Monday, 2 March 2015

Spring Clemence

Hello everyone!

This sunshine must've got to me because the skirt I've just made is far too light for the temperatures we're having! It does however look great when riding a bicycle in the wind (road-tested in this morning's commute) billowing up beautifully but without compromising my modesty (at least in these gusts). This is my Clemence Skirt. I'm steadily making my way through Love at First Stitch- I've only got the Mimi shirt and Lilou dress to go and I'll have 'graduated'! This was one of those little projects you do in-between the more challenging ones (like fitting trousers, which I will get back to soon, just waiting on a book I was recommended to guide me through). The Clemence skirt is quick, satisfying, with an easily wearable result- a nice little wardrobe-builder.

That's not to say I didn't manage to muff it up a bit! Which is ridiculous considering how easy it should be. I forgot to notch the top of the skirt pieces and the waistband at strategic points (just totally skipped that instruction, d'oh!) and so had a bit of a headache getting my gathers even. Not a nightmare- I think I managed to work it out, but it could have been a lot easier! I also managed to cut the interfacing pieces about 3cm narrower than my waistband, and then being too lazy to recut. This was just plain silly as again it created a lot more work when it came to attaching the waistband and inserting the invisible zip, which is far lower down than it should be due to my dodgy guesswork in trying to get around the problems I created for myself! I've got a hook and eye holding it together at the top but there is a bit of a gape still (you can't really see in the photo above as it's a white shirt poking through, but would be more noticeable if I had something more colourful on my top half).

As my fabric's quite delicate I don't think it will hold up to taking the zip out and reinserting it (which is a shame as again, thanks to my new favourite toy the invisible zip foot, the zip is actually pretty much invisible for once!). If it bothers me I may have to make a design feature of a few small loops and buttons to cover up my error.

Other than that I'm pretty pleased with this skirt! Because of my goofs it's not the most neatly finished garment in the world, but it's a cute everyday skirt and I'll definitely be making it again as part of my next Anna dress. It was really easy to draft and make (as long as you don't get lazy and skip steps like I did) and as usual Tilly's instructions are great confidence-boosters.

Glad this fabric isn't too sheer or this shot could have been indecent!
I decided to add pockets to this version to make it even more useful as a work skirt- there's a tutorial for this included in the book. This has unintentionally given it an added design feature which I think I quite like actually- it stands out a little over the hips because I interfaced the pocket openings with quite stiff interfacing, and then when sewing the skirt to the waistband pulled the side seams towards the back as I would normally, forgetting that the seams were supposed to be pressed forward because of the pockets. So the twist in the seam and the stiffness of the interfacing has given it a little extra hip structure where it kicks out. Not super-noticeable, but a little extra dash of vintage shaping to the silhouette.

Does anyone know where my photos today were taken? Massive thanks to my colleague for snapping these on my whim! A bit of a clue- it's very just down the road from one of my favourite fabric shops, Mermaid Fabrics in Mare Street's Narrow Way (and the bit of kit I'm posing with is another hint!) which is where the polka dot skirt fabric is from. I'm not sure what it is but it was only about £4 a metre- it was quite silky to begin with but crinkled up a little when I put it through the wash. I've still got loads left- I might see if I have enough for a Licorice dress.

I think I might make a couple more fast and fun things while I wait for my 'Pants for Real People' book to arrive (thanks Lynne for the recommendation), and maybe if I'm feeling extra productive even reinsert a few invisible zips with my new foot!

Hope you're all feeling the onset of Spring like I am!

NorseOtter xx


  1. Your skirt is great, what's not to love about polka dots! And I hope Pants For Real People helps you out.

  2. Thank you! It's really fun to wear too. Can't wait to get my mitts on the book, I have some heavierweight polka dots destined to be a pair of Ultimate Trousers once I have the fitting kinks worked out (the styling for the pattern promo shots is too good not to rip off!).