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Final Study Garment

My study garment is an embroidered hippie skirt with mirrors. It is hand made and has no label. It is a green skirt with tan, orange, burgundy, blue, pink, white, yellow and purple thread used to do the embroidery on it. There are birds, suns and flowers embroidered on the skirt and in the middle of the suns, or sunflowers which ever you think they are, are tiny mirrors. Also along the waistband are mirrors roughly about 2in. apart. The skirt has a drawstring so it is a multiple size skirt. It is surprisingly heavy. The body of the skirt has two layers with the embroidery all the way through. You can tell that the skirt has been hand sewn and embroidered and has been repaired at the seams many times in some places. The thread itself is remarkably thick compared to the thread we see used today. The fabric used as the base and hem of the skirt is of a different quality and thickness than that off the body of the skirt and does not appeared to be layered yet is still remarkably thick. Not only is all of the embroidery all the way through to the inside, but you can tell where the skirt is missing sections of embroidery and mirrors. The skirt is surprisingly durable and the stitching at the seams are remarkably strong, there is only one small section where the skirt obviously got caught on something and tore at a seam. (A few small stitches could fix in a jiffy.) The mirrors are not sewn in but are merely being held in place by a circular stitch along the edges and in fact only three mirrors in the whole skirt are missing and they are towards the very bottom. The seams are hand stitched and the underside is made up of patches of the same fabric. The waist has a drawstring tie so it can be worn by multiple body types. I was not able to find a pattern or find a specific style in which the skirt fits into. This makes me think that it was a generic skirt type made maybe without a pattern. I was not able to figure out if the skirt was made with the intention to be a Mexican or an Indian style skirt. I do know that Indian skirts tend to be made out of very light material and are very free-flowing. This skirt like Iíve said is very heavy and does not flow freely and is very durable. Since I could not find any justification for it being an Indian pattern skirt I tend to believe that it truly is of Mexican origin. The seams at the bottom and top of the skirt are much thicker and stand out very easily. Where as the seams in the body of the skirt are small and careful and are obviously meant to be hidden except where it has been either altered or repaired. It is obvious that no machine could have sewn the careful embroidery and patterns into the skirt. Someone went to painstaking efforts to create this work of art giving it lots of time, attention and love sewing together piece by piece.

I do know that this skirt was sewn by hand. The skirt originally was sewn by a Mexican woman for her daughterís Sixteenth Birthday. The womanís daughter was ashamed of the skirt because it was hand made and showed how poor her family was so she refused to wear it. Sometime later the woman traveled to the Sacramento area, from I donít know where, she ended up setting up a booth at a county fair to try to sell her clothing. This woman came by admiring the skirt that had been meant for her daughter. She admired it so much that the Mexican woman told her the story of the skirt and how it was meant as a gift. The woman thought it was a horrible story and offered to buy it and give it a good home and to someday give it to her daughter when she had one. This was in the late 60ís and the skirt was probably made a few years before. The Mexican lady was overjoyed and sold her the skirt for $5.00 even though she probably could have gotten much more for it. The woman moved to Alaska and never had a daughter, but she did have a son. And her son had many friends. One girl imparticular, Kadey, came over often to talk to the woman. Kadey was a hippie chick and was the closest thing to a daughter that the woman ever had. When the womanís son went off to college the woman moved away. But before leaving she told the story of the skirt meant for the Mexicanís daughter to Kadey and left the skirt in her possession, making her promise to take care of it and wear it and give it to her daughter one day. Kadey is a good friend of mine and when I told her of this project she insisted I use this skirt and she then told me the story of the Mexican woman and the skirt meant for her daughter. I donít know if this story is true, but I do know that Kadey believes it with all her heart and that she will give the skirt to her daughter when she has one and she will tell the story again, and that is good enough for me to make me a believer.

Bottom border with flowers and a missing mirror

Back View

Restitched seam

Where 4 peices are sewn together

The embroidery pattern

Inside view

The only rip and on the inside

Inside seam

Inside waistband view

Outside waistband view

"Sun" or "Flower" (whichever you prefer) with mirror

Bottom Trim

Hidden Seam