#1year1outfit Handwoven Herringbone Skirt

Here it is!  My handwoven, naturally dyed 100% local skirt.


And while it waits for me to model it, it decided to check out the sites in Toodjay…. sewaway

The windmill,


The dam…. You get the idea.  She’s well at home, she came from this soil after all!

Herringbone Skirt

Pattern:  loosely based on pattern N from Garments of a Dignified lady sewaway

Fabric:   wool handspun and sourced by Bilby Yarns, hand dyed and hand woven by me. Facing used  Felt made from local merino roving sourced at Bilby Yarns.

Notions:  Buttons made from Western Australian clay made by me, Silk thread hand reeled by Margaret River Silk Farm, Alpaca thread sourced from Fiber of the Gods.


Tidbits:  Hopefully you have read all about how I wove this fabric, which was an adventure into new and scary lands, so you will understand how difficult it was to take the plunge and cut it up!

After a wash in local olive oil soap, the weave seemed stable enough and I placed my pattern pieces on to the fabric to get the most use out of the selvedges.  I put all the on grain edges on a selvedge and determined the width of the Aline by the width of the fabric.  To be doubly sure I made up a trial with my amended pieces before going ahead and cuuuuuttting!

Without moving the pieces around, I stay stitched (all handstitching) the raw edges before doing anything else.  I then handsewed each seam with silk and bound the edges with felt.  As you can imagine, all this took a few hours!

Luckily, I had booked in to a sewing retreat for the weekend (kindly organised by Natalie) where everyone else’s desk looked like this:


And mine looked like this:sewaway

I sat and I hand stitched the heck out of this little beauty for a good part of the weekend.  All the facings were in felt so under stitching was useful to keep them in check!

Most things went smoothly, but the buttons were a wee bit stressful!  I tried several approaches on scraps and eventually (after 4 hours) was brave enough to make the cut on the real thing.  The trick was finding the right thickness of thread, and lots of beeswax stolen from a retreat buddy!  I used the book Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire B. Shaeffer religiously over the weekend for the buttonholes and handstitching guides.


Lessons:  This self imposed challenge is intense!  But I am very grateful for all that I have learnt.

Next time I will be back with modelled shots of the whole shebang!

1y1o reveal 2015

25 thoughts on “#1year1outfit Handwoven Herringbone Skirt

  1. Soooo awesome! I’ve always wanted to sew something entirely by hand, but somehow haven’t gotten around to it yet. Maybe I should weave some fabric first … Can’t wait to see your whole outfit!

    • I’ve never had the desire to sew by hand and here I am and I loved it. It was actually really nice not to have a machine and work with the fabric so closely. I’m excited about seeing what you come up with too!

  2. Brilliant! you’ve done an amazing job. Ive been quietly following your journey and am so inspired by your sourcing of everything local from clay to silk. So I’m going to dig up clay from my garden, harvest my the Australian indigo in my garden (which I thought was just a weed ) and contact Margaret river for silk for my mill. Thanks for all your inspiration ! Cheers Suzette

  3. This is making me all kinds of happy! What a beautiful piece! And all hand stiched! Following you on this journey has been so interesting and this woven fabric is so special and beautiful. It shows that you put all your heart in it. I am very much looking forward to seeing it all together. My outfit is coming together very slowly, but at least I know now what I will make with the linen. Unfortunately my whole outfit is very summery 😉 Knitted socks and mittens would be good but I won’t be able to learn and make these until the year is over. But I will continue with this project into the new year, even though I did not manage to stay 100% percent local. It has still changed the way I sew and buy my supplies and I am eager to learn more. I just learned about a jacquard weaving manufacturer in Saxony, one of the last in Germany!

    • Thank you for joining in whole heartily. It is all about discovery, and that can happen at any pace. Jacquard! That sounds incredible! And your knitting looks like it will be fairly snuggly, so it is funny to me it is a summer garment. I was melting modelling this the other day!

  4. An absolute creation of beauty. Wow, you’ve done a fabulous job on this.The line in your blog ‘She’s well at home, she came from this soil after all!’ with the picture got me all proud and emotional. I’m very pleased to have been on this ride with you.

  5. Such an amazing, beautiful garment Nikki! And imagine all the memories every time you wear it. SO much care and thought into every stage and process of the making. Can’t wait to see the whole outfit together. It’s so inspiring to be part of the journey with you…I’m pondering joining in next year…hmmm.

  6. You have done a wonderful job, and I love the various poses of your skirt. It really did look at home “on country” as my Noongar friends would say. Well done Nicki for finishing your outfit and for inspiring the rest of us to finish ours.

  7. Love it! Your weaving is gorgeous. I’ve made a few more small 1 year 1 outfit things lately that I’m looking forward to photographing & sharing soon – and I have a big jacket project planned for the Christmas break:) x

    • At the start of the year I thought I would just use secondhand notions but then when I worked out how to do it 100% local, I thought, why not? That said, it is entirely optional, the real purpose being to find out what you can get locally and then fill in the gaps if need be. It’s the learning and thinking bit that’s the most important!

      • I agree. I have learned so much and really changed the way I shop for fabric. I actually enjoy the research and I’ve found far more locally produced fabric and notions than I thought.

  8. Pingback: #1year1outfit The Big Reveal | this is moonlight

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