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A Kielo and a Wedge of Swans

Hey Minerva makers!

Did you know that the collective noun for swans in flight is a wedge of swans? I love silly facts like that and I kind of love that the folds of the Kielo dress mirror that wedge shape! Am I thinking about this too closely? Probably!

Anyway, as soon as I saw this Lady McElroy Stretch Viscose Fabric I knew I wanted to make it into a Kielo Dress. It’s such a pretty shape and displays the fabric beautifully; I am also hoping that it can transition through the seasons quite nicely. I was tempted to make the sleeved version but I want to be able to wear this in summer so I decided to make it sleeveless and wear it with cardigans/jackets in the spring.

Named Patterns recommend a light and drapey fabric with a minimum 20% stretch and this fabric fits the bill perfectly! I don’t know about you but I always find it hard to find nice wovens with stretch – the sample Kielo on the packet is made of a stretch chiffon and I always think it looks so light and beautiful and floaty - I wanted to replicate that with this fabric. It has a really fluid drape, is completely opaque and not as lightweight as I had expected; it feels like beautiful quality. I was actually a bit nervous that the fabric wouldn’t have enough stretch so I sized up one size but I don’t think I really needed to.

I love the Kielo shape but I am not much of a maxi dress person so I do tend to shorten them (this is the third one I’ve made!). This time I folded the pattern up by 18 inches to take it from maxi length to just above the knee. Beware! It’s a good job I wanted a shortened version as the recommended fabric layout supplied in the pattern has you rotating the back pieces upside down to fit next to the front piece – no good if you have a directional print like this one!

If you’ve not made a Kielo before, the back is usually cut as two pieces with a centre back seam and there is a long dart running up and down each side. Because I knew the darts would ‘interrupt’ the swan pattern quite a bit, I chose to cut the back on the fold so that the print is somewhat preserved. This did mean there was a little less shaping in the back but because the ties cinch in the waist quite a bit I don’t really think it matters too much.

The pattern instructions give two options for finishing the arm and neckholes – they suggest that you can just turn them in and topstitch or they also give the option of binding them. I chose to bind them with some strips of self fabric I cut on the bias and I’m really pleased with the finished effect – it looks neat on the outside and beautiful on the inside! I also had no problems whatsoever making the straps – something I’ve struggled with in previous makes as I’ve had straps trying to twist while I am sewing them. To combat any potential twisting, I cut the strap pieces parallel to the selvedge and fully interface the straps with lightweight interfacing. Using this method they sew up beautifully and thanks to the interfacing they retain their flat shape while worn. I am really pleased with how crisp and beautiful the ties are in this version!

I absolutely love this dress, the Kielo is one of my favourite patterns and think it looks great in this fabric which was beautifully easy to work with and (unlike some viscoses) doesn’t want to crease! Hallelujah! In the ‘flying squirrel’ picture below, I had been wearing that dress all morning with the straps tied around me and you can see it’s not creased much!

As always, thank you to Minerva for the supplies and until next time, happy sewing!

Vicky @ Sewstainability


A Stripey Tilly and the Buttons Nora Top

For my most recent make I went full on cosy! I love sweatshirt weather and though I mainly wear dresses, I can't resist throwing together a quick sweatshirt and the roomier the better around winter time to hide the excess hibernation cake! They are usually pretty quick to run up and I knew I wanted a quick and satisfying Sweater out of this lovely Fabric, which is a striped loose knit in Blush.

I have found that the perfect solution to this is the new Tilly and the Buttons Nora Top. I have made this several times and it has a real slouchy and relaxed silhouette and it is super quick to sew up. I have made the t-shirt version previously but for this I cut the version with the high neck, though I knew from the feel and drape of the fabric that this wouldn't sit upright but I wanted to embrace a relaxed look. I also chose the long sleeve option. I also made a high-low hem by having a shorter front then back hem. I needed a metre and a half to do this and I used pretty much all of the fabric.

The fabric really does have a loose knit and because of this it has it's pros and cons when it comes to working with it and wearing it.

Pros: it's super light and easy to manipulate, meaning stripe matching is super easy. It is really breathable to wear. It has a lovely drape to it.

Cons: it needs lots of weights when cutting as it moves around because it is so light. It needs a vest or something under it to be decent! I was more than happy with this look though and wore a white vest under my top.

The pattern did come together really quickly and I used my sewing machine to ensure that the stripes were lined up and used my overlocker to ensure that my seams had stretch and were finished. I chose to overlock first so I could use the seams to easily and neatly complete my stepped hem. The sleeves are set on the flat,which is always good news for me. They seemed very long though and I had to shorten them significantly!

I feel the colours in the stripes go really well together, I'm not usually one for wearing pink but the combination of colours meansu that it's not sickly pink and it goes with lots of different garments in my wardrobe. I can see this becoming a staple in my wardrobe. I'm pleased with my stripe matching and the relaxed style of it. It's perfect for walks on the beach and lazy winter days.

Thanks for reading,

Emma @ emmaandhermachine


Boiled Wool Berlin Jacket

Hello everyone, it’s Suzanna from Threadquarters back today to share my latest make for Minerva, and I’m pretty excited about this one.
I have had my eye on the Tessuti Berlin Jacket for some time now and when I saw that Minerva stocked Boiled Wool Fabric I knew it had to be my next project. They have quite a wonderful selection of colours in this boiled wool, so deciding which to go for was tricky. I narrowed it down to either a classic black, which I knew I would get so much wear out of, or a fun pop of colour with the royal blue. In the end I followed my heart, rather than my head and went with the royal blue - and I am so glad I did. The richness of colour is out of this world!
The Berlin Jacket calls for fabric which doesn’t fray, such as a boiled wool, or perhaps a ponte roma. If you were to make it up in a ponte it would be a really cosy, snuggly coatigan, which I have to admit I’m tempted to try soon. The reason why you need to use fabric which doesn’t fray is down to the rather unusual construction method. ’Normal’ seams are only used for the side seams, while everything else is constructed by simply laying one layer on-top of the other and sewing a few mm away from the edge! Thus, your edges are exposed and susceptible to fraying. This unusual construction method did take a little bit for me to get my head around, but the instructions are pretty clear, and with a bit of practice it ends up being incredibly easy. I would suggest doing a couple of practice seams before moving onto your fashion fabric. Do also be aware that unpicking stitches in boiled wool is not fun (ask me how I know!). I did have a couple of occasions where I didn’t manage to catch the underlying layer and ended up with a little hole - so just go slow, and be careful! 
Another tip I have is when you are sewing the shoulder and back neck seam, roll up your front piece so it fits into the space in your sewing machine. This will make things a lot easier. 
I also found that because you sew so close to the edge, it did have a tendency to creep underneath the foot - I got around this by occasionally feeding the edge under the foot with either the point of a pin or your seam ripper (obviously you keep it well away from your sewing needle!) 
The pattern comes in sizes XL - XXS and I cut a size S. Due to the style lines of the jacket, which has dropped shoulders, you do end up with a fair bit of room in the shoulder, chest and arms. But I do notice that it tapers in towards the hips, and I have less room there. It doesn’t matter really though because there is not a front fastening, and it is meant to hang open. Top tip if you are wearing this in the winter months is to get a gorgeous scarf to wear with it and keep your front warm!
One of the amazing things about this pattern is that you only need 1.5m of fabric - to make a coat! I even managed to squeeze a couple more inches of length, as I had read reviews that some people felt it came out a little short. I have to say I’m really happy with the length mine ended up.
I’m not the neatest when it comes to cutting out fabric, I must admit, so I was a little bit nervous cutting this because I knew the raw edges would be exposed. So I took my time, and made sure my scissors were super sharp (I’m in the dressmaking shears camp, but of course a rotary cutter would do a beautiful job) and the edges weren’t too bad. But once it is all sewn up you can go back and neaten up any wobbly bits if necessary. I have to say that when I first started making the jacket/coat I wasn’t sure what I would think of the raw edges, but now that it is complete I am totally won over. It gives it a really modern, contemporary vibe, which I absolutely love. Bonus, it is so quick and easy to make - double bonus that no one will realise how easy it actually was to make and will be super impressed with you that you made a coat!
Thanks for reading,
Suzanna @ Threadquarters

Polka Dot Scuba Skirt!

Hey there, It’s Wendy here on the blog today to talk to you about a lovely new navy and white polka dot Scuba Fabric
It seems that scuba has been having its moment in the spotlight for the past couple of years now.
Have you sewn with it yet? Eager to know what the fuss is about? Quite fancy sewing up some scuba but don’t have a clue where to start?
Well hopefully I am here to help you out with my beginners guide to sewing with scuba.
What exactly is scuba?
Before I answer that, let’s start by saying what scuba is not - it is not wetsuit fabric.  Let me repeat that  - it is not wetsuit fabric. Maybe its because of ‘scuba diving’ or maybe it's the springy qualities of both fabrics that lead to this common mix up, but wetsuits are made from neoprene not scuba.
Scuba is actually a stretchy double knit fabric. It’s really similar to a ponte, with its fine knit gauge, soft touch and smooth finish.  But what makes scuba stand out (pun intended) from ponte is the structure and body it gives to garments.
Tips for Sewing with Scuba
When you’re sewing scuba you need to treat it in the same way you would any other knit fabric.  So make sure you are using a ballpoint or stretch needle and stitch seams with a ‘lighting bolt’ stitch if you are using a regular sewing machine. You could, of course, also use an overlocker if you have one.
For any straight stitching I like to increase the stitch length on my sewing machine when sewing scuba, this results in fewer (if any) skipped stitches. You could also use a walking foot but I didn’t bother with one.
Because scuba is a knit fabric it is not going to fray so there is not need to finish your seams unless you really want to.  I left the seams of my skirt unfinished and, full disclosure, I left my skirt hem raw too. So liberating!
Sounds good, so what can I make with it?
Scuba is a warm fabric that is not particularly breathable so think structured winter clothing rather than floaty summer dresses. It looks great as winter dresses, skirts, structured tops, blazers… I’ve even seen it work brilliantly in handmade lingerie.  One of things to remember with scuba is that the fabric is going to hold its shape well, so you can really make a feature out of those pleats and gathers, like I did with my skirt.
As soon as I saw this scuba I knew I wanted to make a box pleat skirt and chose this one from the Great British Sewing Bee book ‘ Sew Your Own Wardrobe’ by Tessa Evelegh.  It’s a very simple pattern and I made a couple of changes to make it even simpler. 
I stitched in my pleats and attached the skirt waistband as per the instructions but because the scuba is stretchy there is no need for a zip closure. So, I omitted the zip and just stitched up the side seams. I added a stretch interfacing to the waistband but the scuba is so thick and stable that I don’t think it was really needed. 
With the seams and hems left raw, this was probably the quickest skirt I have ever made. It was all done in well under an hour and I genuinely love it. The scuba is perfect for holding the shape of those box pleats.
Look how great it is for twirling in too!
Hope you enjoyed this blog post and I’ve encouraged you to give scuba a try for yourself. 
Until next time,

All the Firsts!

This is a blog of firsts for me; the first time writing a Minerva Crafts Blog post, first time using an overlocker (thank you Father Christmas!), first time using a knit fabric, first time using a twin needle and the first time sewing an elasticated waistband. Phew! What could possibly go wrong?!
Before I get started, let me introduce myself. I'm Sophie from @whatsophiesewed. I've only been dressmaking since summer 2018 when I saw a dress in a shop and thought to myself "I could make that" and so I did. I've loved learning new skills and I'm looking forward to learning so much more on this sewing journey! 
Minerva Crafts kindly sent me this stunning Jersey Fabric and I thought it would be perfect for a Moneta dress by Colette. Now I know this dress is very popular so I thought it would be a good choice to start my journey with knit fabrics. Being a Betwixtmas project I thought it would be a good comfortable choice as the elasticated waistband would help with my festive overindulgences! 
I love the pattern and colour of this Jersey. It is in the wine and black colourway and the pattern is rather subtle in its use of colours. I thought it would make a perfect smart/casual dress. 
So, let's get started!
I chose to make up version three and my measurements are 34-29-37 which put me at an xs in the bust, medium in the waist and a small in the hips. I cut a small top and graded it to a medium at the waist and cut a small skirt piece. 
I also knew that I wanted to have a longer three quarter length sleeve rather tha  one that ended at the elbow so I lengthened the sleeve pattern piece buy cutting it in half and adding 3.5 inches to the pattern piece. I also had to grade from  the shoulder to ensure that the sleeve wouldn't be too tight. 
The pattern pieces were easy to place in the recommended layout, although it was a little bit tight so I'd perhaps order an extra 10%. I ordered 2.5m as per the instructions. 
I started following the written instructions which I noticed didn't include stabilising the shoulder seams. I tested on a scrap using both the clear elastic and a narrow ribbon and decided to go with the clear elastic. I sewed it on using my overlocker but next time would definitely use the sewing machine so it's easier to control. 
It was quick to use the overlocker to sew the shoulders together. When it came to setting the sleeves I decided to use hand baste the pieces together before sewing with the overlocker as this is only the second time I've set any sleeves. This was successful and I'd definitely use this technique again. 
By now I'd found the online instructions of the sewalong. These instructions were a lot more detailed that the ones downloaded with the pattern. They suggested overlocking lots of the pattern pieces before sewing together. This gave me plenty of practise using the overlocker. 
The instructions said to hem the sleeves and neckline but I saved this til nearer the end as I didn't want to faff about swapping needles over on my sewing machine. Next time I make this dress I'll overlock the hem and neckline before construction as I think it'll be easier to do. 
I found the skirt easy to sew up and the pockets were straightforward to place once you matched up all the markings. I found that the pockets were a good size too. 
Now it was time to get the twin needle out and have a go at all the hems. I practiced on piece of scrap fabric and it worked really well - but when I made a start on the sleeve hems it just kept jamming. I could have cried! I persisted with both sleeves but decide to switch to a zigzag stitch for the neckline and skirt hem. 
I did find sewing the elastic on a little bit daunting, but had read online about making extra markings so it was easier to get an equal placement and nice looking gathers. I found it straightforward to sew the bodice onto the skirt but did take my time over making sure no fabric got caught up underneath the gathers. 
I'm so pleased with my finished dress and I ended up wearing it out for dinner on New Year's Eve. The fabric was a dream to sew with and this dress will be perfect to put a bit of a spring in my step in the dank winter days. I'm really pleased with the fit too. 
It took me a couple of afternoons to put it together. I'm actually wearing it back to front as I prefer the slightly lower neckline and the pattern placement. The dress as it is on dressmakers dummy is the correct way round. 
I'll definitely be making another Moneta in the future. 
Thank you once again to Minerva Crafts for the lovely fabric. 
1 Comment

Discover French Sewing Patterns

I am Elisenne and I run the bilingual French/ English blog, where I compile my exciting sewing adventures (!!). This is my first contribution to the Minerva Craft blog and I hope my articles will be the opportunity for Minerva Crafts fans to discover French sewing patterns in a particular.
When offered the opportunity to chose a fabric, I immediately fell in love with this white dots on black background Crepe Fabric – the dots are 2cm wide, so big enough to give it a retro look; but the black and white makes it easily wearable in all occasions– depending on the pattern you choose of course… But more on that soon!
I initially thought I would make a skater dress, the garment that I wear and sew most of the times; so I ordered 3 meters of fabric. But when the coveted parcel arrived, I realised this type dress was not an option: the fabric is too soft for a circle skirt; and slightly transparent so it would have required a lining, not something I had considered. But I immediately started visualising a floaty, long skirt, with ruffles. I started looking for patterns but nothing suited me – and then the miracle happened: having received my fabric on Monday, Vanessa Pouzet published her amazing La Boheme skirt pattern on Thursday, I sew the dress on Friday and we took pictures on Saturday, in the middle of London snow. Incredible but true!
La Boheme is a floor-length wrap skirt with an all-around ruffle. It is an absolute beauty, static, in movement, not even mentioning when you twirl around in your garden…
A few details about this pattern:
It is only available in PDF but Vanessa’s are the easiest PDF to print and assemble I have ever used! It took me only 30mn to print, assemble and cut.
At the time of writing the pattern was only available in French; but my little finger tells me that at the time of publishing the English translation will be available too (I even know who is working on that!!). Vanessa’s explanations are crystal-clear and full of humour.
In terms of level of difficulty, I would definitely recommend it for beginner: only five pattern pieces, no technical difficulty, and a very quick make.
As for the fabric, I found it quite challenging to cut, as it did move a lot – I should definitely had used some spray starch here! But it was totally worth it as it suits this pattern so well, it gives it a beautiful floating effect. Despite the slight transparency, I did not have to line the skirt, as the wrap does the job!
I mostly followed the pattern instructions but the slight changes I made are detailed here.
In conclusion I absolutely adore this dress and I hope many sewers will try it, in many different fabrics – my next one will be in a thick silk, which should make it look completely different!
Thanks for reading,
Elisenne @ Six Mignons

The Savannah Kielo Dress

The Kielo Wrap Dress by Named Clothing has been taking the sewing community by storm in the past couple of years. It feels like every sewist has already made one of their own. There's a photo or blog post out here for any Kielo versions you can imagine: long, short, with or without sleeves. Suitable for both woven and knit fabrics, this versatile pattern can be sewn in a wide variety of fabrics, the most popular being viscose jersey or challis. You might ask - do we really want yet another blog post on Kielo?
Well the answer is Yes We Do! Because I've just found the (in my opinion) the fabric match made in heaven for the Kielo - the Lady EcElroy Crepe Jersey Fabric! This new to me substrate is such a perfect match for the Kielo that I'm surprised that I have not seen one out there already! 
What is crepe jersey you ask? Well it is just what it says: crepe + jersey. This wonderful fabric has both qualities of crepe and jersey! Like crepe, it has a matte finish and slightly crinkly texture that feels soft and crisp at the same time. Like jersey, it has a superb stretch and molds to your body. The Lady McElroy crepe jersey is 96% viscose so it drapes beautifully. The tiny bit of spandex content gives it excellent recovery. I washed it in regular machine cycle and it came out complete wrinkle free which deserves a little dance in the sewing room!
This lovely base comes in several solids and fun prints including the ever popular Cobra Corsage. I chose the green palm print on cream background called Savannah and let me tell you the colours and details are just amazing in person! I can literally imagine someone had hand painted the leaves and birds by vivid brushstrokes. Simply gorgeous. 
The Kielo's popularity partially owns to its simple construction. I sewed a straight size 34 but shortened the maxi length for my 158cm height. I followed the instructions mostly and used a narrow zigzag stitch with a regular machine foot. I left the seams raw because the wonderful crepe jersey does not fray one bit in the wash! For the neckline and arm hole I used a woven cotton lawn bias tape on the inside (as in photo below) instead of the recommend knit tape, to give it a little more structured support for the long maxi length dress. 
If you have not sewn a Kielo in crepe jersey, I highly recommend it! You might agree with me that it's a match made in sewing heaven indeed. The flexibility and stretch of the jersey works perfectly with the form fitting bodice and the hem slit so you achieve that slimming silhouette with easy and comfort. The crepe part means no wrinkles so those batwing/ties can be tied and re-tied without leaving marks - perfect for travel! 
In fact my palm print Kielo makes me suddenly yearn for a summer holiday at some warm exotic destination. But before then, I shall make a couple more of these, maybe in a shorter length too!
Have you tried / will you try the crepe jersey / Kielo combo? If so I'd love to see your version!
Until next time,

The Colette Dahlia

Making pretty dresses is such a treat. This lovely peach pink floral Crepe Fabric from Minerva Crafts has made a beautiful addition to my wardrobe. I used this polyester fabric to sew up a Colette Dahlia. 
The fabric is lightweight and has a subtle texture to it. The background is a sort of peachy pink color that is very flattering. I personally rarely make anything that is overly white because I feel it washes me out. This floral fabric doesn't do that however. I received a number of compliments on it because it's that perfect neutral shade.
What I especially love is the floral motif. With fantastic shades of lavender, pink, and yellow, it's like bright bit of spring. Interestingly there are also magnifying glasses all over it too. I won't lie; it made me feel like an incognito botanist or something.
The fabric went really well with the Colette Dahlia. It had been on my list for awhile, and I love how the fabric's lightness kept the dress feeling airy. Of course, the fabric is sheer, and so you may want to consider lining it. I often wear slips and so simply went that route. I did not line my dress. 
One of my main considerations in deciding to make this particular dress was the amount of bias tape involved. You use it for finishing both the shelves and the neckline. Purchased bias tape tends to be heavy, and I worried it would overwhelm the fabric and cause it to droop. This I decided to make my own bias tape using the remnants of the fabric after cutting the dress out. It wasn't too difficult, except that the polyester didn't want to take a pressing very well. I solved the issue by using plenty of starch. Starch also came in handy when pressing the hem.
The Dahlia has little details that don't show up extremely well because of the fabric's print, but I don't think it detracts from the overall effect. The Raglan sleeves and small gathers at the waist line on both the skirt and bodice take a simple dress up a notch. The gathering did take some time, though, as there are seven separate areas to gather. Colette recommends three lines of stitching, which I followed. It did make a nice even gather although it was tedious to execute. It closes an invisible side zip.
For me the sizing was straightforward. I made a size 8 graded to a 10 at the waist and back to an 8 at the hips. It fit well. The neckline is a little wide for my taste, and not all bra straps will be hidden by it. However, it's not overly daring and merely does the collarbone off attractively.
The only design change I made was to add five inches to the length at the lengthen/shorten line. The Dahlia is too short for me personally, as I prefer skirts and dresses to end just below the knee. It ended up a little longer than I would have preferred, but I won't change it.
Thanks for reading,

Spring in a Dress

Pattern: Vogue 9253
Make Time: 3.5 hours 
Level: Easy 
How I feel in it: 5/5 
Its my first make with Minvera and I’m delighted to be surrounded by so many talented sewiests in the blogger network and on the blog. I signed up to become a blogger last year however, it took me some time to commit to creating a garment for the blog. I hunted through the fabrics and the Lady McElroy fabric jumped out at me. I just loved the bright colours and floral print - it was just me! 
I then looked at the fabric type and it was jersey. Now, jersey would normally immediately turn me off. I’m a magpie for structured fabric’s that will give you a snug fit. This time I went against my grain (pardon the pun!) and ordered the jersey fabric. 
When the fabric arrived I immediately loved the print but again I wasn’t sure about the jersey. I rummaged through my pattern box and pulled out the vogue v9253. I love the vogue patterns - they are timeless and the easy makes can be whipped up in no time. I cut the fabric on Friday evening when I put my baby to bed at 8pm and completed the dress the following day during Lukes nap. 
In total this dress took me 3.5  hours to make. I did make some alterations to the dress. 
I didn’t add a zip as suggested. Jersey fabric is extremely stretchy so I stitched up the back to just above the waistline and sewed in the waistband. This not only created a more seamless design at the back but it also saved time and money on a zip. 
I left the top back open and created a deep V at the back as well as the front. I love a deep V at the back of a dress. 
Tips to working with jersey:
Use a walking foot - A walking foot will feed the fabric from top and bottom simultaneously. 
Make sure not to stretch the jersey when cutting or sewing. When cutting jersey lay it flat and place the pattern pieces on it. Ensure the fabric is not pulling or hanging over the side of a table otherwise it will distort the drape and effect the finishing look. I used paper weights instead of pins to attach. 
Use a stretch needle - this will give you a much sharper and cleaner finish. Normal thread is fine. 
Jersey doesn’t fray so you wont need to worry about the seams too much. You can however, use an overlocker on your seams, pinking sears or zigzag stitch. 
To say I love this make is an understatement! This garment has single handed changed my outlook on jersey fabric and I will not shy away from it again. It's key that you pick a fabric you love and work with it to create the desired design you would like. Matching the right fabric to a suitable pattern is vital. 
This Lady McElroy fabric and vogue pattern worked hand in hand.
Until next time folks... keep sewing! 
Angeline x

Indigo Denim Tilly and the Buttons Ness Skirt

Minerva Crafts were kind enough to send me some of their 8oz Washed Denim to try out; perfect as I'd been eyeing up the new Tilly and the Buttons Ness Skirt Pattern for a while now. I chose indigo blue, but there's several colours to choose from so you can pick your perfect denim shade. The indigo blue in my mind is a very 'traditional' colour for jeans and skirts, so it has that retro appeal! When the denim arrived, my cat Ethel decided to 'help' me check it out..
Unfortunately for her, this denim was far too nice to be used as a cat blanket! I decided to pre wash before cutting into it just to be on the safe side, but I didn't need to worry too much as I didn't notice any shrinking after it had been washed. This fabric is a really nice medium weight, not a really heavy duty denim that might cause your sewing machine some grief, and also not so light that it doesn't hold its shape. I would say it's the perfect weight to make a skirt you can wear all year round and move easily in.
Onto constructing the Ness skirt! I found the construction pretty simple and I think that most confident beginners wouldn't have a problem making this pattern, as long as you've had some practise sewing in zips. The only part I found a little tricky was constructing the zip fly as it was my first time working with this kind of zip fastening. But as long as you take your time and follow the instructions (there's a really handy video tutorial on the Tilly blog) then you'll be fine! Another tip with making the Ness is to take your time with top stitching to make sure it's nice and neat. You could even use a special top stitching thread to get a really professional finish. I decided to use a deep red thread for my top stitching, which contrasts nicely with the indigo denim. 
I did have a couple of fit issues (which I often do with my body shape). I graded from a size 3 hip, to in between sizes 2/3 for the waist, in line with my 27" waist and 37" hip measurements. When I came to sewing the front and back skirt pieces together, I made sure to try the skirt on before I finished the side seams (very important!) and ended up taking about 2cm out of each side of the waist, and 1cm each side of the hip. I also took 2.5cm off each side of the leg so that my skirt would look more straight, rather than hanging loose, but that's just my preference! It's also important to mention that I like my clothes to fit tightly with little ease, so if you make the Ness skirt you may not have to make any adjustments to the fit at all. 
Overall, I'm really happy with my finished skirt! I've tried denim minis on in the shops before, but I always thought I couldn't pull them off. The main benefit of sewing your own clothes is that you can adjust them to flatter your shape perfectly, so I'm really happy I gave Ness a go! The length is perfect for me and the fit is snug enough but not too tight that I can't tuck in a t-shirt or thin jumper. The 8oz denim was the perfect choice for this skirt; if I made it again I'd love to have a go at making use of the natural edge of the fabric and distress it for an on-trend look!'
Thanks for reading,

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