It’s not often that a singing nun, a children’s book and a Greek fashion designer can influence a crafty make… but today’s project does just that.
Taking inspiration from the original singing nun played by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music (sorry Whoopi) I decided to indulge in a little curtain couture and whip up this beauty.
Hillarys Blinds is hosting a competition to get people cutting, stitching and blogging their way to something wonderful with a one-metre square fabric sample… so here’s my entry.
This lovely Bird Parade is a new print in the Country Retreat fabric range which jumped out at me from the computer screen, and was promptly requested, because, well, I love peacocks.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been a sucker for their beautiful plumage, an admiration that started when I was a little girl.
My aunty and uncle bought me the book The Little Peacock’s Gift when I was knee-high to a grasshopper.
It’s based on a Chinese folk tale which is a similar story to the Ugly Duckling – a child-friendly moral tale teaching that goodness and kindness are the most beautiful traits a person, or bird, can have.
It’s a beautifully-illustrated book which prompted my love for these stunning creatures.
The Greek fashion designer who inspired the piece is none other than the supremely-talented Mary Katrantzou.
I loved not only the style of the lampshade skirts and dresses she sent sashaying down the catwalks in 2011 and 2012 but also her bold use of colour and print.
This fabric seemed like the perfect one for such a style so I decided to roll up my sleeves, use my imagination and approach this project Mama Vintage-style by sacking off a pattern and wing it based on my measurements!
You will need
- Fabric (1×1 metre square)
- Tape measure
- Safety pins
- Straight pins
- Sewing machine
- Wonder web
Lay out the fabric on the floor and fold it in half (or in this case as close to half as possible – being sure to keep the peacock’s head attached to its body!)
Measure your waist circumference, halve it and add an extra couple of inches wiggle room – this will be the width of the front and back pieces.
Note: Be sure to place the fabric correctly – ensure that that two peacocks in all their feathery glory grace both the front and back of the skirt.
Cut into two equal-sized pieces and place the other piece of fabric to one side – this will form the waistband later on.
Right sides together place the front and back pieces together and, by eye, gauge and mark out an exaggerated angle which will form the flare of the skirt.
This works particularly well with curtain fabric because it retains the angular structure rather than dropping and forming a soft ‘swishy’ skirt.
Cut along the marked out lines to form the base of the skirt.
Pin together the side seams (using straight pins) and mark out front and back darts to give the skirt added shape.
Sew up one side seam completely and repeat on the other side leaving room to insert a zip.
Sew along the darts and then, pin the leftover fabric (right side to right side) onto the top of the skirt to form a waistband.
Insert the zip into the side of the skirt.
Here’s Mama Vintage casting her expert eye over proceedings…
Using straight pins outline a hemline and then, starting from one side, take out the pins and fix them using wonder web until secure.
Turn the skirt right side out and press hemline to ensure the wonder web has bonded firmly and to give a neat finish.
And after all that it’s time to enjoy it!
Here’s a mask I picked up from a fancy dress shop shown next to my lovely new skirt.
It seemed rude not to give the mask a whirl and try it out with my Mary Katrantzou-inspired number.
Perhaps not a look to rock down at the supermarket…!
There’s still time to enter the competition and get crafty! For more information click here.