It began with a walk by a rack of cloth that was already at a base price $5.99, and was on sale for 50% off; and I had a coupon for 50% off any fabric’s sale price. So it was $1.50 a yard. I should have bought the whole bolt, really. That’s practically a “it fell off a truck” price.
What do we still need for Christmas, though? We have an advent calendar, now. What else do we need? I did an inventory of our decorations. We’ve never had a tree. We’re planning to have one this year. So, a tree skirt.
A tree skirt is basically a stage for presents. I didn’t know that I wanted to get fancy and design a round skirt with lots of swag and gold trim. I haven’t had the best luck with gold trim. But I’m reasonably successful at making mostly flat things (like tool rolls) out of other flat things like cloth. So this was relatively easy. I made a triangle that was balanced left-right, and cut sixteen sections — eight out of the poinsettia fabric for one side; and four out of the owl fabric, and four out of the holly fabric.
I assembled the two sides separately. One side is very light, and the other is very dark. We can use them alternately, year to year, some years with poinsettias, and some with owls and holly.
I briefly thought about hemming them separately, and leaving them be, as is. Instead, I sewed the outside edges together, and the slot to the middle circle. Then I turned the fabric, and top-stitched the center. I ironed the whole thing, and then top-stitched the whole edge, inside circle and outside edge.
Do we really need a tree skirt? I don’t know. In terms of the hourly rate, I could probably have bought a tree skirt for about what I paid for this one. But I appreciate what Chris Schwarz has written about craftsmanship and anarchism — that anything you make for yourself, becomes both a skill you keep for yourself, and a thing that you don’t have to pay someone else to make. There’s a value in knowing how to make a pattern from scratch (even if it’s only a pattern for a tree skirt), and creating a thing from scratch in a couple of hours.
Which is what I’ve done. I finished this last night. And today I’m ready to put my hands on my tools, and move on to the next project.