About six months ago I found myself wandering through a needlecrafts exhibition, admiring the rows and rows of pretty things, all perfectly placed to draw the eye to temptation and make the purse clasp spring open.
Whilst I was rummaging among the wares of one particularly beautiful stall a bolt of bright fabric caught my eye. It was a double border print featuring cartoon images of a very vivid woodland squirrel scene.
I enjoyed looking at it a long time as my mind quickly sorted through the possibilities of what I could possibly make with it as images of skirts, dresses and various tops flashed through my mind. But then someone asked ‘yeah, but you wouldn’t actually wear something you made from that fabric, would you?’, and I though, yes, maybe they were right, it perhaps was a bit silly, and maybe I would never wear it, and it was expensive, and maybe I should leave it.
So, I walked away, leaving the fabric on the stall. But even as I got back to the car I was thinking about that bolt of fabric, and the accompanying piece of fabric that I had found that matched the jade background print.
My mind built on the things I could have made from those fabrics all the way home, where I resigned myself to the fact that I did not purchase it and would dwell on it no longer.
However, over the months that followed I couldn’t get the thought of the fabric out of my mind, and eventually I started an internet search to find out what the fabric was called, who designed it and if I could find somewhere to buy it from. Maybe if I could one day find the fabric then maybe I could one day make something from it. Eventually I managed to hunt it down: Michael Miller’s Nuts For Dinner, along with the coordinating small-tile fabric. I purchase 1.5m of the border print and a single metre of the Tiny Tiles print and very patiently waited for it to arrive.
When the fabric was delivered to my workplace in a little pink package I carefully opened it with just a little trepidation at my wonder of whether it could possibly be as awesome as I remembered. It was. Then came a period of me being too scared to cut into the fabric, especially as I needed to shear the border print straight down the length to separate it into two lengths of border.
However, last Sunday, elated by the joy of a friend’s wedding, I decided that it was only fabric, amend the worst that could happen was that I never actually used it. So, putting aside those words that I would never actually wear anything I ever made from the fabric, all caution was thrown straight to the wind and I decided to make myself a skirt.
Now, I am a very novice seamstress, and this far I have only made one skirt – an A-line design which I do have to admit I absolutely love. However, when making that skirt I noted the geometry needed to create the a-line shape which leads to needing a curved hem to keep the drop equal all the way around. Other than cut the beautiful continuation of the print into panels, so spoiling the uninterrupted scene, I thought the best way to maintain the fantastic leaf border in an equal depth all the way around the skirt was to make a pleated or gathered skirt. I designed a little yoke piece for the front of the skirt to give a flat front to sit on my waist and hips, and then I worked out my pleat pattern and just decided to go for it – I’d be using less than half the amount of each piece of fabric, so I could always have another shot of it if I made a mistake that required so.
After an afternoon at the sewing machine I was finally left with my Squirrel skirt and the question of would I really actually wear it? Heck yes I will, it’s all kinds of awesome…