Clemence Skirt from "Love at First Stitch", Tilly And The Buttons - Full View
Sewing for Me

A British „Dirndl“ skirt: Clemence

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Hello all!

Those of you following me on Instagram or on the blog here know: I am a huge fan of UK pattern designer Tilly and the Buttons. I have already shown you my two Cocos here on the blog (a dress and a sweater), and today I’ll talk about a make from Tilly’s book “Love at First Stitch”: the summer skirt Clemence! The pattern for Clemence is a self-drafted pattern. Tilly explains how to take your measurements and turn them into pattern pieces to make up the skirt. Making the pattern pieces is simple, as all of them are rectangles. The skirt is fitted at the waist by gathering the hem, no darts or other more complicated fitting techniques needed!

Clemence skirt from "Love at First Stitch" from Tilly and The Buttons - Light summer skirt

The gathered design really reminds me of the skirt for a Bavarian Dirndl (the traditional Bavarian costume, I’m sure you have seem them) – that’s actually what my husband said when he saw the half-finished skirt on my sewing bust: “Are you making another dirndl?!?” (My first dirndl took ages, and I was complaining a lot to him about the amount of hand-sewing involved, so he was a little incredulous that I would be making another one ;-)). So actually, Clemence is kind of a British-Bavarian design crossover!

Clemence skirt from "Love at First Stitch" by Tilly Walnes - Back View

Clemence skirt from "Love at First Stitch" by Tilly and The Buttons - my favorite summer skirt!

Every pattern in “Love at First Stitch” teaches the reader new skills – the ones for Clemence are gathering a seam, constructing and putting in seam pockets and doing French seams. Tilly recommends to choose between the seam pockets and French seams. As I really like to have pockets in my clothes, I went for the seam pockets. I already knew how to gather a seam, but putting in pockets was a first for me. So I concentrated really hard when attaching them, to avoid sewing them in upside down. Well, despite all concentration, that’s exactly what I did! No idea how that happened, but I guess I was overthinking the construction. Since I didn’t check after the first pocket, I had put in both the wrong way around, so had to take apart all the seams…. Luckily, I picked a quite sturdy kind of quilting cotton for the skirt, so the seams came apart quickly with the help of my seam ripper.

The stabile fabric also made gathering quite easy. However, measuring is not my strong suit, so after I had gathered the skirt, pinned it to the waist band and wrapped it around my waist to test the width, it turned a REALLY tight. I thought about squeezing myself in, because I didn’t feel like cutting the waist band pattern pieces again – but then thought better of it. Me-Made clothing is about a good fit, so better to take the time and then actually wear your garment! So I re-measured, cut the pattern pieces once more and went on to finish the skirt. Tilly explains at length how to insert an invisible zipper into the waist band, and again the fabric was my friend – the corners turned really nicely, and I think this is my best zipper-insertion so far!

Zipper in the Clemence Skirts
The zipper is unfortunately visible in the upper part, but the gathers hide it completely!
Clemence Skirt from "Love at First Stitch" from Tilly And The Buttons - Pockets
Invisible Pockets!

When I tried on my finished Clemence, I wasn’t 100 percent sure about the style on me. I really like the seam pockets, and also the colour of the fabric, but I think the shape is a little bit unflattering for me. But wearing Clemence is so comfortable – so I’ll give her a try, and maybe the silhouette will grow on me! On to the Flying Needle Summary:

Pattern: Skirt Clemence from the book „Love at First Stitch“ from Tilly Walnes (you self-draft the pattern pieces according to your measurements)

Fabric: quilting cotton that I bought at the Dutch fabric market in Munich

Changes made: I had to cut the pattern pieces for the waist band twice because I mis-measured.

Summary: I like the feel of wearing Clemence, and I love the seam pockets. Not so sure about the silhouette on me yet, but I’ll give it some time and see if it grows on me!

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Clemence skirt from "Love at First Stitch" by Tilly Walnes - Red and white polkadot version
We took the pictures of my Clemence skirt at the shore of the lovely Pilsensee (= “Lake Pilsen”) near Munich!


  1. Ani Lorak

    LOVELY! REALLY LOVELY PHOTOS OF YOU IN A LOVELY SKIRT! I LIKE IT VERY MUCH; THE COLOUR IS REALLY leuchtend. Nein – wirklich sehr schön und vor dem See ein schöner Anbilick. Die Farben!

    1. Melanie

      Danke dir, Ani! Liebe Grüße, Melanie

  2. I love the colour, the overall skirt is stunning

    1. Melanie

      Thank you, Let’s Get Sewing! (Love your blog name!)

  3. It looks beautiful and very feminine. The pink fabric with the dots is so cute and sweet. A wonderful make.

    1. Melanie

      Thank you, Sonja!

  4. Very pretty dress indeed! Lovely colour and pattern :).

    1. Melanie

      Thanks Teodora!

  5. The polka dot fabric on your skirt is so fabulous!

    Xo Jonet

    1. Melanie

      Thank you Jonet!

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