Make of the Week – Vintage kimono panel skirt

Vintage skirt panel

Today I had a meeting with the Mayor of Monash, Rebecca Paterson. The meeting was scheduled for 12 noon. So at  9.30 this morning I decided to make a skirt to wear to the meeting. I had made a dress yesterday, but today it just didn’t feel right. As often is the case, an idea for the design just popped into my head and I decided to go with it, (and it was a good distraction for the meeting).

I thought I’d use some of the vintage kimono silk I had purchased a few weeks ago. I realised that this is often my go to fabric – Japanese style. It makes me feel good, comfortable and confident. Maybe it is the connection I have with having lived in Japan for 18 months, or maybe it is just because I love the colours and style most of the time.

Today I chose a vintage panel that tells a story. I love fabric that has a story and I can only image the history of this one, but it really appeals to me on so many levels – the colours, the symmetry of the purple triangle cut outs and the women and men interacting. I really wanted to use the most of this piece without cutting it too much. It had to be the feature of the skirt without a doubt.

I decided to sew it as a middle panel on a basic black skirt. I adapted the basic a-line template I have been using in workshops to make it a straighte. skirt (and slightly more formal look). I also felt the a-line might take too much away from the panel. With the panel sewn onto the middle of the front, it really was just a matter of sewing the side seams, attaching a waistband and hemming. All within 40 minutes I had a new skirt to wear to my meeting. As an added touch I decided to use some of the left over silk as a brooch to tie in my jacket with the skirt. It is a simple, but elegant addition to the outfit.

So now it is later in the day, I can say my meeting went extremely well and I am excited about some new opportunities to build on community work. Rebecca commented on my skirt and we had a great chat about craft and how wonderful it really can be. What a great day!

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