Vibrant Matter Skirt


Last week, I had a 20 page research proposal to work on. So naturally, I spent the weekend sewing.

Handwork helps me think. Something about making individual stitches, whether it’s knitting, cross-stitch, or hand sewing, acts as an entry into the world of meditation and rumination. Most people make notes, and outlines, and rough drafts, and I do that, too. But I also include handiwork time so I can visualize my writing project as I sew, knit, or stitch.

On Saturday morning I drafted the pattern, washed and ironed my fabrics, and cut out my skirt. I then started the seams. About two years ago I got completely frustrated by my sewing machine, and put it in the basement. I started doing all of my sewing by hand, and haven’t taken the machine out of banishment yet — not even to make curtains! I sat in my favorite chair with my cat on my lap and my computer and books by my side and sewed and sewed. I stitched on a fold over elastic waistband with a funny hand zig zag kind of stitch. My proposal took shape. I stopped to take notes or look something up a million times. On Sunday I made bias tape to finish the hem with and stitched in on with green embroidery floss. Stitch, stitch, stitch. Think, think. think. Sections of the proposal appeared in my mind, then got quickly typed up between stitches.


Complete with cat fur from Woody’s lap sitting!

By Sunday night I had a freshly stitched skirt and the proposal drafted.

I let the skirt hang all week to get nice and settled and drapey as I embellished my proposal and did the finishing. By Friday I handed in my proposal and had a new skirt to wear 🙂


Please ignore the chaos — we are in the process of converting this room into a music studio for my husband!

I call it the Vibrant Matter skirt as a homage to the book I loved the most from my research.

It feels good to have the proposal done, and to have a new skirt. No coupons used, as I had the fabric, embroidery floss, and thread. The fold over elastic was purchased, but does not require coupons as per the ration system.

You know I’m going to wear this skirt for my archival research!


  1. The skirt is lovely – very impressed! And lovely fabric which deserves its name!

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