Quiet Friday: Handwoven Skirt

I just crossed an item off my weaving bucket list! Make a ‘cello skirt from handwoven fabric. A ‘cello skirt must be long, and full, and pretty. And if I can wear boots with it, so much the better. A favorite tiered skirt that I made a couple years ago from commercial fabric became the pattern for designing the handwoven fabric for a new skirt. This project included weaving a printed design by stamping the warp on the loom before it was woven. (To see this project develop, check out Related Posts in the sidebar.)

Printed fabric collects on the cloth beam.
Printed fabric collects on the cloth beam. One last round of warping slats is seen on the back beam.

I needed five lengthwise tiers, so I planned it out so that each tier would have a different stamped pattern. This is light blue 8/2 cotton in plain weave, with a dense sett of 30 epi, making a medium-weight fabric. I softened the fabric as much as possible by washing and drying it on hot settings. By strategically placing selvedges at the top and at the bottom of the skirt, I was able to minimize thickness at the waist, and eliminate the need for a hem at the bottom. The finished tiered skirt is long, and full, and has a subtle pretty printed pattern that mildly resembles ikat. And this skirt is made for wearing with boots!

Printed fabric just off the loom - for making a 5-tiered skirt.
Just off the loom, cloth is rolled out on the floor. Five-tiered skirt was made from lengthwise rows of printed fabric.
Layout for handwoven tiered skirt.
Tiers are cut and raw edges serged. Each tier seam is sewn. Floor layout helps to plan placement of seams and printed patterns.
Grosgrain ribbon for elastic casing in handwoven skirt waistband, reducing bulk.
Bulk is reduced at elastic waistband by adding pretty grosgrain ribbon for the casing, right next to the handwoven fabric’s selvedge.
Warp-stamped fabric for skirt. Selvedge at bottom, so no hem needed.
Selvedge forms the bottom edge of skirt, so no hem is needed. Warp-stamped fabric appears as a subtle print.
Handwoven printed tiered skirt. Karen Isenhower
Happy ‘celllist.

May your heart be enriched with thankfulness.

Happy Thanks Giving,

19 thoughts on “Quiet Friday: Handwoven Skirt

  1. Ooh, pretty! Nice haircut too. I noticed a very special blanket on the back of your chair, it looks splendid in situ.

  2. Kate, Helene, Cindie, and Joanna,

    Thank you for the sweet comments. It is fantastic to have friends along on this fun weaving journey!

    Happy weaving,

  3. Your skirt is beautiful and you wear it with pride. It must feel great to put it on knowing that you made it from start to finish. I enjoyed watching every step. Thank you.

    1. Carolyn, Thank you! Yes, it’s a great feeling to have a skirt to wear that I made from scratch. I’m so glad you’ve been following along!


  4. I’ve been following this project, too, Karen, and have to say I wasn’t sure where you were going with this one. However…..WOW! I love it! Great job!

  5. Love, Love, Love your blog. Such an inspiration both spiritually and artistically. Thanks for sharing.

    BTW – wasn’t it hard to take the scissors to your finished fabric?

    1. Rebecca, you have really touched me with your sweet comment.

      It didn’t seem hard to cut the fabric this time, since I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it from the very start. All the while I was weaving the fabric I was anticipating the sewing to come. I must say, though, that I did measure at least three times, and carefully chalked the lines, before making the first cut.

      Yours truly,

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