The girls have been asking for opportunities to do some more painting, and I was motivated enough by the thought of new, colourful skirts to walk them through this activity. I let the girls draw and paint on a length of fabric and then sewed it to make three entirely unique skirts.

Colourful artwork skirts, September 2010
I started with a plain cotton pillowcase from an op-shop: $1.

Colourful artwork skirts, September 2010
I cut the seams off the lengths, making one very long strip of white cotton.

Colourful artwork skirts, September 2010
Using fabric markers, the girls were free to draw on the cloth.

Later I discovered that the fabric markers soaked through the cloth and onto my countertop, so protect your surfaces first before laying out the fabric!

Colourful artwork skirts, September 2010
I added some of my own pictures to encourage the girls' creativity.

Brioni liked to colour in my simple drawings. Calista was more interested in drawing on her own hand. And Aisha drew very complex pictures on her cloth.

Colourful artwork skirts, September 2010
Finally it was time to start painting the fabric.

Colourful artwork skirts, September 2010
The paint was very watered down and created the effect of washed colour rather than precise strokes.

I offered the girls several different colours of paint. As we started to run out of paint, I started to combine the colours to create new shades.

Colourful artwork skirts, September 2010
The girls started by colouring in their pictures.

Colourful artwork skirts, September 2010
In the end, they were just trying to cover every square inch of the cloth with a riot of colour.

I enjoyed the interesting sensation of painting the fabric too. The paint would bleed freely, covering a wider area than the brush-stroke, so precise lines were not possible.

Colourful artwork skirts, September 2010
It was hard to resist playing with the skirt material while it was drying on the line!

Once the fabric was dry, I brought it in and ironed it to help the colours set well. Then I folded over the seams to begin sewing the skirts.

Colourful artwork skirts, September 2010
Fold and sew the bottom and top hems (with room for an elastic in the top).

After sewing the hems, I threaded through the elastic for the waist, and they were done!

Colourful artwork skirts, September 2010
Three beautiful, individual skirts, awash with colour!

Colourful artwork skirts, September 2010
The girls were delighted to finally be able to wear their skirts.

Mummycraft factor: 8. Painting always involves more mummy-supervision than other projects, plus there was the ironing (!) and the sewing with this project. However, it was good fun, so if you have a sewing machine anywhere, I’d suggest you do this with your kids… Even if you don’t have a sewing machine, painting on the fabric was so much fun — give it a go! (The Mummycraft factor tells you how much of the craft the mummy ends up doing. 10 is full-on-Mummy-does-the-craft and 0 is walk-away-and-come-back-to-a-finished-craft.)

The idea for this project came from my new favourite inspirational blog: Filth Wizardry. Swing on by and check out Lindsey’s projects — she’s so creative!