My wardrobe is mainly made up of trousers and tops. I rarely wear dresses and never wear skirts, although if I were to find the right ones they would probably be very flattering – accentuating my waist, skimming over my large hips and thighs and revealing my shapely calves, which I am very happy with. With this in mind I decided to have a go at the ‘Clemence Skirt’ again from ‘Love at First Stitch’ by Tilly Walnes of Tilly and the Buttons.
There is no traceable pattern with this skirt, just simple directions for creating your own using your waist and hip measurements. The instructions for this were very easy to follow.
Everything went very smoothly, following Tilly’s detailed instructions. I got the chance to do lots of gathering at the waistband, especially as I have a 12 inch difference between my waist and hip measurements. I find gathering fabrics and trying to make them as even as possible extremely relaxing in a meditative way.
Then, I got to the invisible zip! I used the standard zipper foot on my machine and Tilly’s excellent instructions to get the zip into the skirt and the waistband finished. I was incredibly impressed with myself. I tried on the unhemmed skirt and loved the fit. I had deliberately made it long, so I could have lots of choice about where to hem it. I showed my boyfriend and he was impressed too.
I explained to him that I was going to hem the skirt so it was the same distance from the floor all the way round, which is an improvement on any ready to wear skirts I’d had in the past. My bum would always pull the hem up at the back and I’d be left feeling exposed. He pointed out that it might make more sense to make that adjustment at the waistband, so that obvious horizontal pattern wouldn’t look wonky at the bottom of the skirt. Damn, his practical thinking! He was right, but it’d have to wait for the next skirt. There was no way I was unpicking this waistband and zip, and undoing all of my gathering.
Then, I tried to get the skirt off …the zip was stuck! I tried to unzip it; he tried to unzip it; I tried again! I had to give up and cut myself out. Bugger! It went in the bin.
Thankfully, it was the bin in the sewing room and not the one in the kitchen! I calmed down and dug it back out. I cut off the waistband and started again, taking the opportunity to put my boyfriend’s idea into practice. I figured out how much longer I needed the back of the skirt to be to accommodate my generously proportioned rear and created a gentle curve in the top of the fabric.
I worked my way through the steps again – gathering, inserting the zip sewing a little further from the teeth than last time, finishing the waistband, and finally hemming horizontally with the pattern. Phew! I now had a finished skirt that fit well at the waist (no gaping) and hips, with a hem that didn’t tip up at the back and a working zip. I will definitely make this skirt again, but for now I need a bit of a break to recover from all the undoing and redoing that was necessary.