In the name of productivity, I designed and made something for myself.
I knew that organising people for fittings would sometimes be tricky, so by becoming a 'customer' I always had something in the making.
Also, in an attempt to add variation to my final makes, it meant I could chose colours, finishes and a garment shape I assumed my other co-creators wouldn't, but still without compromising.
Something I enjoyed most about the bespoke appointments, was seeing each person's way of choosing what they wanted. Whether they started with a love of a certain fabric, colour or garment style.
For me, I knew exactly which fabric I wanted to make with first - a beautiful, lightweight wool delaine. In every colour you can see a variation of tones because of the original weave, as well producing really bold results.
With my ongoing obsession with orange, I couldn't resist choosing the onion dyed fabric, and I regret nothing!
The light yellow panels in the skirt are made from a linen/cupro/Tencel blend fabric and I chose this to break up the orange, as well as adding a different texture. The blend fabric has a beautiful sheen that contrasts with the matte wool.
In terms of choosing my garment, I wanted to make a high-waisted skirt because my waist and hip measurement are quite different, resulting in me having difficulties buying anything high-waisted other than jeans.
So I traced the pattern for my longer and larger wrap skirt to create a mini one - simple!
It is interesting to look back at the images of each fitting and see how much the style of the skirt changes. I still want to make an un-quilted version for myself because the drape was lovely, and a great weight for the summer.
The reason I did decided to quilt my skirt was mainly because I was quite attached to the idea of owning a quilted garment but also, I did want to see the effect quilting would have on the garment shape.
The pleasant surprise in doing this was that it is so comfortable and warm! It's like wearing a tiny blanket around my waist and lap (like being in bed outside you say, erm yes please!).
I researched various alternative quilt waddings, looking at sourcing larger production waste or un-sellable blanket in charity shops. Although disappointing for my work, it was a great to find out most of these items were being put to use.
Eventually I found wadding made from recycled plastic bottles and it was perfect - easy to handle, soft and insulating.
With quilting comes bias binding... and I do love some bias. I thought it would give a nice, sharp finish to the skirt.
To add a bit more personal flair, and a reference to the onion dye, I printed and made my own using the reduced liquor from the dye bath that created my skirt and Aimee's top. The first image (above) shows the original printed square, a two layer pattern of broken pictogram symbols. The second, after it was sewn, cut and ironed into bias.
In the future I would maybe avoid this method and possibly dye vintage white cotton pre-made bias instead. I feel this would have the same effect but keep costs lower. (I do love that I made it though).
I'm really happy with what I made myself and I'm just chomping at the bit to make something else.
Next on the list is actually a top similar to Aimee's (previous post) using the waste from this skirt. I will be sure to keep you posted!
If you are interested in creating a similar garment with me, please do get in touch.
Colour images of me: Gabriela Silveira