Clemence Skirt and Zippy Top

I’ve been wanting to sew up a dirndl skirt since I saw Gertie’s full skirt tutorial, and part two here, and Tilly’s Life’s Too Short Skirt.  Then after I saw the instructions for the Clemence skirt in Tilly Walnes’ book, Love at First Stitch, all I needed to do was buy fabric!

The first thing I did was take my measurements and begin making a pattern following the instructions in the book.  It was easy to use her formulas, and the visuals were also helpful.  I found this really soft denim chambray at my local fabric shop.

The construction of the skirt is very simple.  The only thing I’ve never done is sew an invisible zipper.  I bought an invisible zipper foot to sew the OAL dress (I’m still in the process of fitting that pattern…), but I have yet to use it.

Clemence Skirt

The instructions in this book on how to insert an invisible zipper are very good, with my favorite part mentioning to “uncurl” the zipper.  After my initial attempt at inserting it, I realized I was still 1/8″ too far from the zipper teeth.  That was easy to fix though once I uncurled the zipper teeth.  I also used wonder tape to keep my zipper in place instead of pins.  I LOVE wonder tape.

Clemence Skirt

The seams matched up nicely, although the angle at which this picture was taken makes it look otherwise 😦

Zippy Top and Clemence Skirt

I’m not completely satisfied with this skirt however.

Zippy Top and Clemence Skirt

I think the waist sits too low and is too loose.  I think I’m going to remove at least an inch from the waist on my next version.  I think ultimately I just like things to fit snugly around my waist, you know, hold it in for me 😉

Zippy Top and Clemence Skirt

When I wear it you can see the invisible zipper along the waistline.  I did have a tough time getting the invisible zipper foot over the enormous seam where the waistline seam meets the gathers of the skirt.

Zippy Top

I’m wearing it here with another Zippy Top I made awhile back.  It’s an orange blue vintage plaid crepe de chine fabric I bought from Girl Charlee.  It’s the first time I’ve ever sewn with this fine of a fabric.  I didn’t need to do anything special to sew it, although it did shift like a mother while cutting it.  I used wonder tape to match up the stripes.

Zippy Top

I eliminated the zipper in the back because I didn’t do an interlining and figured the zipper might actually create tears in the fine fabric.  Even without the zipper I have no problem getting it over my head.

I finished the neck and bottom hems with hem tape, and I hate the way it looks at the neckline.  It’s just too stiff and doesn’t lay flat.  I may go back at some point and redo it.

Anyway, I think the skirt will look better with cardigans, tights, and a belt come winter.  I have more of this fabric left, enough to make a smaller version.  Is it worth having two of the same looking skirt?  What do you think?  I do like the neutral color, perfect for a capsule wardrobe.  Ahhh, decisions…



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