Tilly and the Buttons Ness Skirt

Tilly and the Buttons Ness Skirt

I was lucky enough to be gifted indigo stretch denim by my lovely auntie last year for my birthday. I managed to make the jeans that I originally was looking for fabric for earlier this year, using the Ultimate Trousers pattern . There was a fair bit left over and I have needed a new denim skirt to wear in winter for a while, so I sought out the Ness pattern. There are many, many skirt patterns available, but I particularly liked that this was designed with denim in mind - details like the yoke and topstitching were what I was looking for. I knew as well that as a Tilly and the Buttons pattern, I could rely on it to be straightforward and easy too.

It was  - I love this pattern!

Tilly and the Buttons Ness Skirt pattern review


Unfortunately, I have no idea where this fabric has been sourced from! I had about 1m left over from the Ultimate Trousers. It has a good stretch and I would use it again. It didn't fray everywhere before the edges were overlocked either, which is handy! The pattern doesn't specify stretch fabric, but I think it helps a bit in some ways and I'm glad it's there. I did use a knit interfacing in the waistband instead of regular interfacing, so we'll see how it holds up. If I were to source something similar, I would head to Empress Mills, where I found stretchy slub denim in a variety of colours (used in my Ginger jeans).

Tilly and the Buttons Ness Skirt pattern review

For the pocket linings, I returned to my trusty old Atelier Brunette Angele fabric, which I not only made a Mimi blouse from, but also used it to line the pockets of two other pairs of jeans, my Morgan and Ginger jeans. 2m can go quite a long way! I love having a little pop of colour in the pockets...it's what makes handmade clothes feel a little bit more special for me.

Tilly and the Buttons Ness Skirt pattern review

Pattern and Instructions

The pattern that I used was the Ness skirt by Tilly and the Buttons. It has two options; the mini skirt length I used and a longer one with an interesting spilt feature at the front. It includes a yoke, back pockets, front pockets and a zip fly with button (just like a pair of jeans). It is usually available in printed and pdf format. I bought a printed pattern at the Knitting and Stitching show because I've turned back towards these lately (I like having everything beautifully printed in a nice envelope). I opted to make the mini skirt version, leaving off the belt loops (as I knew I wouldn't wear a belt with this and wanted to omit the bulk). 

The instructions are everything that I have come to expect from Tilly's patterns - very clear, with colour photographs. You get everything you need to know included, and if it's your first time sewing anything like this, the instructions are so clear you feel very well supported. There is also a video link to help with sewing the front fly which has even more detail.

Tilly and the Buttons Ness Skirt pattern review


I made a size 4, which fits with my actual and desired finished measurements. However, I know that despite this I usually have to make adjustments at the waist and length. Bearing this in mind I tried the skirt on after basting the side seams together, before a waistband went on. As it was, I needed to take out 2cm from each side seam, which I blended down to 1cm at the sides where the hips are. This is quite an easy adjustment to make in itself, but does require further work when it comes to the waistband. Here I reduced the length by 1.5cm at each end to fit. No, that doesn't sound like it adds up, but it works! (Can't remember why it does either, sorry).
I also took up the hem by 2.5cm to my preferred length.

Tilly and the Buttons Ness Skirt pattern review

Final thoughts

This is not a pattern for a beginner, but it is very accessible if it's your first time sewing a jeans zip with a fly front. The pattern is drafted very well and things like the pockets assemble easily and sit well. 
I would really like to make another shorter version skirt in a fun stretch cotton for the summer, or a wool blend fabric for the winter. It's simple and straightforward enough to be successful; the only tricky part really is the zip and the fitting at the waist.
I'm clearly a Tilly fan, but this I think is a pretty good one to have in the collection. I'm really pleased with how it turned out - better than I thought it would!

PS, sorry about the awful picture quality - it took three different shoots to get to this!

Tilly and the Buttons Ness Skirt pattern review


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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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