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The Clémence Skirt

I found it on my first trip to the Birmingham Rag Market… wow! was that an overwhelming experience! I definitely became fabric blind, there was just so much. But I found this cute green cotton covered in dresses and Eiffel Towers, I don’t remember exactly how much it was but I’m guessing it was somewhere between £2-£4 a metre.

I got it home, washed it, ironed it, put it on the shelf… and there it stayed for a few months.

A couple of weeks ago I was flicking through my copy of Love at First Stitch by Tilly and the Buttons and stopped at the Clémence skirt. It’s a gorgeous and super quick pattern to throw together and really shows off a novelty print fabric. I had to play around with how the fabric was folded a little due to the length I wanted the skirt to be as the fabric was only 45inches wide, but I made it work.

The lure of this pattern for a lot of people is the fullness it creates at the hips where the fabric is gathered into the waistband. Now, I like the skirt but I’m not entirely convinced extra fullness at the hips is really something I need to be looking for in a skirt, I have quite enough of that as it is! But I do like a pattern that shows of my waist, and I think this ticks that box.

However, with skirt number two (already under construction) I plan to reduce the width of the waist band. Where the curve between my waist and hips is quite exaggerated, the thicker waistband just doesn’t quite sit right, it gapes a bit at the top, so I’m hoping that’ll be an easy fix.

This pattern includes an invisible zip, which can be a little fiddly. Tilly has a great set of instructions for inserting an invisible zip in the book, but I like to see this kind of thing in action. Lisa Comfort of Sew Over It has this video tutorial that I found really helpful.

As I said, I’m already making this skirt again in another fun print fabric. I do like a speedy project.

Thank you to my lovely friend Amy who took these photos for me. I’m still getting used to being in front of a camera in order to show off clothes… it’s not something that comes naturally to me. I’m fairly certain there was a Miranda-style gallop towards the camera at one point, and a fair few stumbles. Someone please tell me it gets easier!