Peacock Arielle

My latest project has been an Arielle skirt from a pattern by Tilly Walnes. I bought the peacock fabric without a plan, then I saw this pattern and thought it would be perfect.

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Just before I started to sew this, we moved house and I got to use one of the bedrooms as a sewing studio! That is about halfway fixed now, but I splashed out on a new cutting mat and a rotary cutter!

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This sped up my cutting no end. The pattern was a joy to follow, really straightforward and quick to make up.

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I picked out a peacock blue lining to line the skirt with. By this point, it was coming together so quickly I decided I was going to wear it when I spoke at the CIDM Best Practices conference in Florida at the end of September.

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I added some purple velvet ribbon to the waist to help stop my top riding up (not on the pattern). The pattern had some beautiful touches, like the understitching above that really took it out of the “quick sew” class, and into a beautifully structured garment.

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There is the finishing on the inside at the bottom – the pattern has no visible stitching on the outside, which is a nice touch.

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And the buttons. I sourced these peacock buttons from the Czech Glass Bead shop on Etsy. I have three different coloured peacocks, and a peacock eye on the skirt.

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Overall, I’m really pleased about this skirt, and I’m planning to make it again soon in a different fabric – it’s so comfortable!

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Mum’s pajama bottoms

For my mum’s birthday in November, I decided to make her a pair of pajama bottoms. I chose a green and white polkadot cotton.

The pattern I followed was Margot from Tilly Walnes (from

Tilly and the Buttons

) book Love at First Stitch. It was a lovely pattern to follow:

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I added a pocket – as suggested by Tilly in the adaptations part of her book. I also decided to add a ribbon binding around the edge too!

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Tilly’s pattern asked for a ribbon drawstring, but I didn’t gave quite enough of the lovely blue polkadot ribbon, so I sewed two bits of the ribbon to the inside of the drawstring channel, and put in some elastic too.

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Having ribbon edged the pocket, I ribbon edged the drawstring channel and bottom of the legs too.

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It all started hanging together quite nicely!

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I also got to use the custom ribbon from The Ribbon Printers that I’m planning to use instead of labels. This looped over the waistband.

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And here is my mum in them!!

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

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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.
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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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