No one can find inner peace except by working,
not in a self-centered way, but for the whole human family.
- Peace Pilgrim
There are many ways to make DIY Peace.
Mildred Norman set off on New Year’s Day and began to walk across the country in the name of peace. Changing her name to Peace Pilgrim, she said, “I shall remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace.” Peace Pilgrim continued her journey until her death in July 1981. That’s 28 years of walking for peace.
Others have worked for peace in their own ways. There have been singers for peace, like Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, or Bob Dylan. Many have spent their lives attempting to create peace on a global level: Nelson Mandela, fellow Southerner Jimmy Carter, Elie Wiesel. There are those like Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, who have devoted their lives to prayer and meditation for peace. So many across the world continue to protest and work for peace.
At Alabama Chanin, we only know how to do what we CAN do to promote peace… So, for today, while it may seem trivial, that’s as simple as our Peace Skirt. It’s not earth shattering; it’s a skirt. However, perhaps the time sewing, and/or the time wearing will give us each a little time to reflect, or to work towards peace it in small ways for our own lives.
Make your own or purchase our DIY Peace Skirt Kit (kit comes ready-to-sew and includes all fabric, floss, and thread needed to complete your project).
Short Skirt pattern from Alabama Studio Sewing + Design
1 yard of 60” wide medium-weight organic cotton jersey fabric for top layer
1 yard of 60” wide medium-weight organic cotton jersey fabric for backing layer
1 yard of 1 ½” –wide fold-over elastic
Supplies for stenciling (see page 48 of Alabama Studio Style)
2013 Peace Sign Stencil (purchase here or download from our Resources page) *Note that any stencil can be used here.
Button Craft thread
Basic sewing supplies: fabric scissors, pins, needles, tailor’s chalk, ruler, rotary cutter,
Alabama Stitch Book, Alabama Studio Style, or Alabama Studio Sewing + Design: All three of these books contain the basic sewing and embroidery techniques.
Photocopy the Short Skirt pattern and cut the photocopied pattern to your desired size, cutting as close as possible to the black cutting line. The Short Skirt pattern has two pattern pieces – a front panel and a back panel- with a ¼” seam allowance built into all pattern edges.
Lay the top-layer of fabric flat and fold to create two layers and position the front pattern on top of that yardage, making sure the pattern and fabric grain lines run in the same direction. With tailor’s chalk, trace around the pattern’s edges, remove the pattern, and cut out the traced pattern, cutting just inside the chalked line to remove it entirely. Repeat this step on the remaining top-layer fabric to cut four top layers for your skirt.
Lay out the backing-layer fabric flat and fold to create two layers, and repeat the process in Step 2 to cut four backing-layer pieces.
To ensure that the waistline on your cut fabric pieces doesn’t stretch while you’re constructing your skirt, use a single strand of all-purpose thread to baste the waistline edges of each cut piece, as noted on the pattern piece.
Add the desired stenciling on the right side of the skirt’s top layer only, and let the image dry thoroughly.
Align each cut top-layer piece on the corresponding backing-layer piece, with both fabrics facing right side up, and pat the layers into place with your fingertips so that their edges match. Securely pin together the two layers of each piece.
Follow the instructions for backstitched reverse appliqué on page 54 of Alabama Studio Style.
Once you’ve completed your embellishment, begin constructing your skirt by pinning each pair of adjacent panels with right sides together.
Thread your needle, love your thread, and knot off (see pages 21- 22 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design). Using a straight stitch, begin stitching the pinned pieces together, starting at the top edge of the skirt’s waistline and stitching ¼” from the fabric’s cut edges down to the bottom edge. Be sure to begin and end the seam by wrap-stitching its edges. Fell your seams by folding over each seam’s allowances to one side and topstitching the seam allowances 1/8” from the cut edges, down the center of the seam allowances, using a straight stitch and warp stitching the seam. Repeat this process for the skirt’s side seams.
Using 1 ½”-wide fold-over elastic (see page 8 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design) and starting at the skirt’s center-back waistline, encase the waistline’s raw edge with the folded elastic, pinning or basting it in place as you work. Overlap the elastic’s raw edges at the center back by about ½”, and trim off any access elastic. Using the stretch stitch of your choice, sew through all the layers down the middle of the elastic.
Fabric weight – Alabama Chanin 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey
Fabric color – Camel-on-Camel
Fabric Paint – Pearl Grey
Fold-over Elastic – Silt
Button Craft thread – Coats & Clark Colors #155 (Dogwood)
Embroidery Floss – Tea
Stencil – 2013 Peace Sign Stencil
Embroidery technique – Backstitch reverse appliqué; zigzag stitch used to bind fold-over elastic