For the past few months, all my sewing has been planning for my size gradually increasing throughout my pregnancy.  In the last few weeks of pregnancy though, I was trying to plan summer clothing which will work as my size (hopefully) starts to change the other way.  It does make planning very difficult when you aren’t quite sure what size you are going to be.  There is no way to measure yourself or compare to the finished garment measurements.  It all ends up being a bit of guesswork, so I needed to choose a pattern that would be forgiving and fairly flexible. I decided to go for the Tilly and the Buttons Miette Skirt because it is a very simple shape, and with the wrap waist the size is adaptable giving me a bit more leeway with my guessing.
The Fabric that I have been given from Minerva is a cotton and ramie blend.  This was a new to me fibre, so I decided to have a little look and see what I could find out about it.  It turns out that raime is derived from a nettle like plant and has qualities similar to linen.  The fabric does have the appearance of linen.  When it arrived, the fabric was quite stiff, but it has softened up nicely on washing.  The fabric doesn’t have a very clear right or wrong side.  Because I like to keep consistent, I generally try to keep track of my pattern pieces by marking the wrong side with pins or chalk.  The fabric is a little bit translucent when held up to the light, but I thought that with the pockets at the front of the pattern, and the wrap over at the back then there would probably be enough coverage to keep me decent.
The first step in the sewing process for the Miette is stay stitching some of the curved and bias edges.  I did stitch the curved skirt pieces, but for the pocket edges I decided to use some fusible interfacing tape instead.  Because you just set it with the iron like regular interfacing this was a very quick fix!
The Miette pattern is very simple, so I decided to add a couple of embellishments with some decorative topstitching.  If you are feeling confident with your stitching, then this is a great opportunity to test out some of the decorative stitches on your sewing machine.  If you aren’t sure, then you can stick with a matching topstitch thread and simple straight stitch.
Unusually for a Tilly pattern, I struggled to get the notches to align, so I ended up placing things as best I could.  My pockets do seem to have ended up a bit ‘poufy’ though, and I wonder if this is because they are not quite aligned as they should be.
I have only just been able to get some post baby photos of me wearing this skirt.  (It looked totally ridiculous while I was in my final weeks and enormous.)  The big bow means that I need to wear it with tops tucked in, and I’m still not sure about the effect it has of drawing attention to a waist that is still carrying some extra baby weight.  It does adjust really well though, so I think I will be sticking with it throughout the summer, and perhaps once my size has stabilised a bit more I will swap the ties for buttons.
You do have to love any pattern with massive pockets!  Though these don’t sit flat, they do fit all sorts of odds and ends (perfect for a new mum who suddenly needs a muslin everywhere and doesn’t have enough hands to carry phone and baby!).  You might also have spotted my espadrilles - I made them last year in collaboration with Minerva, so if you would like to see more of them the blog post is available here.
The fabric feels really breathable and cool in the warm weather, and I will definitely look out for this fabric blend again.  It has all the benefits of linen, but seems to crease a little less during wear which is always a good thing.  It is also a great weight for twirling, though I think if you were going to make a fitted bodice it would need lining as it is a little translucent.
Thanks for reading,
Naomi @ naomisews