Hi Lovelies, today I’m bringing you a pattern that I’ve had in my stash for ages, the Arielle skirt by Tilly and the Buttons. I bought it when it was first released and for some unknown reason hadn’t touched it until last week.
We were heading off on holiday to Portugal and in true lastminute.com style I decided to make a few bits to take with me, with Arielle being one. It’s a fitted, high-waisted style with asymmetric buttons on the front and is finished with a facing instead of a waistband.
I have some gorgeous Liberty canvas that I had earmarked for the pattern but I thought I better make a toile before cutting into that level of preciousness! I found some very old navy cotton twill in my stash that had been used for goodness knows what beforehand – it was one of those pieces that doesn’t have any straight edges left as it has had so many other bits cut out of it. I managed to eke out just the right amount for the pattern, even though I had to sew a couple of offcuts together to make one of the facing pieces! I know, I know it’s probably off grain, but whatever – waste not, want not and all that!
I shortened the long version by 10cm to create a knee length version between the mini & midi options that Tilly gives you. As I was lazy and cut the actual pattern rather than tracing, I just folded all the pieces up by 10cm, I love a bit of lazy sewing!
I basted the sides first as I always have trouble with fitting things to my waist as it’s so much smaller than my ginormous hips. I had to take the side seams and all the darts in a bit, but once I did I got a nice fit without any gaping. I was thinking of the skirt as a pencil style, but once I’d made it up I realised that it is very straight after the hip curve, this meant that the bottom was very wide and not as flattering as I would’ve liked. I fixed this by taking the bottom of the skirt in 4cm either side to give it a more pegged look.
Whilst sewing I realised I actually really liked how the skirt was coming along and that there was a definite gap in my wardrobe, so I decided to make a bit of an effort and make the fully lined version. In the spirit of making the most of what I had, I used some leftover Liberty tana lawn for the lining. There wasn’t actually enough to line the whole skirt, so the Liberty was used for the front pieces and some plain blue lawn for the back piece.
Tilly’s instructions were really simple and easy to follow as always, and it didn’t actually take much extra time to add the lining in. The only challenges were of my own making; I took about 3 inches out of the waist in the end and adjusted the facings, but forgot to make the pleats in the lining bigger so there was a slight excess of fabric. I managed to iron more into the pleats before wearing so it didn’t bunch up under the main fabric, although you can see some wrinkling in these photos. Also, despite shortening all my pieces by 10cm, my lining pieces weren’t short enough for the length I’d made, so I couldn’t double fold my main hem. In the end I just overlocked it and did a single fold. It’s not quite as neat as I’d like but I’ll know for next time!
Have you spotted the deliberate mistake? The front piece does up on the wrong side! Apparently the correct way is to have the buttons on the left, and Tilly does tell you in bold in the instructions and on the pattern pieces, to cut them face up on the wrong side of the fabric. I read this, my brain acknowledged this and then proceed to do the exact opposite without even realising! It was fine, I just had to remember to keep cutting everything right side up so they were all the same.
Having dug out some gold buttons from my Nan’s button stash, I am so pleased with the final result, especially as it’s pretty much made from scraps. Does anyone else find that just as satisfying as sewing with some specially purchased fabric?
I have two more versions already cut out, one from my fabulous Liberty canvas and one from black stretch denim – fingers crossed I can get them finished in time!