While walking through the university the other day I noticed a sign that caught my eye, and recognized that it could help me in my Treaty Walk. I was lucky enough to not have classes on Fridays, so attended this workshop on March 17th with no idea what to expect!
I walked into a room filled with tables, fabric, sewing machines, and a few people who looked like they knew what they were doing. I should let you know that I have done some sewing before, but that was in grade nine. Sooo, I haven’t practiced in about seven years, but was hoping for the best!
I was immediately welcomed into the workshop and everyone was thrilled that I wanted to make a ribbon skirt. The first step was to pick my fabric! I chose a pretty light pink colour. I then had to cut this fabric into two pieces for the front and back of my skirt.
Once I cut the pieces, I got to choose the ribbon I wanted on my skirt. I chose three colours that I thought went the best with my fabric. I proceeded to pin the ribbon on to my skirt. Once they were all pinned, I was told it was going to be very hard to sew… and that there is an easier way. I was not confident in my sewing abilities, so had to take my pins out and start all over. I was then able to nicely iron my ribbons down flat with some type of adhesive that held them in place. I was now ready to sew!
To tell you the truth, I was terrified! I haven’t used a sewing machine in years and just knew that I was probably going to destroy this skirt. The sewing machine had so many different dials and settings that I had no idea what to do with. With a little bit of instruction, I decided to just wing it. In the end I only had to rip out one line of stitches, so I consider it a success. I sewed my ribbon on, hemmed the bottom, created a waste band, and sewed the two sides to become one. And VOILA, I had a ribbon skirt!
I did run into one problem, it took me the full 2 hours to make the skirt, so I had not tried it on at any point. When I got home, I decided to show my mom what I had made! She told me it looked lovely and she wanted to see it on. When I went to slip into the skirt, it fit, but was a tiny bit too snug. I then got a little lecture from my mom stating, “don’t you know that when you sew a skirt you have to measure the biggest part on your body, not your little waist.” Oops, sorry mom! Now I know for next time!
Going into this experience I had no idea what a ribbon skirt was. The instructor told me about an elder that showed her a video that describes the meaning and significance of the ribbon skirt, that I found very helpful. I also found that I was able to learn so much when I just sat back and observed. The ladies spoke about how sometimes before they sew a skirt they will smudge themselves, as well as their material before beginning. It is little details like this that help me learn so much and that I am grateful for.
Overall, I am very happy with how my skirt turned out! I would like to take the time to create another one that fits me perfectly, but am so happy that I experienced this workshop!
– Ms. S