Three Ilsley skirts

One thing that Me-made May is showing me is that I’m pretty good for dresses and tops in my wardrobe, but I still don’t have many options for spring-appropriate lower half separates. I’m not a particularly cold-blooded person, so when the weather gets anywhere above 20 degrees I’m much more comfortable in floaty clothes with a bit of skin out. Over the last bank holiday weekend I bashed out these three skirts using stash fabrics… they’re all the same pattern but I got a lot of different looks for no money at all.

Ilsley skirt

The Ilsley skirt is a free (freeeee!) pattern from the lovely Marilla Walker. It’s one of those magic patterns to me that’s basic but a bit special too – the yoked pocket and curved hem detail definitely takes it away from ‘gathered rectangle’ status. I’ve found Marilla’s drafting to be really excellent and perfect for my body shape, and the final bonus is this skirt only takes 1 metre of 54″ wide fabric. Winner? Winner.

Ilsley mod

For my first version, using a leftover scrap from my Style Arc Fern top, I was a bit worried that the straight shape was too far out of my comfort zone so I slashed and spread the pattern a bit to add more volume at the hem like so.

Ilsley skirt
Ilsley skirt

I added a couple of inches to the length and left off the pockets too just to test the shape. I really liked how it came out – swishy and swingy! Though I didn’t really need the extra length or volume at all; I went back and removed about half of it for the next version.

Ilsley skirt

This one uses a yummy ex-Vero Moda (isn’t it fun to find brand cast-off fabrics?) viscose found in Walthamstow. I LOVE the Ilsley in a drapey fabric – I was inspired by this Madewell skirt – and this is an utter dream to wear. It feels pyjama-comfortable and weightless and the fairly straight shape means it doesn’t fly about in the wind. Dream skirt.

Ilsley skirt

I took a tip from Meg and topstitched the pocket facings directly onto the skirt front to make it as light and floaty as possible.

Ilsley hem

I found it tricky to hem the curves on my first one, so I used bias tape on the hems for this one. The only other small tweak was to make the waistband pieces about an inch narrower to suit the width of elastic I had to hand.

Ilsley skirt
Ilsley skirt

Finally, I used up some special fabric: if you remember the hand-printed fabric swap that Marilla herself organised a while back, I received this beautiful hand-dyed and printed cotton linen from Lucy. I’ve been hoarding it ever since, unsure how to make the most of it, and ended up using nearly every last scrap, including some self-bias to face the hem. A trio of lovely skirts for MMM and beyond!

23 thoughts on “Three Ilsley skirts

  1. Caroline

    These skirts are lovely and so cool for the summer. My favourite is the swingy one and the hem is just fab. They are such great stash busters, I need to do some stash busting rather than keep buying more and more fabric! Easier said than done.

  2. Melissa

    Wow! You’ve done really well with creating 3 skirts so quickly and out of leftover fabrics. I will have to try this one out. I don’t know which fabric I love more – maybe the hand printed one as it’s one-of-a-kind!

  3. Marilla

    All amazing fabrics and I love how this looks on you! I wish I’d written the instructions to have the hem finished with bias tape now as it’s much easier and looks so neat. Thanks for giving it a go and making three amazing skirts. P.S. – Love Lucy’s print so much! :-)

  4. Sarah

    Haha I love how you also think that shopping from stash or leftovers = free! I’m quite certain that once a piece has been in my stash for a period of time it absolutely cost me nothing! Lovely skirts for summer.

  5. Sophie

    Gah! They’re all so cute and you’re right, just a simple pattern but the cute details like the curved hem and pockets make it special. I think the middle one is my fav!

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