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Ness skirt

When lockdown 1.0 started I bought a load of fabric from different retailers. And I also bought a Ness kit from Wild Orchard Fabrics. The kit came with everything needed to make a Tilly and the Buttons Ness skirt, including: 

  • Denim fabric
  • Extra fabric for pocket bags
  • Interfacing
  • Denim-style button
  • Rivets
  • Zip for fly
  • Thread for top-stitching
  • Elastic
  • Pattern from Tilly and the Buttons
  • Plus a cute canvas bag to store the project
The complete kit

Over lockdown 1.0 I made a few creative projects. But the realities of working from home meant I had to channel my spare time into converting my sewing space into a work space, with the complication of making two tables: one to act as my desk and one for my sewing machines. 

But, working from home is also the ideal time to wear a denim skirt. So I’m glad I’ve managed to tick this off my list at last.

There’s two views to the Ness, one is below the knee with a front split and the other is a mini-skirt version. Both have a back yoke and side pockets, and there’s the option to add back pockets too. I’m not sure I’d wear a skirt with a front split, so I decided to do the mini version. I wasn’t keen on how short the Ness looked on the models, but hoped that the fact I’m short would balance that out. Spoiler: it’s the perfect length for me.

Cutting out the pieces was normal. It’s nice to work with a heavier fabric that’s not slippery and has a clear grain! The trickiest bit by far was the fly. But TATB have a great video on how to install the zip.


All the cutting finished!

I actually cheated and skipped some of the top stitching, the belt loops and doing the rivets. I feel like I got the hang of that when I did the Ginger Jeans. Plus I want to use both this and the Ginger pattern for some different fabrics for some smarter clothes suitable for working in an office - just in case!

Sewing the yoke and grading the seams

One thing I didn't think about until after it was too late was doing a custom design on one of the back pockets. What's the point of making your own clothes if you can't add a little quirk to them? There's some great ideas online. I guess I could also hand embroider a design before stitching on the pockets, or even just use a sew-on patch. 

The back of the skirt, with boring, uncustomised, pockets.

After the fly I started just doing my own thing, rather than following the pattern. Partly that’s because I’m atrocious at stitch-in-the-ditch. So instead I hand-sewed the inside of the waist band. I’m actually really happy with the way that’s worked out. Of course I popped in a vanity label while I was there!

Hand sewing the waistband

I left the best step to last. Out to the garage to hammer on the button! I do love it when making clothes involves hammering. 

Button and zip, and top-stitching around the fly

I’m really happy with the fit of this. Between this and the Ginger pattern I feel like I’ve got a couple of good options for “bottoms” that can be casual in denim and hopefully made more formal with a fabric like twill - other suggestions welcome. 

Finished skirt!




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