Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Miette Skirt

Miette Skirt

It has taken me a while to get round to writing this post, but things have been pretty hectic and I wanted to do it some justice – to be honest, I also wanted to get some posts under my belt first so I could find my blogging rhythm – has anyone else struggled with that when starting out?
Anyway, not to add to the pressure I've already piled onto myself, I’ll get to the point: For my birthday last month, after I had opened my cards and received a lifetime supply of buttons (to be discussed in a later blog) I opened the last envelope from my parents, which revealed that I was booked on to Tilly Walne's Miette Skirt sewing class! When I unfolded the booking confirmation, I'm pretty sure that my squeals of excitement were heard by those down by the pool (we were on holiday, alas, I don’t have my own pool).
Back to the gift, I have, for a long time, been a big fan of Tilly's blog Tilly and the Buttons and her Mathilde Blouse has been one of my favourite makes to date (seriously, I've made it twice already - see here -  and am even making it into a dress!) if anyone hasn’t heard of Tilly’s blog, firstly, hello! Where have you been?! and secondly, you have to take a look – it is a must for anyone interested in sewing. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, Tilly was also one of the contestants on this years’ amazing Great British Sewing Bee!
The skirt I was to make was a beautifully simple wrap skirt, with no fiddly zips or buttonholes to have to contend with (perfect for all skill levels) finished off with a gorgeous bow that fastens at the centre front. The pattern includes optional patch pockets at the front, cute, flirty and practical!
I was sent through an email in advance of the course, advising me of what I needed to do in preparation. I had to print off and assemble the sewing pattern which was sent through as a PDF. Having made the Mathilde blouse, I was comfortable with piecing together the pattern, so nothing to cause any stress.
What did cause me a little personal crisis though, was my fabric. As soon as I saw the gorgeous pattern, I pictured using a cute pink polka dot fabric I have had in my collection for a while. Thankfully, I thought to measure the material to ensure I had the right amount, only to find that I didn't - eek! I did deliberate over using the material anyway and hoping for the best, but concluded that, if ever there was a time to have the exact amount of fabric specified on a pattern, this was it! To the fabric shop I went! One of the things I struggle with before starting a project, is what material I should use, I have been known to spend an hour in a haberdashery (yesterday morning) whilst deciding on what fabric to buy, so having to change my fabric plans at such short notice was less than ideal!
In the end, I went for a greenish-teal colour, perfect for the summer and I could picture some ideal tops in my wardrobe to wear with it. (I won’t lie though, midway through making the skirt, I feared that the colour made it resemble anything from hospital scrubs through to a gardening apron – but I quickly quashed these fears by mentally accessorising in a way that would look completely inappropriate in both a hospital and a flowerbed!)
Armed with my new fabric, rolled up pattern and matching thread, I set off for the Thrifty Stitcher in Stoke Newington on my crafty quest! Once I eventually found the unit (I have been described as geographically challenged by some) I was instantly excited by the line of sewing machines, fabrics and patterns pinned on the walls – my ideal setting!
There were only four tutees booked into the lesson, myself and a wonderful mother-daughter trio from Belgium who provided numerous entertaining anecdotes throughout the day. I was comforted by the small number of tutees, as I knew straight away that any questions we had would be answered and there was room for everyone to gain lots from the class.

The pattern came together so easily and time flew by, with Tilly answering all of our sewing related queries throughout the day. Tilly was a wonderful tutor, her instructions were clear and she took the time to really understand the skill level of the group, explaining things really clearly, but by no means in a patronising way.
Before we got to the ‘head scratcher’ part of the assembly, the eagerly anticipated waistband, we were fed yummy cupcakes to give us some much needed sugar sustenance. I think that because of the cake, the task of assembling the waistband was greatly simplified, and with a little concentration and willingness to practice stitching in a straight-line, it came together perfectly (if you ignore the small bit of unpicking I had to do in order to press my seams beautifully flat - shh!).
We ran out of time right at the end of the class, so my skirt was left unhemmed, but less than half an hour spent the following day on this and my very own Miette and perfect summer skirt was complete - and I absolutely love it!! - without further ado, here it is!

I learnt a lot from the course, some of which was just such simple pointers and explanations as to the importance of grain lines and steam pressing (NOT ironing!) as well as a sneaky chopstick trick to turn through the waist ties. One of the greatest things I gained from the day though, was expanding my network of other sewing enthusiasts - it's so exciting to talk all things fabric and trimmings! I would seriously recommend that anyone interested in sewing enrols themselves onto a class; there are so many great ones to choose from! The world is your pincushion! (yes, yes, I know, terrible joke!)
To prove that I’m not just saying that I love the skirt, I made a second one! This time I excluded the pockets, and by doing so, I was able to use the pink polka dots that I had pictured all along!
With the Miette and Mathilde patterns firmly pinned to my favourite’s board, I can’t wait for Tilly’s next pattern! Here are some more pictures of both skirts - please excuse the awful creases in some of the green skirt pictures, I first wore it the day Andy Murray won Wimbledon and I was on and off my chair more times than I can remember!


  1. What a great present! And your skirts are lovely.

    1. Thank you! I know, I'm a very lucky girl!

  2. Love the skirts! Lucky you for the great birthday gift ;)
    Could you please tell me the amount of fabric you used for the pink one? I want to make one without pockets, but I'm not sure I have enough fabric.