Hunting for instructions as to how to get the lengths of each tier right, I came across this pattern, on Indietutes and like a fool I thought, "Hey, that looks pretty. I could do that!"
|Full instructions: http://indietutes.blogspot.co.uk/2007/05/patchwork-circle-skirt.html|
Noting her comment that "It will take much longer to sew the last layer versus the first, but I'm thinking that if you've gotten this far, you won't be giving up" I decided to do fewer layers than her, and to use larger squares, so we ended up with 4 rows of 5" squares (including seam allowances).
I chose a mix of fabrics from my stash, more or less obeying the instruction to try and use similar weights of fabric, and otherwise being guided by what my daughter chose. She stood next to me at the sewing machine, passing me each new square to add to the strips as I sewed them. Looking at the finished article, it seems a shame we had so little of the bright pink, and that I didn't manage to distribute the three squares we had more evenly!
The gathering part was the most time-consuming, and I have to say it will be a while before I next willingly embark on something that ends up with a bottom tier roughly 4 metres long! But, as Indietutes foresaw, I wasn't about to give up at that point, so I battled on, dividing the length in quarters and gathering them up that way, using hundreds of pins before I machine sewed the whole length.
This project has also allowed me to make friends with my trusty little sewing machine again. It's never been the same since I tried to hem a pair of cords 4 years ago, broke the needle and jammed the engine (resulting in a repair job that cost almost as much as a new machine). This time it managed even the thicker seams around the waistband so I feel like we're on good terms again, Janome and I.
Only trouble is, now my 2 year old wants a swirly skirt too...