Sewn: The Curtain Skirt

This project is near and dear to my heart. After my grandfather passed away 2 years ago, we had the task of cleaning out his and my grandmother’s (who had passed 5 years earlier) flat. We took one weekend, my cousins, my aunt and uncle, my dad and my sister, and spent it in their flat, sharing memories and mementos, telling stories and reminiscing. An interesting detail was that we all had connection to different things and stories to share and others had forgotten about.

And yes, I made that top as well. Pretty happy with the top/skit/belt styling here.

Anyway, my grandmother was quite the crafty person. Having grown up as the eighth of nine siblings in a contract family, statare in Swedish. Due to the conditions as well as WW2, the whole family was told to make do and mend. She enjoyed working with her hands, as did her mother, and tried many ventures; sewing, crocheting, weaving, lace-making, knitting and quilting. She continued to learn new things, she took up quilting in her 60s because she wanted to learn something new.

If you’re wondering about that right hand side blur – my phone slipped in the case.

While sorting through the linen closet we came across these curtains, which were woven by my grandmother with an added lace edge, crocheted by her. While it is a curtain fabric, I wanted to keep it and make it work for some sort of garment, most likely a structured skirt due to the nature of the fabric. It took me a while to find that pattern and then it took me some building of courage to cut into the piece of fabric. Luckily, my aunt cheered me on as she wanted the fabric to be used rather than just lying in box somewhere.

Pleats in front, double darts in back

I went with a skirt from Burda 01/2020, number 111. I like the Burda patterns and came across a few magazine in a Facebook pattern group, so I decided to expand my collection. This skirt features pleats that go all the way up into the facing, which leaves an interesting visual effect. Pleats and darts, as in the back (double darts! Great fit!), don’t usually involve the facing, but in this pattern both do extend to the self-facing, which makes for a pretty good fit. I shortened the skirt a bit, which I had to decide beforehand since I wanted the lace edge for the hem and omitted the belt loops and self-belt. While I think I will be wearing the skirt with belt, due to its shape I think the belt will stay put. Otherwise, it is an easy add on, should I change my mind. I also added a cotton/poly voile lining, due to the weave being a bit loose and, well, white. I just sewed it onto the self-facings, added the darts and pleats and sewed the side seams really long.

The double darts make for a great fit.

I’m glad I finally dared to cut that fabric and I hope my grandmother likes the idea of cutting her fabric up in order to make something I’ll get a lot of use out of. My aunt texted me a newspaper clip, with the final line saying that we should honor the artisan by using their things, so she approved of my decision. And every time I wear this skirt I’ll be sure to send my grandmother a thought, wherever she is.

 

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