I have been struck by the sewing bug! Ever since I was a child I loved watching my Nan, a seamstress, create clothes for herself, me and others. The blue satin number I wore to my school prom was a particular highlight! However, my Nan is well into her late 80’s now and has had to put her sewing machine away, and I’ve never attempted to make more than a pin cushion over the years. When I got married last year, I had my beautiful dress (any excuse to post a pic) handmade by an amazing dress maker (Emma Louise Designs) and I enjoyed the process so much it really got me interested in making my own clothes.
Then came a sewing machine for Christmas (Brother AE2500 if you’re interested) and the amazing Love At First Stitch book by Tilly Walnes, of Sewing Bee fame (see her blog here), and what do you know, I’ve made clothes! Actual wearable clothes, that aren’t stapled or hemming webbed together! I won’t go into too much detail about Tilly’s book as it’s been out for a while and there are lots of reviews, but I chose it because I love her style and the book is so easy to follow. It takes you through a number of makes, each one introducing new skills which are really well explained with detailed instructions and photos. There are full size patterns at the back so you can trace your designs off and amend your measurements as you wish.
I started with the Delphine skirt, having already made some PJ bottoms in the past (these were a disaster, I didn’t follow a pattern or finish my seams so cue waking up in the morning with a ripped crotch!). I loved the shape of it and thought it would be really flattering on my size 16 thighs! I wasn’t sure what fabric to use, but had recently been given a gorgeous blue jacquard fabric for a seat cover I wanted to make and I quickly decided that it would look much prettier covering my bum than under it!
I was initially terrified by the idea of a waistband, interfacing and heaven forbid a zip, but would you believe it, I did it, and I LOVE it!! The instructions were really easy to follow, I read them all through a couple of times before starting and just followed each step as it’s laid out in the book. The fabric works really well as it’s quite heavy so it holds the shape well and it can be dressed up or down easily.
The skirt is made from three main pieces, a front, two pieces for the back and three pieces plus interfacing for the waistband. As I said, each step is explained, and for the more complicated parts, such as the zip and waistband, there are very detailed instructions with images and I was amazed at how easy it was to follow. If I can do it, anyone can!
My version looks a bit different to Tilly’s; I made the skirt shorter and took the A-Line in a little bit to fit my figure (much rounder than Tilly’s!) better. I also had to take the waist band in quite a bit after I’d made it, but now I know to do that beforehand next time. They’re so easy to make and really versatile to wear; my next is going to be a longer, dark denim one to pair with flip-flops for the summer.
What do you think? How would you wear the Delphine skirt? You can check out Tilly’s site at www.tillyandthebuttons.com