I was asked if I would test the size/age 7 skirt, this suited me fine as Bethan is much more likely to wear a skirt than Leah (who would like to be a ‘friendly pirate’ most of the time).
So I printed off the pattern pieces and was quite delighted that I didn’t have to tape any pieces together as you often have to do with pdf patterns. As with all Lily Bird Studio patterns it was well written with plenty of photographs and clear instructions. There is a chart with finished measurements of the skirt too which is really useful especially if you are not sure whether a particular age will fit your child (lets be honest children do vary enormously in size).
Once I’d got the pattern I consulted with Bethan about which fabrics to use, I rarely by lengths of fabric, generally I buy fat quarters which are not enough for clothing. I already had in mind what I might use for the skirt, I was just hoping that Bethan liked it as I’d at least a metre of most pieces.
Sugar and Spice by the Quilted Fish (for Riley Blake); happily Bethan picked out 2 fabrics she liked and I set to work. I can’t tell you how long it took me to make as with all my sewing it’s done in fits and starts around family life (and it was the weekend). And first of all like a good pattern tester I did follow instructions and washed the fabric before cutting (there’s nothing like making a garment which fits and then having it shrink in the first wash!). So I had to wait for it to dry and ironed before I could get cutting.
The pattern is straightforward, there are photographs with each step, so no real chance to go wrong. There are 2 options in the pattern for the waistband, one is a ‘simple’, possibly more traditional way of making the waistband and for the second option the pattern states ‘you will need a little more skill to work with this option’. So I thought that with my experience I probably should be able to manage it and was also intrigued as to how it would work, without confusing anyone with my explanation it basically involved sewing the elastic to the fabric rather than inserting it into the casing you make. Well it wasn’t easy and on my first attempt I realised it wasn’t quite going to work so I undid it all and started again and was successful – phew!
I found time last Sunday to cut and sew and by Sunday evening it was finished, Bethan came from school on Monday and tried it on and not only did it fit but she was pleased with it too!
The pattern calls for bias binding, I chose to make my own as the only binding I had to hand wasn’t suitable. I think I prefer the make your own version, and instructions are included on how to do this if you’ve never tried.
Part of the fun of pattern testing is finding out whether or not there are any terrible errors in the pattern, I’ve not yet come across any and everything I’ve made has worked! I persuaded my friend Jo who was recently become a sewing convert to volunteer to test too, and this is what she made:
Jo’s daughter is 9 but pretty slim for her age so Jo made the size 8 skirt (using a charity shop duvet cover!) and it fits her fine. This is the first piece of clothing Jo has ever made (I didn’t help her atall just in case you were wondering). I guess that gives you an idea of the skill level required, and that is not meant as an insult to Jo but as a compliment to the clarity of the pattern and Jo’s skill!
Cecilia of Lily Bird Studios has kindly offered all you lovely readers the opportunity to buy the pattern with a 15% discount with the code GIGISKIRTMARY, in fact this applies to anything in her Etsy shop, including bundles. Be quick though as it’s only valid until this Wednesday (21st March).
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