Monday, August 1, 2011

Skirt Embellishment and Handsewing

Pamela's Patterns Skirt with embellishment
Contrary to many other wonderful seamstresses, I've always rather enjoyed handsewing.  That enjoyment probably dates back decades ago when I was doing embroidery and cross stitich and needlepoint regularly. But I have little use for the pillows and samplers that resulted so now my handsewing is generally confined to my sewing projects.  This latest skirt is a result.
Every summer I seem to reach a place where I don't want to work on a big sewing project and I don't want to be trying on muslins and making pattern adjustments.  It's hot here in Maryland and I'm out walking dogs a few times a day (no fenced yard but a nearby dog park finally opens in three months) and my sewing room is not the most comfortable this time of year.  Mr. Lucky and I are having fun visiting with friends we haven't seen since last summer and I'm even cooking more since I love having local fresh fruits and veges so available again.  My sewing productivity slows down and it's time to sit quietly and hand sew.   Yesterday was the perfect day to sit in the shade and finish sewing the various yo-yos to this skirt.   Warm but not humid with a slight breeze.

I'm already getting lots of wear out of the half dozen skirts I have made from this Perfect Pencil Skirt pattern.  When I pulled this cotton lycra stretch woven from my stash I just looked at the geometric and floral abstract print and decided to echo the flowers with some texture.  I'm very drawn to tone on tone texture.  That's one of the reasons I like Anthropologie clothing.  And look at this terrific blog entry by my friend Julie about her handsewing details inspired by the clothing line, Alabama Chanin link   
Julie's Alabama Chanin "tribute" skirt  

Skirt front
The embellishments are two different yo-yo sizes and shapes from various shades of silk and cotton, sewn on with flower buttons or french knots from very old silk ribbon in my "resource center".  (I love saying that, makes me feel so much less guilty than my "stash.)  The embellishment sits a little higher on the front, of course, and is merely a touch at the hemline on the back.  

skirt back

Two Clover yo -yo makers let me sew these flowers in two evenings of TV last week.  I'm glad that I added them to my toolbox.  Clover yo yo makers  I sewed them on with Clover embroidery needles.  You can tell I'm a fan of the high quality Clover products.

It was also a great afternoon to finish reading this novel.  It was light and entertaining but also provides some thoughtful ideas about women, sexual power and relationships.  I think a book club discussion would be quite lively.


  1. I also love to hand sew. I used to do hand embroidery and cross stitch a long time ago and I always enjoyed hand work. I used to think machine sewing was better, but I have changed my mind about that over the last few years. I recently hand sewed a matched seam and found the result to be far superior to what I could get by machine. I like that I can sit with my husband and hand sew while we watch TV. I have not tried yo-yo's, but I have made fabric flowers and they are really fun!

  2. What a beautiful skirt - I really love the fabric and your addition of the embellishments makes the skirt very special. I identify with the idea of a sewing slow down in the hot weather - we don't get a lot of it here in London, but when we do I find it very hard to sew.

  3. I love those yoyo makers have several, I quilt so yep I had to have them! But what a great idea to put them on a skirt!

    I can just imagine that book would make for a lively discussion group!

  4. Great idea, putting those yoyo's on a skirt. Funny to be reading this as I am, right now,doing an artsy type project that involves some hand sewing. One of the embellishments I'm using on the project is yo-yos. Mine are small--finished 1", and I'm not using the Clover too, which I can see I surely need to get! is currently having an embroidery sew-along, and the challenge is to embroider the design that's printed on a piece of fabric. I would love to do that,if I can find a bit of time.

  5. Your embellishment is very subtle and really works beautifully on that fabric!


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