You’ve all seen this skirt. So has everyone else in my life this summer, I’ve been wearing it to the ground to see how the horsehair braid hem holds up and how the fabric will behave (so I can show you!).
This was the first time I wore the skirt after making it. The fabric was a stiff, medium-to-heavy weight cotton canvas with a nice corded texture. The fabric was fresh and new. The horsehair braid hem exaggerated the flare of the skirt. Position 2 is all about big circle skirts- mostly about horsehair braid, though the fabric choice also comes into play.
It’s one of the samples included with the Fingertip Knowledge Swatch kit. It’s a great basic bottom weight, suited to making a daily wear type circle skirt. In a plain color, a fabric of this type in a plain color makes a great wardrobe basic.
I make a point not to sew much that I can’t stuff into a warm wash with like colors, line dry, and wear. It’s not just fabric that sometimes has to be handled carefully for laundering, sometimes notions or finishes also require special care. You can see from these photos (taken today) that the horsehair hem is not improved by exposure to ordinary washing conditions.
The edges of the hem have fluted, which says to me that while the canvas has softened and relaxed, the hem has not. They are working in opposition.
It’s also interesting to note that when fresh, the fabric needed pressing after each wash. Now the fabric has worn in and doesn’t look beat up when it’s freshly laundered. Except at the hem, which I have to press. And it still looks beat up.
I like this skirt too much to leave the hem as it is, I’ll pull out the horsehair braid and use a simple folded finish which will wash better. Check out the Position 2 gallery on sewingcake for a look at the life of this skirt, and also links to two new visual references.
Positions 1 & 2 were skirts you’ve already seen, to start a conversation about drape and circles and fabric and finishes.
Position 1 is a softer, drapier fabric. Think coating type fabric, drapey suiting, medium to heavy satins, pique, crepe, or even quilting cotton. Position 2 is stiffer, or more densely woven, which creates a fuller type of skirt: twills, corduroy, bengaline, canvas, even felt.
The next 3 positions for the rest of this week are all new!
So far the Pavlova Wrap Top & Skirt preorders have arrived in the Eastern USA and other urban centers and in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Adelaide! (sorry about the blurry phone photos, I’ll be sure to get better ones tomorrow.)
That means the “houses” on the Pavlova 30 Minutes A Day Sewalong flickr group are coming alive with a bit of “how do you do” discussion. Feel free to upload your project fabric and chat in the group in the leadup to the 30 Minutes A Day Sewalong. (We already have 34 members!) I also added another little guide to the Flickr user galleries with tips for using the Flickr app. It makes it very simple to take progress shots and upload them to the group.
Do you have experience washing a hem of this type? How did it hold up? What kind of fabric did you use? Do you have any sage words for those who would like to tackle a horsehair hem in the near future?