Sunday, April 25, 2010

Handpainted, multi-tiered skirt: ta-dah!

Skirt front or back depending on what color top I wear.

This little skirt took about three weeks of little bits of time to put together.
The fabric painting was spread out over my lunch times at home. I could easily spread out a damp piece of fabric, open the slightly watered down paints and paint lines before having tea and a grilled cheese sandwich.

Or, if I was in the mood, I'd iron a panel or two to set the paint.

I made several panels and suddenly found myself impatient to begin putting the skirt together.

Skirt back? It's nice to have options...

First, a bias cut yoke for the top tier makes the skirt very comfortable to wear and it drapes nicely over round hips.

Next. Cut lots of six inch strips. I'm never sure how many I will use, so I cut at least 24. These were all 36 inches across.

Sew a few strips together and then begin the gathering. I have a gathering foot for my Janome machine and have learned that though it is the absolute easiest way to gather fabric, it is somewhat of a guessing game.

It works according to the stitch length and stitch tension settings. Big stitches and tight tension equals lots of gathers. However, the weight of the fabric is the one factor
that is the mysterious variable. You'd think that the heavier the fabric the more difficult it would be to gather under the foot.
Yes and no. I've made a few skirts of batik cotton and with each one, the machine settings were different for the amount of gathering that would be created.

Since this hand painted fabric was a very light muslin, I figured I'd have to go with less tension.
Not sew!

This fabric just didn't want to gather easily!!!
And it wasn't that the paint was in the way. This fabric paint is virtually unnoticeable on the fabric. I just does not change the "hand" of it at all. I'm sorry now that I was too tentative with my settings. I was afraid I would run out of fabric before getting to the last tier and so I ended up with a skirt that is not as "swingy" as I'd like.
My impatient self was very glad to finish with the elastic waist.
My perfectionistic self was unhappy with the final product.
Next: Fuchsia circles.


Mary said...

This is so cool!!!

Diane said...

Adrian, this turned out wonderful!!!

Cyndi L said...

I just LOVE how you combined all those gorgeous fabrics that you painted a few weeks ago! Wonderful skirt :-)