My friend Hannah Watherston is a seamstress. She has spent much of her life creating made-to-measure garments such as wedding dresses, and in addition, she has been directly involved in helping small business start-ups, especially those led by women. She is a fount of wisdom and knowledge about textiles and about business; it’s a privilege to know her. She is currently involved in a social enterprise project in Bishop Auckland, in the North-East of England called Self-Made Studios (details at the end of the post).
A week or so ago, she came to my house to advise me about making a garment. I had a length of material I wanted to use. I design fabrics which are lodged with Spoonflower (details below) and just recently the company added a new material – Dogwood Denim – to the list of twenty-three fabrics onto which any design can be printed. I ordered a one-yard length of material that is 56″ wide to be printed with one of my designs entitled, ‘The Work of My Hands’. This is the original art-work, done with black ink on paper.
I love it, because it really sums up how my desk looks on a daily basis: all my drawing and painting tools are there and the sewing ones too. There’s the beginning of a quilt design, a few hand-pieced hexagons and a piece of fabric that I have designed, which is about to be cut up. My well-loved and much-used 18″ wooden ruler is there (marked Coulsell 1918!). There are even the some of the things that just seem to end up on the desk like glue-sticks and random sequins.
So Hannah took my measurements and then on a piece of old sheeting, measured out a toile for a skirt for me.
It took moments (plus a lifetime’s experience!)
The toile was then cut out and tried on. Then the toile became the pattern for cutting out my skirt. The skirt was cut out in the ‘Work of my hands’ fabric and stitched up on the sides. The ruler, which is such a strong element in the fabric design is perfectly matched on the side seams.
It was checked for fit and the darts put in. Facings were cut and stitched on. All the seams were over-locked. Then a white zip was inserted.
Then a double row of top-stitching around the top and then again 2″ below the waist and finally a hem was added, also with a double row of top stitching.
You will gather I think, from my account, that the ‘advice’ turned in to Hannah creating a made-to-measure skirt for me. The skirt is very comfortable to wear and fits (of course), like a dream.
I love this skirt!
You can see the fabric design in my studio on Spoonflower here.
You might also like this.
You can find out more about ‘Self-Made Studios’ here.
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