Making a Fall Novelty Skirt with Vintage Fabric
Fall is my favorite season. You might have gathered this by all of the acorns, pine cones, and woodsy themed stuff I carry in my shop
. I thoroughly enjoy the season with decorating, crafting, cooking things with spices, wearing orange, etc. Every year I also go to the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival here in Seattle with other autumn-obsessed friends, and I always want to wear something festive. Even though it's not even truly autumn yet I've already gone to the Harvest Fair, and an apple cider tasting. There is still so much more fall to experience! I've been wanting to make an outrageous fall novelty skirt for awhile, and a vintage fabric find inspired me to go for it.
[caption id="attachment_2275" align="aligncenter" width="750"]
A pile of ducks at the Seattle Tilth Harvest Fair. Follow me on Instagram: /smilemercantile.[/caption]
Not long ago I went to an estate sale, and found this completely ridiculous vintage fabric - a cotton muslin harvest toile. It's probably from the 70s. I basically died right then and there, holding this big 6-yard bundle of fabric in my arms while I waited in line to pay. I was buying a whole bunch of stuff that day, and so the fabric they pretty much threw in for free.
Let me break down exactly why this fabric encompasses everything lovely about fall:
1. It has cabins on it. Little, rustic wooden cottages with chimneys. That's my bedroom up there in the gable - I call it. I can look out the window into the woods.
2. Ladies in fluffy dresses. How cozy it is to be nestled in the grass, with goats and pheasants while wearing your fall colors.
3. Leisurely walks, admiring the changing colors. I do this, and enjoy it immensely. This lady has found a stone bridge on which she can pause, and contemplate the passage of time. Or maybe she's planning a fall menu for a harvest dinner. I enjoy doing that as well.
4. Quaint countryside scenes. I don't live in the country, and I don't know where the nearest well is. I still like the look of this though. More things need to be built out of stones and wood.
5. Autumn florals. I would have been just as excited to find this fabric even if it were just these flowers. Take olive green, and put it next to pumpkin orange, and you have fall magic. Throw in a mocha brown, and some mustard yellow, and you have complete autumnal bliss.
So am I right?! Is this not the dreamiest vintage fabric? A little tacky, a lot girly, and overblown with the romance of fall. Well I decided to make a full, 50s-style gathered skirt, because that's what I love most.
I didn't use a pattern, but instead followed the guidance of Gertie, and her epic sewing tutorial
. Her vintage style skirt how-to is really excellent, and very easy to follow even if you don't sew a lot of garments. Essentially this skirt is made up of simple rectangles of fabric, gathered into a waistband with a zipper. I like it very full, so for my skirt I used 3 yards of fabric for the skirt panels (three rectangles sewn together,) rather than the two that she used in the tutorial. I also placed the zipper below the waistband, and made a tab with hook and eye closure at the top. This will allow me to adjust the waist size slightly if I experience *ahem* weight fluctuations over time.
This was a weekend project, and was really quite simple. I'm really excited to make more of these skirts on seasonal themes. I think my next one will be an outrageous 50s Christmas extravaganza. I'll be keeping an eye out for an old worn out cutter tablecloth with an amazing retro pattern (*Xmas bells! I'm hoping for Xmas bells!*).
What do you think? Are you as nuts about fall as I am?
As always, if you love it, share it!