Clemence Skirt – Take 2

2015 is going well so far. I made a Clemence Skirt (from Tilly Walnes’s Love at First Stitch book) that FITS!!

[If you’ve been reading my blog a while you may remember that I made a lovely Clemence skirt that turned out a good few inches too big for me. Gutted!]

The fabric I used was very expensive. Ha, only joking – it cost me 50p. It was a tablecloth I bought from the car boot sale! I picked it up and my 5-year-old said “you could use that for fabric.” She knows me too well!

I think it’s polycotton and I don’t know how many washes it’ll last before it goes funny, but it actually feels nice and looks almost denim-y.

So I chopped it up and – ta-dah!

Love at First Stitch Clemence Skirt (aka an upcycled tablecloth!) @AfterDarkSewing

It’s great fun using a pattern for the second time. It’s such a breeze.

I totally winged it in terms of sizing, though. I wasn’t sure exactly how big my first Clemence was so didn’t know exactly how much to chop off of the pattern. So, I didn’t chop the actual pattern in order to not mess it up. Instead I chopped a couple of inches off the waistband at the cutting stage and hoped for the best. And I thank my lucky stars because it was pretty much exactly the right amount! Phew. I also remembered to try it on before inserting the zip (pinching the seam allowance together at the back) to make sure I didn’t end up with the same problem as last time! I’m learning!!

Love at First Stitch Clemence Skirt (aka an upcycled tablecloth!) @AfterDarkSewing

The best thing was that my unpicker stayed firmly in its little drawer! OK, so you are meant to use it to unpick the gathering and tacking stitches, but… I put my gathering stitches in the seam allowance so left them there, and I skipped the tacking stage [tacking the gathered panel to the waistband before stitching it down]. I was feeling all confident that I could do it without tacking. And I did! 😛 Plus I saved time by only sewing two lines of gathering stitches as opposed to three… luckily none of the threads snapped so I got away with it!

I found the gathers much easier to pull than those on my first Clemence. I don’t know if that was because I used fewer stitching lines, or because the fabric was thinner this time – or maybe a mixture of the two. Either way, I had a better time with this skirt!

Love at First Stitch Clemence Skirt (aka an upcycled tablecloth!) @AfterDarkSewing

I did all right stitching in the ditch but missed a few places as you can see below. Luckily the thread I used is pretty much bang on colour so it’s not visible unless you’re taking close-up photos of that area!

Love at First Stitch Clemence Skirt (aka an upcycled tablecloth!) @AfterDarkSewing

The zip went in easily but it’s not quite concealed at the lumpy bit where the seams join. Never mind! I’m impressed that my seams match up nicely. But not so impressed with my corners. They’re a bit bumpy… but at least I can’t see it when I’m wearing the skirt; out of sight, out of mind and all that!

Love at First Stitch Clemence Skirt (aka an upcycled tablecloth!) @AfterDarkSewing

I made the basic version, without any pockets or fancy details. I’m thinking about embellishing it somehow, though, as it’s a bit plain. Any ideas?

Love at First Stitch Clemence Skirt (aka an upcycled tablecloth!) @AfterDarkSewing

I would have liked to put pockets in, but wanted to finish the edges with French seams more – so that’s what I did! And I’m pretty impressed with the insides:

Love at First Stitch Clemence Skirt (aka an upcycled tablecloth!) @AfterDarkSewing

I think I owe a lot of the neat-ness to the fabric I used. The hem was so easy to do because the fabric was very easy to handle.

Love at First Stitch Clemence Skirt (aka an upcycled tablecloth!) @AfterDarkSewing

I must also give credit to my new iron, which I love! It has made my life a lot easier! I was using an cheap Woolworths(!) one and after using my new Philips one I am wondering why I didn’t get a nicer one sooner. Pressing is SO important and I was very happy to get some boring presents for Christmas!!

Yep, I’m really happy with how this skirt turned out. Bring on the next one!

Love at First Stitch Clemence Skirt (aka an upcycled tablecloth!) @AfterDarkSewing

Beth x

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33 thoughts on “Clemence Skirt – Take 2

  1. Pingback: MMM15 Week Two Roundup | After Dark Sewing

  2. My mom used to make the gathered skirt for me when I needed something new. In the 50’s a lot of women’s skirts and pants closed on the side and while she didn’t put in a zipper, she would have a closure on the side and the gathers would cover it. I loved those skirts and so glad to see the one you made. It’s lovely and they’re so quick and easy to make. Thanks for sharing and bringing back good memories.

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  3. Pingback: A Spotty Clemence | After Dark Sewing

  4. I love both your Clemence skirts! I haven’t made one yet but think I will next!
    I made a Delphine out of a denim duvet cover I got from a charity shop. It was super quality fabric (Next Denim) for a couple of quid. Lots left too, as the Delphine doesn’t use much fabric.

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    • Thank you! I definitely recommend you make one!
      I can’t imagine sleeping in denim! But I will be on the lookout for denim duvet covers because that is the ideal upcycling project – I’m rather jealous of your find! What a fantastic idea.

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  5. I love the skirt! It appears to be so versatile. I like that you wrote about your first imperfect version, too. 😉 You mentioned the cute felt pasta in one of your recent posts. In case you are interested, I wrote some tutorials about, for instance, how to make a felt sandwich (bread, salad, cheese, tomato, sausage). Super cute, too. 😉

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  6. Great skirt and really nicely finished! I can’t say that I’m a fan of gathering (like you I suffered from thread breakage which really winds me up…) but a gathering foot for the machine did help. Might be worth trying out?

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  7. I love this! Love the colour and the gathers around the waist. I’m doing the last bits on my Delphine tonight 🙂 I feel like it fits well but almost sits off me, like there is a gap on the waistband but it still fits?! I don’t know what happened there though, maybe it’s just the style!

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    • Thank you! I haven’t made a Delphine yet but my sister-in-law has and had problems with the fit of the waistband – like I did with my last Clemence. I think I know what you mean. It’s like the waistband is slightly bigger than the actual skirt? I guess because of your waist going in and out and where the waistband sits it needs to be a bit smaller?

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  8. It looks great! I find that patterns are so much easier the second time around as there are no surprises. At my sewing class the tutor only ever recommends using two lines of gathering stitching as they are easier to pull – she makes wedding dresses for a living so if it’s good enough for her…

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    • Ooh good – I will only use two lines from now on and ignore Tilly’s advice even though it’s usually great!! I’m looking forward to making my third Clemence, maybe I will make it without the instructions soon! Even though I have many other patterns to use, haha.

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      • I think I’ll have to try this one. Maybe with a little contrasting piping along the waist seam… I can’t blame you for making a third Clemence, there is something so comforting about re-making the perfect pattern!

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  9. You really can’t go wrong with a skirt that cost you so little, material-wise. I never would have guessed you’d made it from a tablecloth if you hadn’t told us at the start. This is what I love about sewing: you can take something as simple as a tablecloth and turn it into a skirt perfectly made for you. Brilliant!

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    • And I’m glad it didn’t go wrong! I’m glad it doesn’t look like a tablecloth! Thank you 🙂 I love it too. There is so much beautiful fabric about but the most satisfying thing is turning an unloved tablecloth into a loved skirt 🙂

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