Thursday, 13 October 2016

Pattern Review: Clemence Skirt from Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes

Before moving on to some of the commercial patterns in my ever-growing stash, I decided to do another Tilly pattern as I had so much success with the last one. Plus as a beginner seamstress, the simple design of the Clemence skirt didn't seam as daunting as some of the patterns in my draw. That being said, there were plenty of new skills for me to learn with this skirt!

Top: Silk Blouse H&M, Shoes: Carlita Cove Clarks

For the first time I added pockets to a garment, did some french seams, gathered a waistline and put in a concealed zip (eek!). As I got started with this project, I wondered if I had bitten off more than I could chew! I naively thought I could cut out and sew this all in one day - HA! How wrong I was...

I chose a pink and white flower fabric for the pocket lining

It took me 3 attempts to put in the pockets, I had to unpick 3 rows of stitching the entire width of the skirt as all of my threads snapped. Don't even talk to me about practising putting in a concealed zip (that's 4 hours I'm not getting back). Then when things were going okay, I'd end up running out of bobbin and my interfacing decided to melt all over the iron.

The skirt is a good wardrobe staple, with a variety of different colours, patterns and fabrics suiting this style

Of course for someone with a few projects under their belt getting this skirt done in an afternoon is certainly achievable! In fact, now I've made one I feel confident I could probably make it in an afternoon too. My problem was, I wasn't reading the instructions properly, and I really got to know my seam ripper with this one.

After a week of crying, swearing and pulling my hair out, I finally put in the last few stitches of this skirt and I am very happy with the result. Although, I do have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this fabric, as one evening I had stared at it for so long whilst unpicking, I dreamt of it that night and it was definitely mocking me.

I picked up this fabric in the sale at Abakhan in Mostyn a couple of years ago, there's always a good deal on fabrics there, and a lovely cafeteria too! 

Despite the nightmare I had this time round, I'd like to make this at least one more time and I think it would go much better as the techniques I was struggling to learn I have gotten the hang of now. I probably should have made one without a lining (instructions for lining here) and pockets the first time round, but I'm very proud of myself for pulling it off in the end.

The back view, luckily my blouse has covered my slight mistake of the waistband not quite matching up at the top either side of the zip.. oops!

Overall, do I still think this is a good pattern despite my frustrations making this skirt? Yes, absolutely. My problems were from no fault of this pattern and it's instructions, and once again Tilly has accompanied this pattern with beautiful, clear pictures and thorough instructions.

This is definitely a spring/summer garment, so I'll have to regrettably put this to the back of my wardrobe for now until next year 

This is a versatile skirt pattern, it's made from your own measurements, so you can choose how full you want it to be by adding to or decreasing the width of the gathered waistband. You can add pockets, make it in different lengths. It's one of those patterns that you could make again and again in different colours and patterns because it's such a good wardrobe staple.

Though, if you're going to follow this pattern - or any pattern for that matter - make sure you read the instructions thoroughly first! And yes, I am definitely directing that at myself. Have you had many sewing projects that just didn't go your way? Let us know all about them in the comments below!

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You may also like:
Margot Pyjamas from Love at First Stitch


  1. Loved this post! I'm a sewing newbie and recently bought my first sewing pattern (funnily enough, from Tilly and the Buttons) and I am so nervous about starting it. It's a beginner pattern and I'm assured that it's a great one to start with. However, I have not attempted to create a garment before. Despite your trials, the skirt looks fabulous! I am anticipating that my experience will be just as frustrating as yours, but I am hoping that it will be just as successful. Thank you for sharing your experience and putting this newbie's mind at ease x

    1. Yay! I hope you're first project went well, things are always bound to go wrong when you're learning but the best thing you can do is just accept any faults and try again, it can be frustrating but learning to sew your own clothes is a fantastic skill that's worth any hassle it gives you.


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