Two bows are better than one! (Also: I will pay no attention to those pesky press-resistant hem puckers: all that matters is I made a pretty skirt. With comfy pockets. That I can wear!)
So I just went to Austin on vacation with my family, and when I arrived at the vacation rental apartment, there was this little surprise, in the corner:
When I told my Austin-based friend Susan (of Moon Thirty fame), she basically ORDERED me to make something—because clearly this was a sign, and how could I NOT sew something on my Austin vacation? We conferenced quickly via text message to decide on pattern, fabric and thread. (After I checked with the owner that it would be OK to use, of course!)
I had been wanting to make Tilly's Miette wrap skirt for ages, and it seemed like a perfect vacation project—minimal fitting, no zippers, no darts, just fabric. And I really needed some solid color skirts to balance all my loud printed tops.
Susan is NOT a solid fabric kind of person (she is a woman of stripes and bold patterns after my own heart) but she did manage to extract a few plain unsewn twills from her stash, and I chose a pale blue rayon/cotton blend one because it had the best drape and feel.
I bought the pattern, and Susan brought me the printout, scissors, tape, thread and fabric. I was in vacation sewing business! I of course immediately Instagrammed my joy:
challenging fun to use an unfamiliar machine, use the floor for a cutting surface, and give up my perfectionist tendencies to get the project done quickly so it wouldn't interfere with any of our family vacation plans, like swimming in Barton Springs Pool or making homemade tamales.
Alas, we were only in that vacation rental for a few nights, so I had to finish the hem and waist bits when I got back home yesterday—but I was still technically on vacation, so it's still my vacation skirt. AND my sewing machine seems to be working happily again, though I had to move it into my bedroom so I can use it at night without waking the little girl.
Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons Miette wrap skirt, the version with pockets
Fabric: A bit less than three yards of pale blue cotton/rayon twill blend from a friend's stash. It is soft and has a lovely weight and drape, but I must admit I came to loathe it during sewing and pressing, as it was very fussy and did not cooperate with the scissors, machine or iron and frayed like a really frayable thing. All my best efforts were for naught—despite lots of hand basting and unpicking, there are still puckers all around the hem and pocket edges—is this a twill issue? It is soft and lovely to wear, however.
Notions: Just some black thread and interfacing.
Size: I made the size 4, sized for a 30-inch waist and 39 inch hips—both just slightly bigger than my actual measurements. I ended up taking it it in about 5 inches total at the hips but left the waist alone.
Instructions: Tilly has detailed photo tutorials on her website, but I just used her excellent short-form written instructions from the PDF. I loved that each step had a little checkbox to tick off, giving me a serene sense of accomplishment.
Alterations: In my final try-on, realized that the hips of the skirt were way curvier than mine own at the sides. I pinned out a half inch at the high hip (for a two inch total reduction) and 1.25" at the full hip (for a 5" total reduction) and it seemed to do the trick:
Construction notes: I didn't do all the seam-trimming and finishing I normally would—I left most of the seam allowances their full size, and just pinked them to stop the massive fraying.
Love that no-grap wrap back view!
Successes: I actually sewed something I can wear for the first time since last summer. I was tempted to hedge and call it a wearable muslin, but it is wearable. Period.
- Beware of wobbly topstitching in a dark contrasting color.
- If you try ten times to tie a proper pretty waist bow and fail, ask the internet and you will find a gazillion helpful tutorials (I finally got it with this one).
Will I make it again? Absolutely, though I will choose my fabric more carefully next time—maybe a light denim or other solid color bright woven will do the trick.
Wear to: Work, home, weekend, mommy stuff, whatever. Adjustable skirts are the best (especially if you plan to make/eat lots of homemade tamales, yum).
Mmmm... relaxing pockets!
P.S. Please follow/like my Polka Dot Overload page on Facebook if you want to see any in-between or behind-the-scenes photos as I go along...