A few years ago, I was at my uncle’s house and saw something interesting on one of the magazines in the living room. There was a lady wearing a long skirt made of different printed fabrics. It gave me an idea. After all, I had so many scrap fabrics at home, from various sewing projects I’d done (and tried doing) over the years.
The first challenge I worried about, however, was how to choose the right fabrics that will work together. You see, when I was much younger, somebody taught me that when it comes to wearing clothes, you should wear either a combination of plains, a combination of one printed fabric and another plain fabric of similar or complimenting colors, or an outfit of the same printed fabric (like a blouse and skirt of exactly the same fabric). I’ve been taught that you should not wear one printed item with another of a different print, or people would think you’re from the bush, who has either no other clothes to wear or just no fashion sense.
Because of this dilemma, I tried to study the skirt on the magazine, and subsequently, other patchwork clothes in other magazines (like the gypsy-styled attire one famous Philippine actress wore to an awards night).
I came to understand that, for the prints to work, you need to choose fabrics with lots of very similar colors. In the magazine, for example, the skirt was made of various fuchsia pink floral prints. Also, you can add laces or ribbons or plain fabric of the color theme. Then, you should carefully plan how to put them together so that they will look coordinated.
Of course, after gaining confidence to try it, I went digging into my stash of fabric scraps and found some nice ones which I thought would work. Oh, and I also tried to choose fabrics which have similar textures.
Here’s what I came up with. These are scraps from my sister’s dresses. All I had to buy was the black lace, and I think, elastic for the waist.
Why do I believe that this skirt was a success? Because I’ve worn this many times (without telling my friends about its origins) and they all thought that I bought this skirt as it is from the department store. They were quite surprised when I told them later that I made it from scraps.