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


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

The windmill,


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.


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:


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.


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