Gilding the Lily
Fabrics: 2 metres of Anna Marie Horner ‘Hugs and Kisses’ by Westminster Fibres.
Pattern: My well loved Simplicity
Notions: Interfacing thread and zip from stash.
Time to Complete: About 7 hours.
First Worn: In these pictures.
Wear Again: Of course!
Total Cost: Fabric £25, can’t remember how much I paid for the original skirt I cut into, but it wasn’t much.
I’ve had my waterlily for 10 years. Plenty of lily pads, but no flowers … This year, perhaps because of the incessant rain (?) I have enormous lily pads and what’s that hiding under a pad – a flower bud!
I’ve been so excited and monitoring its progress. The plant itself came from the museum where I used to work. There were some building works involving the removal of a pond and I was lucky to get a cutting of the waterlily that was there. Rumours were that the original came from Monet’s garden at Giverny … but I’ve no idea if that is true. Romantically, I like to think that it is! Anyway, look what’s happened …
So how does this fit in with my sewing project? … Well, given my penchant for lilies, I spotted this skirt in Monsoon a couple of years ago. It was waaaay beyond what I would consider paying for a cotton skirt, but it did come down in the sales. Only trouble was, there was just this one left when I got there, not in my size and with a broken zipper. I got it at a snip and have been wondering since how I could make it fit so I could wear those gorgeous gold embroidered flowers … I suppose they could be chrysanthemums too, but for the purposes of this project, I like to think of them as lilies.
I don’t know why I didn’t think about it before but my solution has been to make an entirely new skirt and then applique the lilies back on. I actually like it better now because the backing fabric I’ve used is a far better quality than the original and I like the style of the skirt now too. I also like the name of the fabric, ‘Hugs and Kisses’ by Anna Marie Horner for Westminster Fibres. The little round ‘O’s also look like lily pads, and along with the ‘X’s’, they are in exactly the same colour as the original backing fabric of the lilies, so they tone in nicely with it. I had to buy it new, because it would have been difficult to find such a good match by accident.
I started by cutting around all the big flower shapes.
Then I arranged them all over the front and back pieces before sewing up the skirt.
They were easy to machine on once I’d pinned them, tucking under surplus border fabric as I went along.
I’m really happy with the finished result …