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Topic: help needed with "patchwork" skirt  (Read 803 times)
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gaudiknight
« on: October 28, 2004 10:25:50 PM »

On a rescent trip to the maryland renaissance faire a freind and I found a clothing vendor who was giving away remnants, so we now have a nice supply of hand sized scraps of velvet, tapestry, and other fabrics of this type.  My freind wants to make a skirt pieceing (sp?) all her bits together, and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for this sort of project.  My sewing abilities are rather basic, and hers are non-existant, so it should be quite an adventure.
Thanks for the input.
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trufflegirl
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2004 07:23:45 AM »

Hmmm... I'd suggest using some sort of backing fabric, first of all, so that the different types of patches will all retain their integrity. If you don't back them, some will weaken and/or stretch, and then the whole skirt will lose its shape.

Also, if the skirt is EVER going to be washed, make sure that you pre-wash all the patches and the backing to avoid having shrinkage issues later. Iit depends what kind of fabric you've got --- it may be something that will only be dry-cleaned, in which case you're good to go.

Next, you'll have to decide on two things:

1) The shape of the skirt you want. if you're not experienced sewers, you should probably buy a pattern rather than try to construct your own.

2) Whether you want the patches to be regular (squares or rectangles that all line up) or irregular (random shapes that overlap). If you do regular shapes, then you might be able to sew entire strips of fabric together (like quilt blocks) and then attach them to the backing all at once. If you do irregular shapes, you'll have to attach each piece to the backing, one at a time, and you may find it easier to do this by hand than by machine. (My crazy quilt, here, http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=7659.0, is an example of how you'd do this.)

Once you've pieced all the patches onto the backing, then you'd assemble the skirt according to the pattern. Be warned --- it's going to take a LOT of hand-sized patches to make a whole skirt, especially one full enough to look 'period'... Another option would be to make a cape or capelet --- if you did a short one that came just to hip length, you'd need a lot less fabric and could get results even faster. (You'd have to line this, though, because the inside would be at least partly visible at times.)

Can I just say how jealous I am of your supply of bits and pieces of fabric?  Smiley
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gaudiknight
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2004 07:43:29 AM »

thanks so much for the tips.  I'm pretty sure all the scraps are dry clean only, so we don't have to worry about shrinkage.  The difficulty is that she likes the shapes as they are now and not in anything resembling a pattern, so we're having fun trying to see how they fit together.  She also got some remnants from Joanne's to fill in the gaps.  Using a skirt pattern idea does seem like the best way to go now that you mention it.  I've made a couple without, but this project is slightly beyond me.  Luckily she's not going for the period look so the skirt doesn't have to be excessively long and full. 
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