Simple cotton wrap skirts with no buttons or zips are so simple to make & wear. When you sew them yourself you can make them exactly the right length, width and fullness. For my 16th birthday, my parents gave me a little sewing machine and a series of lessons with the local seamstress. I love being able to pick up fabrics from travels and even the op shop to make simple wraps. When they’re worn out, into the compost they go.
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Hi! It’s Morag Gamble from Our Permaculture Life and the Permaculture
Education Institute. And welcome back for another live today in plastic-free July.
I wanted to talk a little bit about the skirts that I make. Now normally, I don’t really talk much about fashion you know me. I’m just normally in the standard or thicks and I’m always in. But a lot of people ask me about these skirts that I wear and I actually, consciously pick things that I know that I can compost at the end of their life. So you know, all these sorts of things are cotton fabrics. So I can just stick them in my worm farm or as mulch somewhere in the garden afterwards. And the thing is too that when I make them as these wrap skirts, they don’t have any buttons, or zips, or anything like that. That becomes a waste in the garden. Although you know, it’s also totally possible as well, to pull those things out afterwards. I’ve been known to stick in some sheets, that have the elastic around the fitted sheets into worm farm ones. That got past being usable and I stuck them in there, as sort of a blanket for the worm farm and they eventually ate it all. And I came back a few months later and just pulled out the elastic, and I could dispose of that. But the rest of it went into the system, so I wanted to let you know basically how they were made. So essentially, it’s just one piece of fabric and I select something that you know if I’ve been traveling into a country. And they have amazing fabrics. That’s the one thing that I bring back home. So I have lots of collections of things from recent trips. To Africa, or into Indonesia and so that’s what I bring home. So these ones from Indonesia are basically Sarongs, and so that’s it! I just wrap them around and use them as this is wrong, no tie, no buttons, no zips, nothing. Just wrap it around and tie it up and that’s it! So that’s super simple, and then these ones here. What I’ve done is, I took the pattern off one of the skirts that I actually found in Uganda. And so essentially, it’s just one piece of fabric that is almost like, a semi. I don’t know if I can show you this. I might have to draw it. So it’s almost a semi-circle and then it’s got just the wrap around with a tie here like this.
So what I do is, once I’ve got one I just chop out the next one. And then I make the length of the bit around the waist enough. So that I can overlap it by about that much, so that when you’ve wrapped it around you can do a measure with a piece of string or something. Wrap it around and hold it there and see if you can get like overlap that way and that way. And then that’s the length of the circle in the middle. And then, you just go out from that and as long as you want him. So it’s completely adaptable to whatever shape or size you are. And then also because, there’s enough overlap if you kind of been to a big party just undo their tie a little bit. Or you know, been throughout the month as well as, throughout the year. So it’s nice to have that adaptability and then out of the off cut section, I just stitched together the strap. So this strap here is made up of numerous bits of the leftover bits of fabric, which then make the tie. So like I said, it’s just one piece of fabrics. All you need to do is do the hem at the bottom. But if you plan it well too, I’ve actually used the edge of the fabric. So that I don’t have to hem it, it’s just the natural sort of binding on the edge of the fabric. So that’s one edge and then just trim it up the side. so I just fold it over again and put a stitch along there. And then stitch on the top, it’s so super easy. Now I’m not a master sewer by any stretch of the imagination. But what I do appreciate is that when I was 16, my mum gave me a sewing machine and a series of lessons with the seamstress down the road. Now I think that’s such a brilliant thing to do. So you know, I’ve done a similar thing with my daughter when she was actually started a bit early. I think when she was 10, she got her first sewing machine and she started making things firstly for her guinea pigs. Like little guinea pig costumes and then she started making bags. And now, she’s making clothes for herself and it’s a great thing to be able to mend and make clothes like that. It makes the type of things that you have stretched so much longer. Or to be able to adapt things that you find in their coop shops, maybe to be able to fix those up and it enables you to step out of that kind of fast fashion world. And as we know, that’s kind of the ones that have so much waste embedded within it too. And also, I mentioned before about all the microfibers and the plastic clothing. So if we can step out of that by getting in, and making our own clothes. So I have this blue and red one, I have an orange one, and I think that’s about all I’ve got at the moment. So I’m about to make another one, out of this one here. So this is the next one that’s coming and I really like the colors and the patterns in this one as well. So that’s kind of also why I just have a one standard color of top with leggings underneath. Because then, any other color of wrap doesn’t matter. It goes with all the same, so it’s a simple wardrobe. It’s a very functional one, and like I said the other day it’s really simple. To be able to, you know, I go and garden in it. I can teach in this and I’ve even been to Westminster, dressed in these clothes as well. So you can kind of dress them up and dress them down. And it’s just really wonderfully adapted.
So join me again tomorrow for another live talk about I’ll be out in the garden. Actually, tomorrow there’s something that I’m going to be digging up and I wanted to talk about how you can use that, to actually get rid of something that often comes in plastic into our homes. So I hope you’ll join me for that, and I’ll put a few more links below as well. About the Permaculture courses and programs and resources that I have, that are available for free. So I’m sorry, I missed you yesterday because
I was actually working on editing and releasing a podcast. With Frichoff Capra and the Perma Youth, so we had this Science elder with two young
women who had a conversation together. So I’ll also put the link to that below.