Thursday, September 2, 2010

The most troublesome skirt I’ve ever made

Hula Bob is a friend of mine… he’s been hanging around for about five or six years now but he had recently developed a problem… his skirt was disintegrating in the sun… which isn’t great for a hula guy.

When we first met, his skirt was made of a lime/fluorescent green hair-like material… which lasted about… oooh… five or six years before crumbling into nothingness…

He had also developed a bit of jaundice, looking decidedly yellowish instead of tanned… so a quick paint job and it was onto the skirt.

The crumbling hair stuff just had to go and so I purchased 10 metres of green raffia… and that gave the stingiest, thin skirt you’ve ever seen – you could totally see his spring and everything! I should add at this point that Hula Bob is about 20cm tall and sits on the parcel shelf of my car, wobbling at fellow motorists, not some odd dude who likes being painted and wearing disintegrating hair skirts…

Anyway… raffia is a right witch to sew… you get it nice and thick and even and it squirms around and lets itself get flattened out by your presser foot and… ugh… it’s not fun. Bob’s undercarriage, where his spring meets his torso, has a little stepped in section, so that first ugly spare skirt was tied on that under section and glued up the wazoo… not Bob’s wazoo… I’m just sayin’ I used a lot of glue.

I then bought another 10 metres of raffia, folded it over and over a million times to get the right lengths, sewed a straight stitch through them and then encased the ends in a grosgrain ribbon… except of course the raffia kept moving and slipping out of the ribbon and… ugh… it’s not fun.


For something different and so I could say I had used the stitch on my machine, I picked the stretch stitch that kind of looks like a vine with leaves. Much like Marilyn Monroe, Bob was then sewn into his skirt, given a trim around the bottom and tah-dah… just like new…


Yep, there are two black lines of stitching peeking out from under his ribbon waistband which would ordinarily give me the twitches but honestly, I just wanted to see this project done and have Bob wobbling in his rightful place in the car again… so they stay and become “a design feature”… much like I say there is no such thing as a wrong move in dancing, there are just new ones… unless it involves pain and/or blood, then it is definitely wrong.

So that’s Bob’s story… a new skirt – this time closer to grass than his previous one. Here’s hoping he’s good for at least another five years.

hula bob

20 metres of raffia in that little skirt… I know, ridiculous, right?? I can’t imagine how many you’d need for an actual person-sized one. I just know I won’t be volunteering to make them anytime soon! :0)


  1. Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the effort and sacrifice you put into making Bob a new skirt. Sometimes Bob's are left to rot in the dashboard sun, but they have feelings too and a new skirt is sure to perk him up. And keep his undercarriage protected. Well Done!

  2. Thank you Tina... and I appreciate your appreciation.
    Truth be told, I was tired of green hair trimmings floating through the air and I just felt pervy everytime I saw his spring through the sparse layer of fuzz that he had left. It weren't seemly! :0)

  3. hehe thanks for sharing, very cute :-) I like his eyebrows!

  4. Hula Bob needs to meet Leilani the lovely dashboard dancer, she's still wigglin' after all these years and quite frankly, I think she's a little sick of hanging out with the Paradise Hawaiian Style Elvis I bought her ... ok... I bought for me.

  5. Wow, who would have thought it would take 20m!

  6. Ness: - I can't find you on the Twitter machine... do you have my new email address?
    VandE - certainly not me! I thought one lot of 10m would do it but nooo... it looked terrible so I had to add the second layer. Ridiculous really.