Instead of bothering making a pattern for the skirt portion of the dress, I ended up using my mock up as a base for the entire skirt. I’m glad I was able to use the mock up inside the actual garment itself because I feel like I wasted less fabric.
The first step to actually making the skirt was to turn my scrap fabrics into leaf shapes, which I just did by eye at my sewing machine. I tried to get a mix of different sizes and shapes so that I could layer and get a nice organic texture from my fabric.
I made the petals / leaves in batches, starting with the hardest, being the stretch velvet from old clothes that I had thrifted for myself. The second batch was my green stretchy stuff which included a shirt that was a hammy down from my father to my brother to me, a pair of leggings that I believe we’re hammy downs from my mother to my aunt to me, the last batch was all of the flannels which included a couple of flannels that I had gotten from my partner, as well as my own flannel that I wore every day religiously in college. All of these clothes were either full of holes no longer fit and or had massive staining.
After all of the shapes were made, I pressed them flat and sort of made them into a pile so it be easier for me to create my collage on the base of the skirt
To create a collage on the skirt, I placed petals with no real specific idea other than I wanted the shapes to radiate out from the side seem towards the open slit in the front side. I pinned all of the petals in place, and when I was happy with my final placement, I stitched some of them on using my machine and did the rest by hand. This was just to pin them in their permeant space. They were later more fully attached with embroidery.
Before I got to the embroidery stage, I decided I wanted to add a little bit of the cabbage from the body’s portion, to help tied to the other, some of the textures that were happening in the top portion of the dress, because it felt a little disjointed to me. Because of the shape of everything, I had to hand stitch on those little pieces, which was incredibly finicky and difficult, and took way longer than I had expected.
After that part was complete. I moved onto embroidering the entire garment. This is where my willpower was tested. I got about halfway through embroidering all of the leaf shapes onto the skirt when I ran out of embroidery floss and was sort of at a point where I kind of wanted to give up on embroidering the entire skirt. I thought about possibly attaching the rest of the petals with beadwork.
After some consideration and flip-flopping, I decided to man up and actually buy more embroidery floss and finish embroidering the entirety of the skirt together. It was incredibly difficult and very challenging in the hot summer.
Still, I pressed on to try to scrap together some lining. I couldn’t get a full lining from the remainder of my fabric, but I got enough where the interior section that would be seen mostly when the garment was worn looked nice and clean.
In retrospect the skirt is so busy I do wonder if the beadwork gets lost in the details. Even if you can’t see the individual portions, I do think that in the end, it added some thing extra and the garment does look nicer from a distance even if you can’t tell exactly what is happening.
Finished Skirt Fit Test Shots