Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Skirty New Year

Women in Africa don't wear pants. This shouldn't be a shock -- only in the Westernized world do women frequently borrow styles from the men in our lives. But, as I leave for Africa this week, I had to go on a sewing spree to prepare myself for another country. Between shopping at the Goodwill and stitching, I've literally doubled my skirt wardrobe. I showed you the fabrics for my new skirts some time ago- - it's taken 2 months to set aside the time to make the,

I made this skirt based upon what I saw at Sarah Jane's blog a long, long time ago. The pink fabric is a quilter's cotton I got at $2.25 / yd at Wal-Mart. It's bright, fun, and Africa-y. Although, I belive I am way taller than either Sarah or the models from the tutorial, as this skirt hits me mid-calf rather than nearly ankle. And, I'm wearing it low on my hips. The pains of being 5'9"... It's cute and fun and comfy for the 90* weather Monrovia is currently experiencing.

Something else interesting is that the women in Liberia cover their heads most of the time, but especially for church. Therefore, I've had to learn how to tie scarves to completely cover my hair. You can see, this one matches my pink skirt. I don't know if I'll wear them together, but it's kind of nice to have an "outfit" when so much else of my wardrobe is randomly pulled together. You can see I've still not perfected the twist over the bun -- the underside of the fabric is showing. It works better with a pretty brown flowered scarf I have that I found at a yard sale for $0.25.

This second skirt is my absolute favorite. When I was still living at home, my mom decided to clear out some of her old sewing stuff. She does commercial embroidery now instead of fashion sewing. I "saved" a huge stack of patterns from being donated. Most were skirts she had made in high school and college. This one is Butterick 4215, a wrap skirt from the late 1970's. It was super fast to put together. There's only a few pieces. The hardest part was the hem (and let me tell you, I DETEST hemming, so I kept putting it off). I think I'll be making several more of these for my regular wardrobe once I'm back in the country. It's so full you can't even tell it's a wrap skirt!

I love having new skirts. I've been wearing skirts almost exclusively since graduation and being at home. I feel more attractive, and that does weird things to my productivity -- i.e., I actually get stuff done. When I stay in sweat pants all day, it is exceptionally difficult for me to pull

myself away from the computer. Even just putting on a skirt or dress *over* my sweat pants changes my entire mindset. I'll have to explore this concept more once I get back in the country...


Gillian said...

They're both lovely, Jenny! Very nice :-) I can't believe that second one is a wrap skirt - it looks more like a circle skirt! Thanks for the tip about the length of the tiered skirt - I've been contemplating making it, but I'm also tall (almost 6') so I'd probably have to lengthen it. Nice to know :-)

Praying for your travels and the work you'll do while you're gone - you leave tomorrow, right?

Mrs. G said...

Cute skirts Jenny. Way to go on the sewing!