I've followed Tilly Warne, of Tilly and the Buttons, ever since I saw her on the Great British Sewing Bee (Oh, I do miss GBSB so much!)
Anyway, I have her book 'Love at First Stitch', which is an excellent step by step tutorial for anyone wishing to learn to sew, or gain more confidence and develop their skill. Whilst (without sounding big-headed) I'm not a beginner, I was drawn to the colourful book, with lovely photography and super patterns that can be easily customised. I haven't made anything from the book yet, but have my eye on the Mimi blouse.
I often read Tilly's lovely, inspirational blog, and I decided to make the Miette skirt. I like wrap skirts as they are comfortable to wear and look casual too. They have the added advantage that you can loosen them a bit if you have an extra large dessert ;)
Off I went to Cool Crafting in Skipton and I purchased the pattern, along with a couple of metres of the softest, smoothest cotton chambray imaginable. The pattern gives one fabric requirement for all sizes, but I found I only needed 1.8 metres of 160 cm wide fabric, to make a size 4.
The photo doesn't do the fabric justice!
Unpacking the pattern, you can see that it is made of sturdy paper, instead of the usual tissue. The pattern is clearly printed and labelled. I would think the only problem might be trying to pin the pattern, but I use pattern weights, so I didn't find that an issue.
Oh, speaking of pattern weights, instead of using expensive purchased weights, or tins of baked beans, I bought 2 dozen extra large metal washers, for about 30p each, from our local hardware shop and, although they're not very pretty, they work like a dream. Here they are:
Back to the pattern... Tilly doesn't use the usual 10/12/14 and so on sizes (they don't match ready-to-wear sizes anyway, and often just confuse things) but instead she uses sizes 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on. I measured myself and decided to make a size 4. I added 2" to the length - 1" at the bottom (hand drawn, using the spare paper) and 1" at the place indicated to lengthen or shorten.
As I decided against having pockets I cut the front on the fold of the fabric to avoid the centre front seam.
Making the skirt was a dream. Everything went together really fast and whilst I initially wasn't sure about so many pieces for the waistband and ties (the facing for both is cut separately) I can now see that it eliminates the ringlet-looking, curly-wurly ties that can sometimes occur when you cut one piece and fold it lengthwise.
You could also use a fancy fabric to face the waistband, which would look fabulous!
I topstitched the entire waistband and ties, to give a casual, but crisp look.
And, here it is... Ta Daaa! Cue a really awkward looking selfie! I was home alone and too impatient to wait for someone else to take a photo. (Despite pressing the skirt carefully, it appears to have an annoying wrinkle on the front. Never mind...)
I love the skirt and the fabric so much that I went back to Cool Crafting and bought some more of the fabric to make another one. This time I want to cut the back with the finished edge, instead of the side seam, on the straight grain. It wouldn't be possible to do this with any size larger than size 5 and still keep the fabric folded double, but it's easy enough to open out the fabric and cut the two back sections separately, flipping the piece over to cut the second section, to get a pair. (Don't forget that if you do this you would need to allow extra fabric when working out requirements) I am going to cut a size 5 for the back, to give a little bit of extra coverage on the wrap, but that's just me - it genuinely, as per the pattern promise, doesn't gape!
Before I cut into this fabric again though I will make a trial one in some less-loved fabric from my stash.
I'll let you know how this plan works out :)
So, my first impressions of my first ever Tilly pattern is I lOVE THEM! I so want to make some more, and have my eye on Rosa shirt/shirt dress next. I'm planning to purchase that very soon! Have you made any Tilly and the Buttons patterns? Do let me know in the comments below.