Have you seen the latest pattern by Tilly and the Buttons? It’s the Arielle Skirt and I was one of the testers this time. I have to admit to copious amounts of glee when I saw the line drawings as it is rather a cutie- a skirt than can be sassy or sweet depending on how you make & style it- slimline pencil skirt, buttoning up distinctly off centre. It can be lined or not lined and comes in two lengths (although you can make it the length you want if happy to decide as you are sewing- that’s what I did).
So I made two versions, wanting to be a diligent tester, but using fabric I already had in my stash (isn’t that what’s so great about fabric stashes – almost spontaneous sewing?!) I made a lined denim version first (using a poly satin lining) , followed by an unlined jumbo cord dusky pink number (with pink flower buttons – wheeee!) None of the fabrics had any lycra content, but I could imagine it being one of those skirts you don’t know you are wearing in a stretch sateen or a stretch denim.
My measurements came in between sizes, so I blended between sizes & fit as I went along, basting the side seams until I was happy with fit. The photos you see are of my tester versions and how I sewed them to get the fit I wanted.
It is such a flattering style & I have to say I have worn the denim version a lot – it makes me feel quite parisienne & in denim is super useful – dressing up or down (eg it looked awesome with my suedette jacket and sixties blouse on Friday evening with heeled booties). The cord version a bit chunkier & is one of those fabrics that will come out again for winter & will be worn with something big & incredibly fluffy.
So it’s slim fitting with a high waist, no waistband, but a curved facing. It reminds me of the Colette Patterns Beignet but it is different in a number of respects. There are far fewer pieces – the Beignet is made up of lots of panels – three backs and maybe four fronts – plus th linings & facings. I can remember how many seams there are to sew….the Arielle skirt has one back and two fronts, plus facings. And Lining too if you go down that route. I also think the shape of Arielle is a little more pencil skirt & less A line than the Beignet too. Plus of course, the button front is very much off centre over your hip. And no belt loops/ tie belt.
As I mentioned earlier, I went a bit off road with the length- Tilly provides finished measurements & I saw that my usual above the knee-but-not-too-mini length fell in between the two, so I veered from the pattern in just this aspect.
Here is a shot of the lining & the beautiful curved seam that this involves.
This is probably the most complicated part of the process, but Tilly’s instructions offer lots of detail about how to achieve this, and if you don’t feel up to it, you can always make an unlined skirt (like my pink one). But if you do go for it, make sure you allow time to admire. We sew such a lot of straight lines usually don’t we? Well I do anyway.
So what do you think? I think it’s really cute & just right for seeing in the beginning of Spring. I also love the ideas Tilly has put together for using different fabrics here. I feel quite pedestrian making mine in solid colours!
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