After a hiatus of a couple of months, I recently re-opened Love At First Stitch by Tilly Walnes – if you don’t have the book and are keen to start dressmaking, then this one is the one! I really think its the best beginners sewing book out there (but also keen to hear your suggestions if you’ve worked with a great dressmaking book!). A second Tilly book is due next year (HURRAY!).
I’ve not worked my way through LAFS in chronological order, though it probably pays to do so as Tilly takes you through all the skills you’ll need and advances your abilities with each project. My first project from the book was the Margot pyjamas, a great start to make something simple and comfy where mistakes don’t matter (after all, you don’t tend to wear them outside the house!) Also, you can read here why mistakes in dressmaking are ace.
Then I tackled the Mimi with mixed success – find out more here! After making a list of all the patterns I have in my stash that I have yet to make, I decided to reverse a bit and try out the Delphine skirt – the next project on from Margot – a simple A line skirt set to become a wardrobe staple.
With just four pattern pieces, the Delphine is great for practising your tracing skills and comes together crazy quick! I chose to make mine out of a Liberty of London corduroy with a fab seventies vibe – I picked it up from the Knitting and Stitching Show in London back in March at a fab price – £20 for 2 metres! I didn’t realise at the time how much Liberty fabrics generally cost….
With Delphine I had the same issue as I do with every sewing pattern – my measurements spanned three sizes! It happens every time, no matter what I make, and its always such a good reminder that making your own clothes is about making items fit to you – no wonder so many women might struggle with RTW sizes! Anyway, I ended up drafting a line to merge sizes 4 and 5 at the hip. On fitting, I panicked that I had drafted the line to low and that I needed extra room around my hips *PANIC MODE* so I just let out the seams a little bit to give myself more room.
Then, on inserting the zip and fitting, I realised I had a lot of room. Oops! Shouldn’t have panicked maybe… Also, the A line shape was far too exaggerated and did not suit both my shape and my fabric. The Liberty cords are really quite lightweight and floaty, and Delphine needs a bit more structure for the shape to work. I took the side seams in again (just a tad) and at the bottom straightened the seam out to lose a lot of that A shape. I probably took it in by about 2 inches and I know lots of other dressmakers have done this with Delphine.
Inserting the zip is super easy – I don’t use a zipper foot because I’m brave/daft/lazy! I just fold back the teeth as I sew which works pretty well. I’m always happy with the end result!
And tah-dah! Delphine has arrived! Great skirt, and a perfect wardrobe staple. I’d like to try it in a medium weight cord – perhaps in a block colour (I’ll admit, it will probably be navy). I love the colour and print of this version and have dug out all my yellow, purple and navy tees to go with it. Next time I’d probably refrain from playing about with the fit too much, and would tone down the A line shape at the beginning of the project, rather than the end. This is a great pattern for beginners and if you’re an intermediate or advanced sewer, then this will come together in just a couple of dedicated hours!
As always, Tilly and the Buttons has totally rocked it. Hands up if this is one of your staples?