Thursday, September 29, 2011


The bunch of skirts featured here are going to be sent off to Switzerland this afternoon, where they will adorn the bod of my very first (and only) VIP&E, Yolanda. "What," you may ask, "has Ms Yolanda done to afford herself such a glamorous and extravagant title and status?". Well, for starters, she owns more P&E than anyone in the world, other than Pearl. She started off with a greenish skirt and snowballed to dresses, skirts, and more skirts. When the sale was announced, Yolanda promptly up and ordered 4 skirts! And as if that wasn't enough, she said, upon ordering them "I really love the work you do and each skirt / dress I have from you, just feels pretty special whenever I wear them so that is enough for me :)". There is nothing more rewarding, as a crafter/artist/sewing-and-making-person, than a client putting their absolute trust in your ability to make them something they love. Yays-ville!
So, I went to work. I wanted to continue on the trajectory of making "pretty special" clothes for Yolanda, so selected some of my favourite and special pieces, including this vintage embroidered lilly-pad.

I had originally planned to make it a pocket, but I just couldn't get it to sit right (the top of the flower kept sagging down). So after much deliberation, I just decided to make it into a decorative patch. I think it works! I LOVE the contrast in texture between the super-fine, pinstripe wool of the skirt and the quite dimensional, chunky and slightly wonky hand-hewn satin stitch of the flower.

Another favourite is this apron, which has been kicking around for a while now. Aprons and pinafores are something that I usually can't resist picking up at op-shops, in account of the fact that they're BLOODY cute, and usually right next to the linen section (my favourite!). They're a bit hard to do stuff with though, short of cutting them up for pockets, which I do, but this one I was just too attached to, and thought it needed to maintain its integrity. So I came up with something of an experiment, hopefully not stretching the long-ish leash that Yolanda gave me.

I am REALLY happy with it. I think it works because you can see all the gorgeous details of the apron - the fabric, the pocket, the gorgeous binding on the bottom hem - and it's still an apron, in that I didn't cut it at all, and yet it's a skirt which, I reckon, somehow doesn't look too apron-y. You think?
Skirt #3 is made from some lightweight upholstery material that I scored from somewhere or another. I think the print on this is outstanding. For the pocket I used a cute little embroidered serviette. Sweet!

The skirt is gored, which means that there are 4, instead of my regular 3 panels. It's still an A-line (obviously) but it has a little extra kick on account of the seam at the front.

And if that all wasn't cute enough ('cute' is, I think, the keyword for this collection) I also made this next skirt out of a tablecloth that I had actually been planning to use for... well... for covering my table. WHACKY!!! But I thought I'd sew it up and send it to Yolanda instead. (PS. I have no idea why this section of text is underlined. Apologies.)

But I have to say, and I hope you'll agree, that the main event of this collection of 5 is actually the horsey skirt that is pictured at the start of this post.

Way back at the beginning of our clothes-making and wearing relationship, Yolanda had told me that she likes horses. I too, like horses, and like to fantasise about owning a horse one day and taking the kids to school on it. But that's another story... For now, I satisfy my horsey inclinations in fabric form, though this is also difficult given the veritable dearth or horsey linen around. Seriously! In a good 5 years of very solidly collecting, hoarding and obsessing over all the teatowels I can get my hands on, only TWO have come my way featuring horses. As Olive likes to say - What the???
ANYWAY... This really really faded horse teatowel found its way into my collection recently, and I remembered Yolanda's request (she is, after all, a VIP&E). As it was, the horse was a little bit too daggy to use. Faded almost into blankety-blankness, and ripped and torn as well. The solution? cut off the ripped bits to make it pocket-sized, iron it (using good ol' vliesofix) onto another bit of fabric to give it strength, and then embroider the details of the horse to reinvigorate it's freaking adorable little face.
Here is the horsey before and after reinvigoration projects:

Cute eh?I was super-pleased, though I have to say there were moments, while embroidering, when I looked around our half-packed house, at the stack of fabrics set aside for the backlog of custom skirt orders I accumulated thanks to the sale

(if you're waiting on a custom skirt, I swear, it is in one of these fabric bundles. Promise), and thought "why now?". But really, when I look at that horsey on it's red-spotty-plisse, I know it was totally worth it. And now, I await the verdict from my patron...


  1. Hey Annie,

    I'm very late to the party (procrastination, procrastination) but did you have any Australian Native flora fabric in your stash - particularly wattle and/or banksias - that might to be reincarnated as a bolero for me? I promise to love it very much

  2. I've said it before, and no doubt I'll say it again, but Annie - GENIUS! I think the horse is my favourite out of this bunch! p.s. Can't stop thinking about Ruth, I just know she'll be all kinds of awesome!

  3. annie, totally and amazingly outstanding. i too love the horse but the apron/skirt is also a work of art. you are such an inspiration. and yes ruth is all kinds of awesome and more!!