Creativity 2 “Just put a bird on it”. But where?

I set the offending skirts aside. I decided to let my subconscious work on it for a while. I had a month before the show so there was still time, maybe. I set out to complete the final ensemble of the four-ensemble show when I discovered the “inconvenience”. As I laid out the tunic pattern on the flower print silk seersucker, I saw bird manure streaked down the $35 a yard fabric. The day I bought the silk, I felt I had made an extravagant purchase by getting at least a yard more than I really needed. Fortunate for me, I had been carried away by its cheerful demeanor when I bought the rest of the bolt. I simply moved over one more repeat and proceeded.

This final ensemble had some challenges of its own, but I will address them at another time. Once it was finished, it was time to take on the bird-damaged skirts. Watermelon Sorbet” was the piece to tackle first. The tail of the shirt that went with it would cover the bleached spot regardless, but putting NFS on the piece was disheartening. So in the back of my mind I had been playing with the idea of covering it up with a patch pocket. Unfortunately on closer inspection I saw that the bleached area was too far to the center back and too low on the bum to put a pocket. Besides, I didn’t have enough remaining fabric to make a patch pocket. I had enough to make a pocket if I combined the scraps left over from the top of the skirt (dupioni) and the bottom of the skirt (organza). I made the joining seam on the diagonal, but covered the seam up with a 3rd fabric that had been used as waistband trim. I backed the 3rd fabric (a silk/rayon jacquard) with interfacing and cut from it a bird silhouette. I satin stitched the bird to the pocket and then attached the pocket to the back of the skirt. The wing of the bird extended beyond the edges of the pocket and over the bleach spot, covering it completely.

“Summer Rust” still waited and I had a week left. I never like the way the lower skirt, made of silk chiffon flounce and silk rip stop flounce lining attached to the upper skirt even before the birds put an end to the chiffon flounce. And because I didn’t like it, I had cropped the advertising photo so that it didn’t show. It occurred to me that in a worst-case scenario, the skirt could be a short skirt, removing the lower half of the skirt (chiffon flounce and rip stop lining) altogether. The proportions wouldn’t be what I wanted. Still…

To that end, I put some lace around the bottom of the main body of the skirt. It perfectly matched the dupioni upper skirt and enforced the theme of “Grandma’s attic meets Dad’s Garage”. This piece had lots of metal jump rings but no lace. Now it did. But I had extra lace and attached it to the silk rip stop flounce lining, that gave the lower lining enough stability to hold snaps! So I sewed 49 snaps in place to attach the dupioni upper skirt with the silk rip stop lower skirt, making a convertible skirt with a better joining.


It was a photo finish for show time, but I ended with a better product and a great story to boot!


Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

-Thomas Edison