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The Ness Skirt is a pattern by Tilly and the Buttons. It has both a mini and below the knee length with a centre front split. The straight skirt has a shaped waistband and curved back yoke making it a flattering fit. With this pattern you can also conquer a zip fly front, topstitched mock fell seams, belt loops, in-seam pockets and optional back pockets.
Rebekah wearing her Ness Skirt
Henry getting in on the photos!
When this pattern was released I loved it but was apprehensive because of the fly front. Back in November 2019 I decided to treat myself to the pattern in the Black Friday sales. Still I was nervous about taking on the pattern but decided to make it one of my Make 9 for 2020. So I shall take you on my journey making my Ness skirt...
I chose to make a size 4 so traced and cut out the pattern pieces which didn't take very long, it could be done in about 40 minutes if uninterrupted. I am delighted with the fit! I was convinced I had cut it too small but I think it was just perfect for me. I also decided to make the mini length version but added 2-3 inches of length as I have quite long legs. The length comes to just above the knee for me.
The fabric I used was a stunning floral canvas by See You at Six Fabrics, purchased from Oh!Sew. The fabric was so easy to work with when sewing, it was so stable. The fabric is described as a Canvas Cotton Gabardine Twill with a width of 150cm. I used both a size 90 and 100 sewing machine needle as I wasn't sure which worked best. I pre-washed my fabric at 30 and ironed on a medium to high setting.
Close up detail of the zip fly and waistband
How dreamy is this floral canvas!
The first few stages were pretty straightforward - the interfacing, back seam of the skirt and yoke. I chose to have the back pockets on my skirt, I think they finish the skirt of nicely. When sewing the back yoke, be sure to do one half at time as Tilly says.
Next were the pocket bags, I hadn't made anything with pocket bags before so this project was certainly beginning to be a great learning curve for me. For the pocket bags I decided to use some Irish Linen (the Linen I used for my Burnside Bibs). It proved to be nice and light while strong enough for my phone to go into. At first I was a little confused which way the pocket bags go on but once you're doing it, it will make sense. Kind of like a facing, right sides together then turn over and press.
Attaching the back yoke
The pocket bags made with a beautiful Irish Linen
Onto the part I was really dreading but now I don't know why I was as nervous as I was. Thanks to Tilly's wonderful video on her YouTube channel this process was a breeze and I completed my first ever zip fly in about 45 minutes. I paused the video at each stage to take me through it. If you are making the Ness skirt or just want to understand how a zip fly front works, I really recommend you watch this video!
When topstitching my skirt I just used my navy thread that I was using for the rest of the seams, seeing it was a busy print on the fabric. Though if using a plain fabric, you coluld use a constrasting coloured thread.
Once you have the side seams sewn, check you are happy with the fit before sewing on the waistband. When attaching the waistband to your Ness skirt be sure to match up all the notches as this will make it much easier getting it in the right place.
I found doing the buttonhole quite tricky as my sewing machine kept skipping stitches. So I controlled the speed my fabric went under the needle to slow it down a bit and this seemed to work.
Super pleased with my zip fly...
I am so delighted with the finished result of my first Ness skirt. I think in total it probably took me about 4 hours to make including cutting time, I tend to get little blocks of sewing time to sew. Usually while Henry naps or once he's asleep for the night. It's all about making the most of the time you get to sew.
Now of course we all love a nice accessory for our me mades. I decided to order a brown plaited belt to go with my skirt and so glad I did I love the two together!
If you have been considering making the Tilly and the Buttons Ness Skirt, I say just go for it! It's such a rewarding pattern especially if you haven't tried some of the skills involved before. Feel free to give me a shout on Instagram or Facebook if you would like any help with your Ness!
Thanks for reading,
ref: 16 | The Ness Skirt
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