Considering spring is due to begin here tomorrow, now might seem a bit of a strange time to be posting this, but I never claimed to be organized. 😉
The summer before last, I decided I wanted to make some pretty trousers and, since autumn was approaching, I’d like them to have an autumnal theme. After a bit of searching, I found a trouser pattern I liked and I started trying to find suitable material. As I’ve said before, I do have a bit of an obsession with all things pumpkin and squash, so it’s no surprise that they feature in the material I chose. Quite heavily. Having found several different designs I liked, I bought a little of each of them and thought I would make some patchwork trousers. Sort of.
Well a year passed and the trousers still had not been made. As a practise run I thought I’d try some shorts, using the same pattern. Those I did make (and they can be seen here), but still no trousers. Autumn arrived and I started thinking about my pumpkinny material again. Spreading it out before me, I came to the conclusion that I was probably not going to have enough to make the kind of trousers I was envisaging, once all the seams of the patchwork had been taken into account. But I did like the idea of a skirt.
Years ago my Mum had made me some panel skirts. Retrieving a short one from the wardrobe, I figured I could make a panel skirt with my pieces of material, but if I made up each panel from these different pieces of fabric I would have a large patchwork effect. Best of both worlds!
I set about tracing the shape of one of the panels from the skirt my Mum had made for me. After some faffing, I worked out how deep I would need my “patches” to be, added on some seam allowances, and Hey Presto! I had some patterns of my own to work with.
Cutting out is not my favourite part, not least because I recognise that if you get that wrong, even just a little, everything will end up skew-whiff, even if only a bit. With that done, I marked my seam allowances with tailor’s pencil (and biro, because the lead/chalk/? kept breaking) and began to pin the patches together for each panel.
Having tacked and sewn most of them together, I discovered that I didn’t have quite enough material for one of my smallest patches. Not wanting to add something else completely different to the mix, I managed to make up a patch from the off-cuts, so at least I was still using the same material.
Once I had stitched that on to its corresponding patches, I had six completed panels with various designs in varying orders.
First, I stitched three panels together to create one half of the skirt, then I joined together the remaining three panels to make a second half. Once I had sewn the two halves together, I added elastic to the waistband, and stitched the waistband and hem.
The end result is a skirt full of autumnal leaves, sweetcorn, pumpkins and squashes, scarecrows, and sunflowers – all the symbols I think of when I think of autumn and the slide towards Christmastime. And lots of orange, of course. After all, it is my favourite colour.