I couldn’t resist a bit of Sebastian the crab for the title of this post. He was clearly the best character in the Disney version of the Little Mermaid. He got all the best songs – Under the Sea and Kiss the Girl, obvs – and he had all the best expressions. Shock. Fear. Lurrrrvvveee.
Anyway, my love for an animated crustacean with a bizarre accent aside, I’m here today to talk about my latest make, the Tilly and the Buttons Arielle skirt. It’s a bit of a departure for me (not much though, I don’t like to go nuts) as I generally favour a fuller skirt over a pencil, but I was attracted by the asymmetric wrap style with the buttons offset to the side, which made it more interesting than your standard pencil. I also had some raspberry needlecord in my stash which a) I was dying to use and b) had to be used in a pattern with a bit of structure.
I made this skirt over the course of two weekends, in between hen dos and house hunting and I have to say I really enjoyed the experience. As Tilly seems to draft for ladies who are less full of hip than I am, I had to make some adjustments to the pattern before I started, grading from a 4 at the waist to a 7 at the hip. I also wanted the skirt to hit me at the knee, so after making a quick toile to check that my adjustments worked, I also chopped off two inches off the bottom, taking care to do the same with the lining pieces too. This meant that I had to take two of the eight buttons off the bottom, but that worked in my favour – I only had six of my preferred buttons in the stash, so I’ll chalk that one up to a win.
The instructions are super clear as you’d expect from a TATB pattern, but none of the sewing was particularly difficult. I even managed to do all of the buttonholes without my machine having a paddy, or having to do any of them all over again! IT’S PRACTICALLY A MIRACLE!
I’m especially pleased with my efforts with the lining – it’s so very neat and professional – but it took a while to get there. It was my own fault really. I didn’t mark up my cut out pattern pieces properly so after I assembled the lining and trimmed down the seam allowances, and went to attach it to the facings, I found that I’d sewn the bloody thing the wrong way round. It was a right side/wrong side error, so next time I’ll make sure I mark everything up properly. Luckily I had enough of the lining fabric left to correct my mistake, but when I noticed it I decided that it was probably a good time to step away from the machine for the day.
I think one of the signs of a good pattern is when you’re thinking of other versions you’d like to make while you’re sewing it up. I’ve got one in green wool planned, plus pencil/kilt version like the one Jenny from Cashmerette did a few months ago – just need to locate some kilt buckles. I’ve even got all the fabric already in which means I’m doing well with my stash diet!
In short, I really love this skirt. I love the fabric. I love the buttons. I love the shape. I feel good when I’m wearing it – like a cross between Peggy and Joan from Mad Men (curvy and sexy like Joan, but in the type of fabric you’d expect to see Peggy wearing)– and judging by Chris’ reaction when I tried it on, I’d say he likes it too…
Wins all round.