Thursday, 26 April 2012

Enjoying Art in McCall's 9722

After sewing for such a long time, you can imagine I have more than enough clothes. But one thing I didn't have was a simple black skirt. I dug this pattern out of my hoard:

(Get a load of her figure - the waist to hip ratio is almost Edwardian!)

Anyway, I've always been intrigued by this pattern as it is just one big piece, with what looks like clever draping and darting to give it shape:

Skirt pattern piece, bottom right
I had some plain black cotton drill left over from the Margiela inspired jacket that I made for Mr Needles in February, which had been folded neatly in one of the random piles I have around the house,  known as 'my projects'. Because I didn't want it to shrink after I made it, I thought putting it in the wash would be a good idea; the only problem was I didn't shake it out of its folds. Result - semi-permanent creases, and even some minor loss of colour on said creases! AAARRRRGGGHHH!!!

Big white crease!
There was no way I was going to waste such a large chunk of fabric, so I soldiered on, and would just have to live with the odd faded streak. And this is the result:

Me and a Russian Depeche Mode fan!

This was one of the quickest skirts I've ever made, and if I hadn't got so fixated with binding the hems and putting in lining, I probably would have finished it in 1 evening.

I love the way the clever draping at the sides lets the skirt fall over your hips:

Close up of pleating
I stuck to the pattern, and kept the back pleat sewn shut. This makes the skirt a little more restictive, and therefore you have to do that 'wiggle' thing when you walk.

 I decided to air this new skirt last Sunday, when I went along to the Southbank Centre with my good friend Issy. This is where the art part comes in - we saw 2 excellent exhibitions there, Brain Activity by David Shrigley, and Joy in People by Jeremy Deller. I've rarely had so much fun looking at art! The day started with a film by Deller about Depeche Mode fans around the world (see picture above), accompanied by art and banners made by fans from Russia:

Issy with some fan art! (I love her new Orla Kiely jacket)

A banner celebrating Depche Mode's record label boss?!?
Then we continued into the exhibitions. The Deller exhibition was particularly immersive; the artist celebrates and documents the everyday, often making you laugh at the absurdity of it, or make you look at that which you see all the time with a fresh eye. There were 3-d films of bat swarms, recreations of his teenage bedroom, spider graphs of the origin of House Music, even a replica of a greasy spoon cafe in the middle of the exhibition, with free tea for all!

Replica of Valerie's Snack Bar

The History of the World, 1997, by Jeremy Deller

Then on to David Shrigley, and his odd sense of humour. Again, the artist doesn't stick to one type of media, using everything from taxidermy to ceramics and film to make his point. He's particularly well known for his distinctive, scratchy drawings:

This was one of my favourites pieces:
There was also a taxidermied dead rat, just randomly placed in a corner; I have to admit I enjoyed seeing other visitors jump, and even scream, when they came upon it.

If you're in London, and you need cheering up, I'd definitely recommend both of these shows.

And do you like my new shoes? They're from Clarks, only £44.99.

Onslow Dance from Clarks shoes
They come in black too - I might have to get those as well!


  1. That is just the skirt I'm looking for at the mo. I'm struggling to find one anything like it in the shops - you'd think there would be loads of them, but there's not. It looks so lovely on you too.

  2. I love your shoes - tried them on in Clarks and was very tempted!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  3. Your skirt has turne4d out just right and I love the pleating detail.

    P.S. I would never have thought that those shoes were by Clarks - they're so retro-tastic. Hmmmm, might have to pay a visit I reckon.....

  4. The wiggle skirt is Gorgeous, you did such a great job, love the pleating too.
    Those shoes are adorable, i also would of not guess they are from Clarks.


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