Observing the concentration in Alberto Atalla’s class was a joy. “Fold 1 cm in here and 1 cm in there and then iron it. Then you can top stitch. Fold over the end and stitch – you can tuck it inside or leave out. You can stitch by hand or do embellishment – it’s your design! I’ve done a zig zag in here and a zig zag in there”, he explained to the group. The students all had a think and looked again at the examples as they took control of their choices of design for this delightful wrap skirt.
Who would have thought from a single set of measurements that you could make so many different skirts? Students had all cut their skirt designs without a pattern, using measurements taken earlier in the day and working directly onto the fabric. Following step by step instructions with carefully prepared samples, Alberto’s six students were on a mission to create an individually designed wrap skirt for any occasion. There were festival skirts, embellished felt wraps, long beach draping versions and dinky little Summer numbers that swirl and spin in the breeze! You could make a more formal version too – the choices were seemingly endless. And all a perfect fit of course, as the cutting element of this class meant each one was bespoke to the wearer.
“What did you make your strings out of?” one asked. “Just the spare material from the main skirt body” another replied. Students talked amongst themselves showing each other how they had tackled some of the elements of the design. Others were so engrossed in the work that they ignored the lunch bell altogether!
All the students made the first cut from calico – a lightweight and inexpensive material that is really easy to sew and to work with. Then they can get started on their actual designs once the pattern is a perfect fit and style. “He’s even got us doing school maths” one student confided! On the blackboard was a lovely set of calculations using Pi to get the right diameter aperture for the waist….. This was a great workshop that really got both the brain and the hands working, and all students gave Alberto EXCELLENT scores for his patient and inspiring tuition. We can’t wait for Alberto to return with his next exciting project!
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