My first make of 2018 has finally materialised! It’s the first garment I’ve made in months (when you’re doing a PGCE, free time is hard to come by and frankly I’ve spent most of what I had watching Friends) but good things come to those who wait!
Arielle is another pattern by Tilly and the Buttons. It’s been languishing in my pattern box for some time – I bought it last year as part of the 1960’s bundle, but somehow hadn’t got around to using it until now. I made the mini version, but actually cut it 3.5cm longer as I’m tall. It’s a relatively small addition, but makes a significant difference and I think the extra length makes it smart enough to wear at school.
Firstly, I’m absolutely delighted with the shape! It’s designed for a close fit, so I spent a long time redrawing the side seams (my hips were a full two sizes bigger than my waist) then basting, fitting and altering as I went along. As a result it’s taken quite a long time, but now I’ve made it work I’m confident it’ll be much quicker in future. I’m definitely going to make it again – I’ve spent most most of today dreaming of a forest-green corduroy version, so I think that needs to happen fairly soon.
To be honest, I probably didn’t choose the best fabric for this one. It’s made of a beautiful pink wool crepe I bought as a remnant in Sew Over It – basically it was pretty big (about 1.5m), but had a few marks which I think were flaws in the dying process, and was therefore reduced to £10. I couldn’t resist it – the colour is dreamy, and Arielle’s small and asymmetrical pattern pieces fit perfectly around the marks. The trouble was though that I think it’s just a little too drapey, and the facing pulls a little bit in strange places. Having said that though, I’m not sure that anyone else but me would notice – I think everyone else is distracted by the bold vintage buttons and super cool colour! I’m still pretty happy with the overall effect, I’ve just learned to use a heavier fabric next time.
I made the optional “luxury lining” from some paisley print cotton from my stash, and I think the combination of the two fabrics is so great that frankly it’s a shame nobody sees when I’m wearing it. What’s more, I found the lining surprisingly easy to insert – there are some tricky curved seams to navigate, but Tilly’s instructions were really helpful and it ended up looking pretty damn professional!
It was only this morning, as I sewed my buttonholes, that it occurred to me that what a striking resemblance this skirt bares to one that my mum made for me, circa 1997. For context, I was playing a newsreader in a class assembly, and I needed something a little bit prim and proper. My Mum had just made some – erm – lovely pink curtains for my Nan and Granddad, and had just enough left over to squeeze out a tiny skirt and waistcoat worthy of The News at Six (Years Old).