Thursday, 25 June 2015

TATB Lilou Skirt and Marilla Sailor Top!

Back in April I made a Lilou Dress from Tilly's book Love at First Stitch.  I have so far made the Delphine Skirt (twice), the Mimi Blouse, the Clémence Skirt and the Megan Dress (just the pyjamas to go then!).  When I made the Clémence skirt I ended up unpicking it and changing it to the Megan dress because I felt the fabric wasn't right for the pattern.  While that was true, I just don't think the pattern suited me - too many gathers around already curvy hips!  A similar thing has happened with the Lilou dress.  While I really, really like the pattern and have seen plenty of great ones on other people I just don't think it is the pattern for me and I am really okay with that because if we all had the same taste, the same shape, the same style the world would be a very boring place with far fewer sewing patterns to try!

So after canvassing opinion on Instagram I decided to go with the minority vote and take the bodice off and turn it into a skirt.  And oh my word I am in love with my new skirt!!  This is the best skirt ever!  This is the shape I was looking for when I made the Clémence, I love the flat front and the pleats to the side, the length is perfect for me and the only thing I will change when I make it next time, and there will be lots of next times, is to add pockets.  

The fabric I used for the dress is Robert Kaufman chambray in indigo from The Village Haberdashery, bought in the January sale.  This fabric is a lovely weight in the perfect indigo colour with a slight sheen on the surface.  I knew when I bought it that I wanted to make a chambray dress so in hindsight I should have made a muslin first but since I love my skirt so much I forgive myself!  What I am not so happy about is that I lined the bodice in the last of my beagle print cotton that I used for my bag last year.  I have kept the bodice just in case I have a bright idea about it but I am sad about those beagles.

I used the waistband from the Delphine skirt as I know it fits me well, but added an extension to the back and put a trouser hook and bar thingy in.  I changed the zip from a concealed one to a normal one but didn't want to unpick the whole seam so as a result the zip is really visible but actually, whatever!  It is functional so it's staying!  I am wearing it with my top tucked in here to show the waistband but I prefer it with my tops untucked, it is the perfect skirt to wear with all my brontes and I have plans for more summery sleeveless tops too, if the weather improves enough to warrant it!

While I was on my sewing binge last week I also made a Marilla Walker Sailor Top.  This is a one size free top that Marilla released last year and I have been meaning to make ever since.  As I loved Marilla's version so much I went right ahead and copied it, using exactly the same fabric which we bought at the same time (or rather, I bought because I liked hers).  I am such a sheep!

The top was really quick to make, I had it cut out and sewn in an evening with a fair amount of faffing around at the same time.  As usual for Marilla's patterns it is finished really neatly on the inside.  The neck line is finished with ribbon for stability and neatness and I really like this part of it.  I chose a nautical-ish ribbon to be in keeping with the rest of the top. I also love the underarm gussets which I thought were going to be complicated to sew having never sewn gussets before but they were really easy.  Also gussets is such a good word!

After I and finished sewing the top I tried it on with my new skirt and felt it was slightly too long for the silhouette I was after.  I shortened it by turning the hem up and hand sewing it as I am a bit scared of the length, or lack of, and didn't want to commit to it permanently!  I love it with this skirt but may lengthen it again to wear with trousers in the autumn.  

I feel like I have got a lot of sewing done lately.  I had put it down to my new sewing configuration, with my machines permanently on a desk in the sitting room it is easy to just snatch a few minutes here and there when I am supposed to be doing something else and in the evening I actually feel like I am spending time with my husband while I am sewing instead of tucking myself away on my own.  However when looking through my blog posts from this time last year I noticed I did quite a bit then so maybe it is a summer thing!  How is everyone else's sewing at the moment, is June a productive month?

Look how happy I am with my new outfit!  Cheeeeese!


  1. They go brilliantly together. The skirt looks great on you, lovely shape. Great work.

  2. Love the skirt , great rescue. I'm sitting here wearing, guess what? Striped sailor top! Half written a post about it. Yours looks fab xx

  3. I think the sailor top length looks great. I know what you mean though, I'm a bit nervous about shortening some of my tops in case I want them longer again!

    1. I'm enjoying wearing it at the length it is at the moment but I'm pleased I have the option to lengthen it!

  4. Yay way to go on rescuing the dress! It looks great as a skirt. I so love your Sailor top too and that's a clever idea to handstitch the hem so you can take it down later. I did feel I was being quite productive in June but this week I've hardly done anything but I'm hoping this will change tonight!

    1. I felt I was being productive too but I've ground to a halt! I need to find my motivation again!