(Excuse the slightly crumpled waistband in most of these pics, I'd been happily wearing the skirt for a whole day by the time they were taken)
This is one of the two projects in the book that include instructions for drafting your own pattern instead of tracing off the paper patterns included with the book. As it's a dirndl skirt so only the waistband really needs to fit, this is a simple process, and even simpler with Tilly's instructions to help you along. Each new technique (for this skirt drafting the pattern, French seams, gathering and stitch in the ditch) is explained in detail as you get to it, but presented on a different background to the instructions for the project itself so it's easy to skip sections for techniques you're familiar with, or to refer back to techniques from previous projects (invisible zips in my case, I should know what I'm doing with them by now but I'll always welcome extra tips - and this one turned out well!).
The instructions are really clear and easy to follow, and are just the right level of chatty to make you feel like there's a real person helping you out, without being overly-friendly and annoying if that makes sense?!
I drew out the pattern pieces in my lunch break (one of the benefits of working from home!) and sewed the whole skirt up that evening, which included hand sewing the hem (which I did mainly because I couldn't decide what colour would work best for topstitching!), so a nice quick sewing project, and definitely beginner-friendly.
The fabric I used for this is a lovely seersucker-type cotton, which is quite lightweight and therefore on the floaty side, but perfect for a summer skirt. Even if the weather this weekend wasn't quite summery enough for me to ditch the leggings, hopefully it will be soon!
The material has been in my stash for quite a while now (I got it at the same time that I bought the material I used for my Sureau dress, and weirdly like that dress, this skirt also had its first outing on a trip to Lyme Regis. I don't go there that often honestly, although I do love it there!). It had been sitting there neglected because, although I love all the colours in the material, I had come to the realisation that they don't all love me. There's a yellowy green in there that would look lovely on some people but just makes me look ill. So that scuppered my original plan of turning it into a dress, but I think it works fine as a skirt as I can wear a top in a colour that does suit me as a barrier between the yellowy green and my face! And having lots of colours in the material means that it'll go with lots of different tops.
(and here's what the waistband looks like when it's nicely ironed!)
I cut the waistband on the bias partly because I like the way that checks look when cut on the bias, and partly to avoid giving myself a headache about whether I should try to do any kind of pattern matching between the waistband and the gathered skirt. To avoid stretching it too much, I applied the interfacing to the material first and then cut the front waistband piece from that, which seemed to work well.
I did a bit of pattern matching down the side seams and centre back seam, but I didn't stress too much about it. I basically made sure that the horizontal lines all matched up, and that I wasn't going to end up with a massively obvious double line of one of the vertical colours down one seam. I think because the skirt is gathered and quite floaty I can get away with that level of pattern matching here (and it also meant that I've got enough of the material left that I'll probably be able to squeeze a pair of summery pyjama trousers out of it - always good!).
I'm really pleased with how this one turned out and, thanks to Tilly's "Make it your own" tips on variations in the book, and some pretty chambray that I spotted the other day, I'm already plotting future versions. Although I might have to give some of the other patterns in the book a try first - the Lilou dress in particular will definitely have to be sewn soon!