Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Finished: Arielle Skirt


As is often the case, not one but two of my favourite handmade skirts have had to be retired due to being thoroughly worn out. They were my beloved denim Ginger skirt and my navy-with-red-buttons Beignet. Both were made using Colette patterns during my first year of sewing and have been on constant rotation ever since, so they were well and truly worn to death. I needed to make replacements, and fast!


The shape and style of the Tilly and the Buttons Arielle Skirt seemed to be the perfect solution. And as there was now a denim-skirt-shaped hole in my wardrobe, I decided to make my version in denim. The fitted silhouette and cute button detail of the pattern also reminded me of my Beignet skirt, so I felt like I was channelling my two old skirts into one new one!


The instructions for the Arielle pattern are very clearIy written, with good, explanatory photos to guide you through the process. Unlike the Beignet pattern, it didn't take very long to sew at all (I made it over the course of two afternoons) and there are very few pattern pieces, especially if you make the unlined version. The side seams are contoured to fit around your waist and hips, making the skirt very close fitting - using a stretch denim was definitely a good move as it really does yank you into place! Size-wise, I made a size 3 and the only adjustment I made was to the length - I took about 10cms from the length of the longer version. I didn't adjust the waist and hips at all and the finished fit is great. I think it's an ideal pattern for a confident beginner to tackle, perhaps as a second skirt project.


The fabric I used is a stretch denim in a very dark blue from Ditto Fabrics. I pre-washed it, but it still feels quite stiff - hopefully it will soften up after a few washes. Because of this, the overlapped front edge doesn't lie completely flat, but that's just me nit picking. My version is unlined as that's what I've always done with denim skirts (I think of them a bit like jeans!) I would also normally use a lighter weight fabric for the facings to reduce bulk, especially when sewing with denim. In this case, however, I did actually use denim facings and I think the skirt benefits from the extra support. 


I'd planned to simply overlock the outer edge of the facings, but once I saw this post on finishing a facing with bias binding, I had to give my skirt a polka dot edge. I love how the inside of the skirt looks now, it has such a neat, professional finish.


Talking of polka dots, do you like my buttons?! They were given to me by Kerry a few years ago (I think!) and I couldn't resist adding them. Hopefully, the plain, functional denim stops them looking too twee. 


I have a feeling I'll be wearing the Arielle skirt a lot. It seems to be a good match with every single top half I throw at it (as evidenced by the unusual amount of costume changes in this post!), which I'm  taking as a good sign!  I'm so happy with it - I've ended up with a gorgeous, retro looking skirt that was born to live in my wardrobe.  x









60 comments:

  1. Gorgeous, and just so *you*!

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    1. Thanks Jenny, it's so 'me' it's ridiculous! x

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  2. I do love a denim skirt and how lovely to see the buttons being put to good use!

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    1. Ah I'd forgotten you're another big denim skirt fan. That makes it especially perfect that I used your lovely buttons on this skirt! x

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  3. I do love a denim skirt and yours looks great. Very flattering style and a perfect match for all those tops. It could be the more stylish half sister to my Ginger! http://fiona-staringatthesea.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/me-on-monday-ginger-edition-part-2.html

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    1. A perfect match! Love your skirt, especially the facing! If we ever meet up we'll both know what to wear! x

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  4. What a perfect replacement for your retired skirts, and I love your polka dots. I recently tried out a tip I saw on the web for softening stiff denim and it worked a treat. I soaked the denim in normal Coca-Cola for a couple of hours, then washed as normal, and threw it in the dryer. It was like a different fabric had come out of the dryer! I used the softer denim for a shirt dress and the drape was spot on.

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    1. Thanks Alice! Hmmm Coca-Cola, now there's an idea, if I could guarantee the coke wouldn't stain the white polka dots I'd give it a go. I might just try it on a scrap with a bit of bias binding attached to test first. x

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  5. lovely and so few you! if i had to pick the ower of the skirt from a line up, i would know straight away!

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    1. Haha! Love the idea of skirt owners being picked from a line up! x

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  6. Your skirt looks great! It's awesome when you make something that just works with everything else :-)

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    1. I know, it makes getting dressed that much easier! And thank you! x

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  7. A great replacement choice for those two skirts you wore out.....rather like a combination of the two, and yes, those buttons suit perfectly! Looks wonderful with that polka dot top.

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    1. Thank you! I think it will make a fine replacement! x

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  8. Your skirt looks wonderful and you seem to have the perfect pairing of blouses to go with it!

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    1. I know, pure fluke! I think it will get worn a lot! x

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  9. i think i needed to see your version of arielle to truly appreciate the pattern. i love it in denim, and it looks particularly fantastic with your red bow blouse! i'm also admiring your shoes - i have a pair of those sitting on my wishlist, and you've conveniently demonstrated how versatile they are, giving me permission to buy them :)

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    1. Thank you! I love all the denim versions I've seen too. And those shoes are truly versatile, I think they should be purchased at once! x

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  10. What a lovely skirt! It really does go so, so well with all of your blouses, Jane. Each outfit looks super chic and those buttons are just divine. Love it!

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    1. Aw thank you Mary! I'm really pleased with how well it seems to match with so many of my tops - there were more but I couldn't be bothered to photo them!

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  11. Very cute on you! Perfect with the red bow blouse, and I like it with the white!

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  12. I really do love the skirt ! Are there any tips to start sewing ? I have been trying for 2 years but I seem to not grasp the art that I love .

    inspireparlamode.wordpress.com

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    1. Just keep practising with the sewing. If you're finding it hard to sew garments, make a few easy projects like cushions, they're very satisfying to make and will boost your confidence! x

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  13. Such a great skirt on you and I love the added touch of the polka dot buttons!

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    1. Thanks Marilla, wasn't sure if the polka dot buttons were too cutesy but I think they just about scrape through! x

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  14. I love it with your red top - the bias binding looks great too.

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    1. Thanks Joanne! I love that bias binding tip, I'm going to use it a lot more from now on! x

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  15. The buttons! Oh, the buttons. I can't believe I'm having a moment of button jealousy! It's a great skirt and what a match with your bow top!

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    1. Thank you! Funnily enough, of all the tops photographed, it was the bow blouse I was most unsure about. Having a matching top and buttons seems to help! x

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  16. Great shape. I have skirts on my list, must finish blanket top first though!

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    1. Thanks! I really like the shape too. x

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  17. looks like a perfect fit and the bound edges are beautiful!

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    1. Thank you! I love those bound edges! x

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  18. Denim and red polka dots= dream outfit. Beautiful

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    1. Thanks darling! And I agree about denim + red polka dots! x

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  19. Love those buttons they are really cute. As you are retiring two skirts does this mean there is going to be a second skirt post shortly?

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    1. Sadly not, I've squeezed the souls of two old skirts into one new one! x

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  20. *sigh*. That bias binding!! It's a fab skirt - really flattering silhouette. I hope Tilly's got you on commission!

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    1. Thanks, I love that bias binding too! It's actually pretty easy to sew on, so it looks far more impressive than it actually is! x

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  21. Perfectly you. All the outfits really sum up your personal style. I love the gingham shirt.

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  22. It was always meant to be! I am continually inspired by your ability to bring polka dots in via haberdashery! Design genius x

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    1. Thanks Winnie, yes it was written in the stars! And I'll shoehorn polka dots into a garment wherever I can get away with it! x

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  23. Lovely skirt. Think I need to make one! Not sewn with stretch cotton/denim before - do you do zigzag stitch for seams?

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    1. Thanks! No, you don't need to use zigzag stitch for stretch denim seams, it's still a woven fabric, it just has a bit of stretch to it. x

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  24. Too cute, I've been neglecting sewing and you're reminding me to dust of my machine. Dots n' denim is such a great pairing.

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    1. I have to agree, dots and denim are the best! x

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  25. I treated myself to Tillys book last week...cracking read and can't wait to try out a pattern. Love your newest addition...the buttons and binding are perfect!

    Wanted to share my FIRST blouse with you and to say thanks so much for your inspiration and support xxx

    http://noraathome.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/vintage-simplicity-4238-ta-dah.html

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    1. Your first blouse has turned out beautifully, well done! I love that pattern it's my very favourite vintage pattern - you might have just inspired me to make another gingham one! x

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  26. That is a fabulously versatile skirt! I love every combo of shirts you paired it with. It is just perfect :) Love the buttons and the binding, I always fear using contrast colored buttons on things, just in case the garment gets "uncoordinating"/less mixy-matchy. I need to stop that! It is just not the case!

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    1. Yes, I sometimes think that about contrasting buttons too. The red buttons on my Beignet skirt didn't really clash with anything I wore it with, which is why I added them to this skirt. Plus, they're much less conspicuous this time and there are far fewer of them! x

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  27. I love this on you!!! I'm always impressed by how strong your style is- I feel like I could've run across this in a shop and thought, "JANE!!"

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    1. Haha! Thanks Sonja! I know what I like and I stick to it, I'm stubborn like that! x

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  28. Bought the same fabric and tried the coca cola softening trick. It worked. I gave it one ordinary wash then while still wet after the spinning I poured biggest bottle of coke I could find into washing machine and let it fill up with water then turned it off and left for 3 hours. Then let machine finish cycle, rinsing etc. then washed it on full cycle And it's much much softer.
    So now another question - did you use interfacing?

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    1. How very interesting! You've convinced me I have to give Coca cola a try, though I think I'll try on a scrap of bias binding first just in case it turns the white spots brown! Will keep you updated. As to your question, no I didn't interface the facings and the denim seems sturdy enough on its own. If you're using anything lighter than denim for the facings then I'd definitely recommend interfacing. x

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    2. How wide was bias binding you used. Have splashed out on some Liberty tana lawn to make my own.

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  29. Really love your skirt, especially the matching buttons and bias binding! All the tops you paired with it go perfectly, what a versatile addition to your wardrobe!

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