are given a test then a lesson"

 

31 comments:

  1. I wouldn't mind that waist AND that skirt! I think the bias binding makes it extra special and I hope that you get to wear it soon.

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  2. OHHHH this is so cute!!!! I love the bias binding on the hem!

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  3. This skirt is awesome, seriously awesome!

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  4. Super cute skirt! I bought a load of African waxed cotton like this a while back, made one AWFUL dress, lost hope and vision and subsequently have a pile lying neglected in my stash. I might have to take inspiration from you and knock out a few summer skirts. Would look so cute with a simple white vest. And I love how you've bound the hem, such a pretty touch!

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  5. Aw don't give up you sound so talented, just come back to it. I love the wax fabric, not worked with it though. There was someone on PR who made a fab dress out of the wax fabric here http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/readreview.pl?readreview=1&reviewnum=74427

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  6. I love that fabric! I just used some African wax cotton for a dress and love how vibrant it is. You can go wrong with fun textiles like yours.

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  7. Are you selling this? It is a beautiful pattern!! Love it and thanks for commenting on my blog! :)

    Ccurlgirl.Blogspot.com

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  8. Lol. No it's not that good to sell am just a beginner sewer. I just drafted it - two rectangles and a waistband.

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    1. Are you sure?? Lol... #ICanMakeItWork :)

      CCG
      ccurlgirl.Blogspot.com

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    2. LOL. You can make anything work. I like it though so I will be wearing it when I shift some of the blubber on da belly.

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    3. Lol, well thank you dear, I certainly try! ;) Let me know when you make more African printed items. I would certainly purchase... :)

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  9. This fine skirt and bottom fringing remarkable idea!

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  10. Thank you Lenusik.

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  11. NICE FABRIC! Th's one thing I need to learn - to selfdraft a waist band! Good to see u r getting ur mojo back :P xx

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  12. LOVE! THIS! I'm just putting the finishing touches on a 50's dress I made with a fushcia wax print withe the craziest eye print. I am OBSESSED with wax prints. This is so great - I hope you're getting a lot of wear out of it.

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    1. Ooo look forward to seeing it.

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  13. Loving this skirt with the print. I have 1 yard of an African Wax print fabric, I wish it was 2 yards now.

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    1. You will be able to do a lovely straight/pencil skirt with a yard. It's quite sturdy, waxed fabric, what I have seen of it. Mine wasn't waxed.

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  14. Such a very stylish and attractive skirt!

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  15. This is so pretty! I've got a ton of fabric like this (my family's African). I might have to steal from you.

    I think we all have some "motivational" clothing in our closets.

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    1. Whip up some garments. They are so vibrant the African fabric. The wax ones are fabulous.

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  16. I love the fabric! It is so annoying working with fabrics that fray to no end while you don't have a serger. I feel you! I'm working with some polyester satin right now and it's just about as bad as you describe. I've french seamed some of the seams and used my new pinking shears on the others. Not sure how it will hold up in the wash though...

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    1. Thanks for commenting. Yes it was a nightmare since am a beginner but I won't be making the same mistake twice hehe.

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