Tag Archives: button up skirt

Summer river scene skirt

Oh this has been a long time coming!  As I sit here, typing with a very wet & rainy vista in front of me I think back to the handful of days that this skirt has served me well & brought a smile to my lips.  My summer river scene skirt made using Makower fabric I bought in Truro fabrics back in May.

summer river scene skirt

As soon as I saw this fabric I knew its destiny – a simple gathered skirt making the most of the horizontal ‘stripes’ brought by the repeating strip of river’s edge with row boats, yachts & edged with sludgy green summery vegetation- the odd tree, shrub & grassy river bank.

This is a classic no pattern skirt made out of a couple of rectangles of fabric, gathered onto a waistband.

summer river scene skirt

But my design process did not begin with the button up skirt vision, nor the patch pockets- they came later as I was sewing.   I had sewn the centre back seam & suddenly thought ‘buttons!’ – a button up skirt! That’s how premeditated I am.  You can’t see that well, but the buttons are a gorgeous shiny limey green too, gorgeous!

So matching the pattern was clearly very important – at the front and the only other seam – the centre back.  I did not bother to match the exact part of the river at seam lines, that could have been a night mare, but it was important that the whole rivery stripe gave a continuous stripe around the whole skirt.  Matching the sewing took me more time than I thought & I should have taken more precautions when sewing the waistband on for example.  First pass applying my usual carefree confidence was not good enough & I had one side of the waistband finishing far too low for a bodge – out of alignment by possibly a whole centimetre.  I had to take it out & revise my seamline & second time was OK due to more care & attention.

summer river scene skirt

I added the pockets almost as an afterthought too.  The skirt was finished, on Barbarella, & it seemed another good idea.  The first time I wore it for one of our pizza parties it served me well, bringing out beers for the guests!

Summer river scene skirt

A bit of a closer view 🙂

Summer river scene skirt

So it’s been a cute skirt, simple design, but needing proper attention to match the stripes.


i love it & it really does symbolise summer & is very practical 😉

Arielle skirt – two times

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.

Arielle skirt

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.


I have since changed the buttons as these were *a bit inferior* – were they even metal I have to ask myself. More than one popped off at times of strain!

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.

Arielle skirt lining


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!

Outfits styled with:

Maria Denmark Birgitte basic tee (cream) with Brigitte scarf and my Breton Tilly and the Buttons Coco Top