Hummingbird skirt

The Theme
This week’s Sew Weekly theme “is all about adding a little color into our lives. We’re working with dyes, fabric markers, and paints to give our fabrics a little more personality.”

The Facts

  • Fabric: about 2.5 metres of blue stretch denim, with silver lurex thread shot through it. Been in my stash for years, I think it may have been around $4 a metre? And some scraps of kowhai-printed cotton for the pocket lining
  • Pattern: McCall’s 3411
  • Year: 1955
  • Notions: 7 inch dress zipper, two vintage hooks and eyes, a length of wasitband sew-in interfacing and some fabric paint
  • Time to complete: 3 hours (including painting)
  • First worn: walking a section of the Eastern Walkway this weekend
  • Wear again? yes!
  • Total cost: around $12

The Story
Fabric paint. Hmmm. Clearly, this challenge called for a 1950’s style full skirt as a blank canvas!

And conveniently, I’d just finished recording McCall’s 3411 from my pattern collection, and had discovered it contains a skirt pattern as well as a dress. The pattern and the challenge were obviously destined to meet. Fate works like that sometimes, apparently.

I went hunting through my fabric stash to find something suitable. (I must say, the Sew Weekly challenges are decimating the plain woven fabrics in my stash! It’s getting harder and harder to find something plain when I need it for these challenges. At this rate, I’ll have to get some more fabric out of storage soon – eep!) And that’s when I re-discovered this denim, which I’d completely forgotten I had. It’s reasonably heavy weight, has a fair amount of stretch in it, and has shiny silver lurex thread woven all through it so it sparkles a bit. Just like Edward in Twilight. Only much, much better (because, really, who can take a sparkling vampire seriously? I mean, what on earth was up with that?!? Sheesh).

The pattern was nice and simple to make up and, much to my delight, fits perfectly. Yippie! I’m going to be making this one up again, that’s for sure. Possibly in a floral or a gingham for summer. Or a corduroy for all year round……

The bird design was from the book ‘Stencil 101′ by Ed Roth, which I picked up on a trip to the States a couple of years ago. I’ve been meaning to use these stencils for ages, so this challenge seemed like a good time for it. I was planning on doing the bird in white, but then I couldn’t find my white fabric paint anywhere (where oh where are you, little pottle of fabric paint?!?), so I used green instead. I tried using a sponge brush instead of a silk screen, which I’m not 100% convinced by – although it was a lot easier to do by myself than a silk screen is, the edges aren’t as sharp as they are with a silk screen. So, I’m reserving judgement on the sponge brush method – it may be better for images that don’t involve narrow lines. Dunno. *shrug*

The Verdict
I really like this skirt. It makes me happy. It’s fun to wear, swooshes nicely when I walk, it has a pocket (yay for pockets – everything should have a pocket I reckon) and I’ll be able to wear it all year ’round. Perfect. (And miracle of miracles – Steve even likes it. He usually dislikes almost everything I make, so getting his approval is quite unusual!)

As with everything, it does have a few issues with the Wellington wind though. At least the fabric is heavy enough to stay down a bit better than some of my lighter cotton dresses (I do quite a lot of accidental Marilyn Munroe impressions with some of those 1950’s style dresses).

The Photos
Steve and I went for a wander along a section of the Eastern Walkway this afternoon to take photos. We’ve started combining the Sew Weekly photo shoots with walks around places we haven’t been to before, just to explore Wellington a bit more and because we like walking. Exploring is fun. :-)

Here’s a few photos from our journey….

Looking down from the start of the walkway towards the car park and the road around the bays


Steve checking out the view



The Ataturk memorial from the back - a memorial to the soldiers who fell in Gallipoli



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14 responses to “Hummingbird skirt

  1. What a lovely idea. I raelly love the style and length of your skirt. I’m learning to ‘go longer’! The hummingbird really belongs!

    • Thanks Janene! :-) I actually debated about cutting around 10cm off it, it looked so long, but I’m glad I’ve left it at it’s ‘proper’ length – it feels quite feminine to wear this length. :-)

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  3. Love the skirt and love the scenery – you are tempting me to emigrate!

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  5. I ADORE this skirt. I love the cut and style, the fabric looks lovely, and the fact that it swishes when you walk makes it even more fabulous! Well done!

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