Archive | July, 2014

Finished: A denim Miette skirt

13 Jul

Well, it has been a busy few weeks – climbing holidays, new jobs, epic sewing meet ups, and my blogiversary, which I missed, oops!

IMG_4015But I have been finding some time for some sewing as well – I think I have 45 finished garments to show you from the last few weeks! I’ve been on a bit of a roll!

This one is actually one of the last ones I’ve made, but it’s the only one I’ve managed to get photos of so far!



As many of you will know, this is Tilly’s Miette skirt pattern. I realised a little while ago that my two Kelly skirts are my most worn me made items, by a long way. They’re just so practical. I love wearing dresses, but skirts just have so many options. They’re also satisfying and relatively quick to sew, without fitting issues, as you only need to make it fit your waist.


So I decided I needed more skirts in my life, and when I went to Goldhawk Road for the NYLon meet up (which was amazing, I had such a good day and it was so nice to finally meet people I have got to know online), denim for skirts was one of the things on my shopping list. I managed to get 3 different denims in Classic textiles, and this is the first of them. I think this one was £4/m.


As you’d expect from one of Tilly’s patterns, this skirt is beautifully easy to put together, with only 5 pattern pieces that need cutting out. As a testament to that, this skirt was made mainly at 2am, after a bottle of wine, and suffered very little as a result!


Crazy jumpy photo!

It’s been a long time since I’ve done middle of the night sewing, but I find it very enjoyable. I had plans to spend that Saturday evening sewing – Marcus was having a friend over for drinks, so I thought I’d leave the boys to it and get some serious sewing time in. But I’d spent most of the day gardening, uncovering all the strawberry plants in our front garden that we knew were there but couldn’t see for all the weeds, and, not being used to gardening, I could barely stand by 6pm! It was that sort of sheer exhaustion where I was aching so much all over that I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I resigned myself to some PDF pattern cutting and sticking, and some medicinal wine. But most of a bottle of (home brewed!) wine later, I was feeling much more alive, and ploughed on with the actual sewing. Incidentally, the tedious parts of sewing such as pattern sticking and fabric cutting are much more enjoyable while pleasantly tipsy ;)


For once, I decided to just cut the pattern out, rather than trace it. Normally I do trace PDF patterns, mainly because I don’t want to have to re-print and cut and stick again if I need to make adjustments, or need a different size. But given how straightforward the fitting was going to be for this skirt, I decided to go wild and just cut them out!


I cut a size 3 based on my waist measurement. It could possibly do with being a *tiny* bit smaller – I usually have it done up as tight as it will go. However, the ability to let it out a bit is much appreciated when I’ve had a big meal!


I chose to use a contrasting fabric for the pocket facings and the reverse side of the waistband and ties – partly because I though that two layers of denim might be a bit thick at some places, like on the ties, but also because I fancied showing off some pretty fabric :) I think the waist ties could possibly do with being a little thicker, or perhaps being interfaced like the waistband – just at the point where they are tied up, they tend to lose their shape a bit.

The construction was very simple, although I did make two small mistakes. The first was that, when joining the pocket front to the pocket facing, you are instructed to sew along two edges. I did, but sewed along the wrong two edges (ok, that may have been the wine). Unfortunately I didn’t realise this until I’d already trimmed the seem allowance. This meant that my pocket piece wasn’t quite the size it was meant to be relative to the skirt front, but it all turned out ok – I just had to be careful when sewing my side seams to make sure that the pocket got caught in the seams.


The other mistake I made was due to missing a step in the instructions. I had attached my waistband to the skirt, attached the facing, trimmed the seam allowance, and pressed the bottom edge of the facing up, ready to stitch in the ditch along the waistband. After that, all I had to do was hem the skirt…and finish the edges of the sides of the skirt. But I couldn’t see in the instructions where that was done. So I looked back through the instructions, and found it much earlier (in a much more sensible place), but somehow I had missed it. I’m not entirely sure how (although Jo did the same thing recently) – I think it was probably because I was flicking between the printed, bullet list instructions, and the online, full colour step by step ones, and in switching between the two, I must have somehow skipped over it.


Not too much of a crisis, but I did have to unpick the waistband facing from the waistband where the ties meet the skirt, so that I could turn the side seams over and have the ends enclosed in the waistband seam.


As you’d expect from Tilly, this is a really nice easy pattern to make, and the detailed photo instructions online take you through every step. I love this skirt and have worn it so much since I made it. It works best with tops tucked into it, due to the tie waist, but it does look great with jumpers tucked in. I will definitely be making more of these, and I might have to follow Lauren’s lead and make a tie-less Miette at some point, just to allow a bit more variety with what I can wear it with.

Next up on my to-make list is a Flora dress to wear to a wedding in a couple of weeks…need to get moving on that one!

chinelo bally

Dressmaker| Author| Blogger| Freehand cutter


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