Today I've got an outfit to share with your which has become one of my favourite combination of garments over the rather temperamental British summer. It's been great for the muggy heat but also good on a chilly evening, the perfect replacement for a floaty skirt when dealing with breezy tube escalators and also super practical for me a work! The two parts are the Tilly & The Buttons Agnes Top and the skirt portion of the McCalls 6696 shirtdress. Let's start with the top.
When Tilly released this pattern a couple of months back she also released 'Learn to Sew Jersey Tops', an online workshop aimed at people who have a small amount of sewing under their belt and want to take things a little further by getting to grips with knit fabrics. Tilly offered me a place on the course so I could see what I made of it and I was really excited to try out a new method of learning. My confidence sewing with knits has really grown over the last year so I'm probably not the exact target market for this course but I still picked up some great tips along the way. Plus it was fantastic to SEE someone else sewing with a knit and know that I hadn't got anything disastrously wrong!
I cut between the size 2 and 3 as my measurements fall exactly between the 2 and I absolutely love the resulting fit. For me it has the perfect amount of ease, not too clingy, not too loose. Especially for wearing tucked into a skirt like this. I used a scrummy bamboo jersey which I have been stashing since one of my first orders from Mood. I'm a total bamboo convert, I love the stuff! It's so soft and snuggly with both a great weight and recovery. I can't recommend it highly enough. It's not the cheapest jersey option but I easily got this top out of a yard.
For this version I went down to a size 8 as the dress I made in a 10 and it has a bit of ease around the waist which I wanted to fit snugly to keep the skirt in place. It is now ever so slightly snug around the hips so if I make the dress again I'll probably cut an 8 at the waist and bust (but go up a cup size) and stick with the 10 at the hips. As I did with the dress I took 3.5" off the length and used 1" for the hem, I'm 5ft 3" for reference.
- Sew the interfaced waistband piece to the top edge of the skirt, right sides together and press the seam allowance up towards the waistband.
- Sew the waistband facing to the main waistband piece along the top edge.
- Trim this seam allowance and press towards the facing.
- Turn in and press the seam allowance of the waistband facing along the long raw edge (by 1.5cm)
- Fold the facing over the waistband, right sides together. Stitch up the small ends making sure catching the seam allowances you have just pressed in place. If like me you have just cut the waistband to roughly the right length you want to make sure your stitching line butts up against the edge of the front button band rather than using a specific width of seam allowance.
- Trim the seam allowances at the ends and corners then turn the waistband right side out and press, using a point turner/chopstick/other handy implement to create a nice crisp corner.
- I then topstitched around my waistband which secured the bottom edge of the facing in place but if you don't want to topstitch you could slipstitch by hand or stitch in the ditch.
I'm delighted with how my skirt has turned out, it has been a really useful addition to my wardrobe. I did think perhaps it was a little silly to make as skirt pretty much exactly the same as the dress (even using the same buttons and colour of topstitching thread!) but I'm really pleased that I didn't change a thing!