Friday, 1 February 2013

The Eye-kea Skirt

I've always had a love/hate relationship with Ikea. You get out to that big blue and yellow box by the freeway, get all lost and disoriented, then dazzled by all that clever Scandinavian design, and next thing you know you're dragging a bunch of unnecessary furniture and soft furnishings back to your house, in my case usually on public transport. I have difficulty avoiding clutter in my home, and I don't want to subject my interiors to the whims of fashion - when I buy a sofa or a table, I intend for it to last a long time. And shopping at Ikea goes against my belief in supporting small, independent businesses - I feel like I'm selling out to 'the man'. (I'll never shake off my 70's San Francisco upbringing...)

But every now and then I have to succumb. I really needed to replace the curtains for the bay window in my living room. They're huge windows; if I bought the fabric from some of the local fabric shops it would have set me back close to £100 (approx $150 USD). But buying the fabric at Ikea was only going to cost me about £50-£60. I was going to have to live with it.

As is usually the case with Ikea, I didn't just buy the curtain fabric. In fact I was pretty impressed with the fabric selection, and found it hard to resist buying stacks of it. I did treat myself to this:
Vannerna Titta, £9 for 3m (source)
 It's meant for a childs bedroom curtains or cushions, but I immediately saw it's Dali-esque appeal:

The Eye, Salvador Dali, 1945

Which inspired me to create this:

That's me doing a 'surrealist' pose

 It's not the first time I've made something and then had to think later about how to work it into my wardrobe. With this skirt I decided that the best look was a 50's musical beatnik look as seen in films like 'Funny Face' and 'The Rebel'.

Audrey Hepburn going beatnik in 'Funny Face'

Nanette Newman in 'The Rebel'

 I admit it's a bit freaky; I wanted to debut it recently at a christening, but Mr Needles quite rightly said it might scare the children! 

The skirt only used about 1.5m, leaving me another 1.5m to play with (the fabric is sold in ready cut pieces of 3m). Probably enough to line an upcoming jacket project - stay tuned!


  1. OOOWEEE!!! I love that fabric/skirt. I have definitely used IKEA as a resource for material before but I have never seen this! We have an IKEA about one mile from our house and when it was being built I was excited; now we check in maybe once or twice a year. I might have to go tonight to see if we have that fabric in the US!!! Great job!!!

    1. So glad you like it! There's another design in this series featuring lips, which looks fabulous, but it was out of stock at the branch I visited. You might want to check that one out too!

  2. Your skirt is fabulous! And I love your surrealist poses!! There's an Ikea near where I work, and I haven't been in it for a while - I feel a visit coming on... :)

  3. I have a love/hate relationship with Ikea - some things are great and others just leave me cold. However, that fabric is really out there and unlike any other Ikea print that I've seen. Such a brilliant idea to use it for a Surrealist skirt too, all you need now is the red lips sofa and the lobster telephone handset!

  4. Love the quirky title! I know what you mean with Ikea and clutter as I pretty much have a similar relationship of the sort! A fitted jacket with that fabric will be amazing...can't wait to see it!
    May x

  5. Cracking Skirt, This is the only the other example of this fabric being used for clothing I found after I made a shirt from it

    This is the other


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