Here it is!  My handwoven, naturally dyed 100% local skirt.

1y1o

And while it waits for me to model it, it decided to check out the sites in Toodjay…. sewaway

The windmill,

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The dam…. You get the idea.  She’s well at home, she came from this soil after all!

Herringbone Skirt

Pattern:  loosely based on pattern N from Garments of a Dignified lady sewaway

Fabric:   wool handspun and sourced by Bilby Yarns, hand dyed and hand woven by me. Facing used  Felt made from local merino roving sourced at Bilby Yarns.

Notions:  Buttons made from Western Australian clay made by me, Silk thread hand reeled by Margaret River Silk Farm, Alpaca thread sourced from Fiber of the Gods.

1y1o

Tidbits:  Hopefully you have read all about how I wove this fabric, which was an adventure into new and scary lands, so you will understand how difficult it was to take the plunge and cut it up!

After a wash in local olive oil soap, the weave seemed stable enough and I placed my pattern pieces on to the fabric to get the most use out of the selvedges.  I put all the on grain edges on a selvedge and determined the width of the Aline by the width of the fabric.  To be doubly sure I made up a trial with my amended pieces before going ahead and cuuuuuttting!

Without moving the pieces around, I stay stitched (all handstitching) the raw edges before doing anything else.  I then handsewed each seam with silk and bound the edges with felt.  As you can imagine, all this took a few hours!

Luckily, I had booked in to a sewing retreat for the weekend (kindly organised by Natalie) where everyone else’s desk looked like this:

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And mine looked like this:sewaway

I sat and I hand stitched the heck out of this little beauty for a good part of the weekend.  All the facings were in felt so under stitching was useful to keep them in check!

Most things went smoothly, but the buttons were a wee bit stressful!  I tried several approaches on scraps and eventually (after 4 hours) was brave enough to make the cut on the real thing.  The trick was finding the right thickness of thread, and lots of beeswax stolen from a retreat buddy!  I used the book Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire B. Shaeffer religiously over the weekend for the buttonholes and handstitching guides.

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Lessons:  This self imposed challenge is intense!  But I am very grateful for all that I have learnt.

Next time I will be back with modelled shots of the whole shebang!

1y1o reveal 2015