A sewing blog about building a functional, cohesive handmade wardrobe, one garment at a time.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Gift Tillery

I've worn my Tillery skirts quite a lot since finishing them last month.  Every time my sister-in-law, A,  has seen me wearing the denim one, she has commented how much she likes it.  Turns out that she had been eyeing similar skirts in stores, but that they were all too short for her taste.  So I offered to make her one and she suggested that it be her birthday gift.

I had just enough denim from my skirt left over to make hers.  It is a cotton/poly blend that I got on sale from Joann's with the intentions of making pants.  It's quite drapey for denim, which I think is actually very nice for this pattern.  I sewed up a size 6 graded to a 10 waist based on A's measurements.  It was quite enlightening to measure her, actually, as I would have assumed she was a straight size.  She is slim, and looks very proportionate - the type of figure that I would assume has it easy fitting RTW sizes.  Not so at all, though - because of the difference between her waist and hips, she often has trouble with gaping waistbands.  It was a pleasure to sew this for her because I could tell from our first fitting, how grateful she was to have a garment that fit her exactly the way she wanted.

The sewing of this garment was straightforward, as I had sewn it up twice before.  I was working from the final version of the pattern, though, which has notches on the skirt panel pieces (the tester version did not have notches), and I cut some of the notches slightly too long, thinking that I had a 5/8" seam allowance to work with.  I neglected to take into account that the flat-felled seams meant that some of the seam allowances would be visible.  Luckily I was able to make it work, but if you are making this pattern, be sure to be sparing with fabric when you cut the notches - I wouldn't cut them wider than a scant 1/4". 

Once again I used Dritz Heavy Duty Snaps and found them easy to work with.  I was unable to put belt loops on this one because my sewing machine just would not sew them on.  I couldn't figure out what the problem was, as I had made myself this exact skirt in this exact fabric, but then I realized that I had accidentally interfaced both waistband pieces.  Oops.  So the waistband is extra-firm, but A doesn't mind.  I also added a hidden snap between the second and third snaps from the top - if you look carefully in the photo above you can see where it is.  There is just a bit of pulling in that area, so I probably should have graded the pattern lines a bit differently, but it looks good on and doesn't feel tight on her.

Since I got this skirt sewn up, I've been sewing up a lot of knits for my kids, and haven't been successful in getting photos of them, thus the month-long blog silence.  I am hoping to cut a new pair of jeans for myself after I finish the pile of kid knits on my sewing table, so hopefully I'll see you back here relatively soon.

Until then, thanks for reading!


  1. Great skirt! Maybe your sister in law will be inspired to become your new sewing buddy.

  2. Super cute! A really good fit and nicely finished. Well done!

    An aside about notches. My mom always taught me to cut notches as outward triangles rather than inward notches. I'm sure it was for the reason you discovered--seam allowances sometimes need all of it to work! Hope that helps for next time!

  3. Beautiful, you have a very lucky sister in law.

  4. Perfect fit! What a cute skirt! I also cut my notches outwards most of the time, although I know some sewists pooh pooh this as an amateur move, it does preserve seam allowance.

  5. The skirt looks great on her! That is a wonderful birthday present!


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