Architectural Quilted Skirt

This is something I actually did over a year ago (October 2016), but I just now realized that I never wrote a blog post about it, or posted the pictures anywhere—which is awkward now that I wanted to email someone a link to the pictures.

I've never in my life made an article of clothing, except I once knitted a Dr. Who scarf that was about 15 feet long, and I think they made us knit gloves in grade school. (Yes, gloves, it was hard, but this was a Steiner School in Switzerland and they take their crafts seriously. We also made candles and learned to carve wood.) Anyway, prompted by Chantelle, a friend of Nina's, I decided to see if I could make something wearable using the giant quilting robot.

I decided on a skirt on the grounds that it is the simplest possible article of clothing. Shirts and pants are way too hard, but a skirt is basically just a tube (plus a zipper or elastic depending on the shape of the person you're putting it on). Also, skirts can be twirled, which makes them fun.

The idea was to use the layout ability of the machine to, in effect, create the pattern by itself, so the finished piece could just be cut out when it was done stitching. Here we see the machine making two pleated skirts (the first one is finished and it's just started making the second one)

Here is the end result. (The identity of the model is disguised to save his life and reputation in middle school. But you should see the look on his face: he loved this thing.)

The pleating is enforced by a combination of strongly ironing the outside pleats, and using a serger to sew a fold into the inside pleats. That combination seems to keep it pretty reliably shaped the way it should be.

This is not a very practical skirt. Being able to sit down, for example, was not part of the design criterion. But it does twirl! (Modeled here by Chantelle, who I don't think would be too embarrassed to see this posted.)