Navy Skirt

I had some navy fabric left over from the dress that I made.

I have been reading a great book by Tilly Walnes called Love at First Stitch.  Tilly takes you through the basics of dressmaking,and has included several patterns to play with.

So I began by drawing and cutting out my pattern on to greaseproof paper (complete with duct tape as it wasn’t wide enough). Tilly talks a lot about grading between sizes, say if your waist is in one size bracket, and your hips are in another (as mine are). This was the first time I altered a pattern to fit me!

I had just enough fabric for the skirt pieces (phew) as you can see:

Once it was all cut out, interfaced and pressed, the pattern was remarkably quick to come together.

I had to learn a new skill for this skirt – invisible zips! Firstly I had to buy these feet for my sewing machine, which was interesting. My sewing machine is a 1904 Singer, but luckily it works with all short shank screw feet!

Tilly’s book explains inserting invisible zips really well. The main tip is to take it slow, and don’t be afraid to unpick if it doesn’t look right. Also, thorough pressing of seams beforehand helps!


I decided to change the pattern slightly and insert a lining. I found a lovely silky maroon “lining fabric” in my local fabric shop. Using the steps on one of Tilly’s blog posts I cut my lining fabric and stitched the lining up. I also decided to sew a secret ribbon trim on the inside of the waistband. I did this by sewing the ribbon to the inside waistband before I sewed it into the skirt.

Finally, the skirt was ready to wear. It actually didn’t take too long to make, and I’m really pleased with the result. I did lengthen Tilly’s pattern by 5cm, as I have reasonably long thighs, and I wanted to be able to wear this to the office.



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