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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Tilly and the Buttons Arielle in Progress

I am currently sewing the Tilly and the Buttons Arielle skirt.  I couldn't resist ordering it because it is so cute in all the photos.  And Tilly is adorable.  Look at it. Swoon.
Photo owned by Tilly and the Buttons

I just love how this skirt looks.  On these people.  I am struggling a little with the fit for my body type.  The pattern allows for a hip that is 9 inches larger than the waist.  Uh-oh.  I am something more like 13 inches larger at the hip than the waist.  And 13 feels so nice, I usually do about 14 just for good measure.  There is a significant amount of junk in that trunk to deal with.

Arielle skirt piece
I redrew the pattern to combine sizes to get the correct hip and waist measurements without an issue.  The problem is that the skirt falls straight down from the widest point on the hip.  When I choose the longer length, it ends up looking very, very matronly due to the wide fabric at the knees.  Noooooooo!  Where is my cute skirt? It is so frumpy.

It hasn't been hemmed yet, but this work in progress picture does give an idea of the shape. I also put in a zipper, but only really because my buttonhole function on my machine is currently acting up.  I'll put at least fake buttons on it because I think it is part of what drew me to this skirt.

To be clear, I think this is a great pattern and there are great instructions.  I would recommend it.  But for my body type and there need to be some adjustments to make the skirt less bulky because I made  sizing changes.  Specifically, I think I can bring the skirt in a bit like in the wiggle dress from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing.
Image from
Here is the pattern piece for the wiggle dress.  After the fullest width at the hip, it tapers in. I may not make Arielle as tapered, but it does give me adjustment ideas.

Photoshopped full skirt
Above, is the wiggle dress I made unretouched on the left, then I photoshopped a fuller skirt on the right.  It is an ok look, but more matronly than I am looking for.  If I adjust the skirt pattern to taper in like the wiggle dress, I think I will get what I want.

In other news, when I am not sewing, I read a lot. I have gotten some great recommendations from blogs I read, so I thought I'd pass one on.  Right now I've started The Mortal Instruments book one City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.  I am well aware that I am not likely their target demographic since this is young adult fiction, but it hasn't stopped me from enjoying the first half of the first book.  I am excited that if I like it, there are 5 more books in the series to read.

I only have one complaint about the book so far.  The author has her characters biting, chewing or gnawing on their own lips a lot.  So much so that it is distracting.  "She bit her lip and answered him." "He chewed his lip and stood up."   It must have happened about 30 times in the first half of the book.  Get these people some chapstick.

More on the Arielle skirt in the next post - so.. until next time!


  1. I'm looking forward to seeing how the skirt looks once you've adjusted the fit. I quite like the idea of inserting a zip and adding decorative buttons. I haven't made a buttoned skirt because I'm (irrationally) put off by the chance of it becoming unbuttoned. Although, after seeing you put a zip in I might consider a button down skirt again. :)

    1. Thanks... I am afraid I took out the zipper and made button holes after my machine got some TLC. I still can't get it to look right, though. I may have to make a second version of this. Maybe it will never work on my body type, though.

  2. I was initially a bit drawn to this pattern but I just *know* it's not for me :) Tilly is very good at illustrating her patterns in a "pop-art" kind of style. When you see one of her photos, you instantly recognize it as "Tilly" which is fine. Point is, when people make up the patterns they always look a little "meh", as they are very simple designs. I think your skirt will benefit from getting pegged, like the Gertie dress. Instant sophistication :) I am sure you will manage to upgrade the skirt ;)

    1. Thanks for the confidence, but the more I am working with this skirt, the less confident I am that it will work at all. I see what you mean about Tilly's patterns - they are simple. I think they work on her and if you are little and cute, they will work on you. But, if you are more like me.... hmmm. But her instructions are good, the visuals are beautiful, the patterns are clear and if I am half as clever with my marketing and brand, I would be doing well.


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