I’m pleased to be back on Minerva this morning and sharing all about my latest sewing win. I’ve spoken quite a bit before about how important sewing ‘wardrobe staples’ is to me. By wardrobe staples I mean the items of clothing in your wardrobe that help to tie everything together. Those items that you reach for time and time again that are true workhorses. The classics. Having a few of these in your wardrobe really makes dressing easier, and I don’t know about you, but being a busy mum of two, with my own business...life is hectic to say the least and the last thing I want to be worrying about is what to wear! Having a few well fitting, easy to wear, interchangeable garments is quite the life saver.

So on to this months make. I’ve wanted a classic denim high waisted mini skirt for as long as I can remember and I’ve literally never been able to find one that fits! They’ve always been too big at the waist if they fit my hips, or too snug on the hips if they fit my waist. A nightmare! So when I came across the Ness pattern by Tilly and the Buttons, I knew I could be on to a real winner. The Ness Skirt Pattern features 2 different lengths, a mini and a below the knee length beauty. At 5ft 3, I could pretty much know off the bat that the midi length wouldn’t really work for me, and so I decided on the mini. 

Fabric wise, I wanted to keep with the classic denim mini vibe and so I picked a really beautiful 8oz Denim Fabric in the dark blue colour way. This denim has no stretch, and although the patterns doesn’t say that stretch is essential, it does recommend it for comfort. I knew I needed to take that into account when figuring out which size to cut. I couldn’t have it skin tight as with no stretch, I wouldn’t be able to breath when sitting! 

Sizing wise, as usual, my measurements fell across different sizes. Going off the size guide, my waist is a size 6 and my hips a size 7. However, I decided to make one size bigger going for a 7 at the waist and grade to an 8 to allow for having no stretch in the fabric.

I was a little apprehensive about making this skirt. I dread zip insertions and I haven’t had much practice with woven, curved waistbands either. To be honest I was completely surprised at what a simple and straight forward make this turned out to be! It took me only 2 evenings to sew it and it was a really lovely project. The instructions were straight forward and easy to follow, in fact this is the second pattern by Tilly and the Buttons that I’ve made and I really love using them. You can tell that a lot of care and attention goes into writing the instructions that even a novice would be able to follow along. My zip went in perfectly first time, and I really enjoyed the little details such as the top stitching, and attaching the belt loops. 

The fabric was an absolute dream to sew with. I always really enjoy sewing with heavier weight fabrics such as this because they don’t move around too much and they take a press really well, which I’ve come to realise is really important if you want to end up with a well finished garment.

As I mentioned, I haven’t had much practice sewing waistbands. I guess I’m quite a safe sewer usually and stick to making garments that aren’t too involved (easy ones!), so this was in fact the first curved waist band that I’ve sewn and oh my god, I am a complete convert! The way it fits around your body is pure perfection.


As soon as I’d finished the last stitch I tried the skirt on and fell head over heels. The fit is spot on. It’s fitted but I can still sit and move around in it without feeling like I’m wearing a corset (which is always a possibility in fitted, high waisted garments). I ended up taking the length up by an inch as it was just a tad too long for my rather short legs, but that was the only change I made.

I really, really love this skirt and I know that it’s a garment that will be on constant rotation in my wardrobe. I’m already planning on making a couple more, as they’re just so easy to wear but still feel put together and stylish.