14 April 2015

Introducing the Arielle sewing pattern!

Arielle skirt - easy sewing patternArielle skirt - easy sewing pattern

Meet our new sewing pattern – the Arielle skirt!


Arielle [“ah-ree-ehl”] is an asymmetric pencil or mini skirt with an adorable button opening to one side. Long darts and a high waistline create a flattering, figure-hugging shape. Choose from modern mini or sultry knee length, finished either with a speedy facing or optional luxury lining.


Arielle skirt - easy sewing pattern
Arielle skirt - easy sewing pattern
Arielle skirt - easy sewing pattern

The easy-to-use sewing pattern will take you through the steps to making the Arielle skirt, with jargon-busting instructions, clearly labelled pieces so you can see which bits go together, and photos showing you how to sew each part.

Order the printed version and we’ll send you a beautiful pattern in the post. We ship around the world, or from next week you can order the pattern from one of our lovely stockists. You can also order a digital pattern which you’ll receive by email instantly to download, print and assemble at home.

The pattern comes in eight different sizes – take a look at our sizing chart. It’s easy to tailor the skirt to fit your unique shape, or to lengthen or shorten the hemline to your preference – I’ll show you how in an upcoming blog post :)

Arielle skirt - easy sewing pattern
Arielle skirt - easy sewing pattern

How easy is the skirt to make?


If you’re a confident beginner, the unlined version is an easy peasy make with straightforward construction – stitching darts, sewing side seams, attaching a facing, and hemming. The most challenging part is sewing the buttonholes – fear not, I’ve got a blog post lined up which will show you that making buttonholes isn’t half as scary as it may sound!

If you’re a more experienced stitcher or if you fancy taking your sewing prowess up a notch, you may want to add the lining. The reason the lined version is a little more advanced is firstly because slippery fabric can be harder to work with; and secondly because the process of attaching the lining to the curved facing is a little fiddly. We’ve got your back though - the pattern instructions include tips on sewing the lining, and I’ve got a blog post lined up to take you through that step in more detail.

Arielle skirt - easy sewing pattern
Arielle skirt - easy sewing pattern
Arielle skirt - easy sewing pattern

Some of you may recognise the skirt from an earlier incarnation called “Marielle” which I designed for Sewing World magazine in early 2013. Since then, we’ve had countless emails asking for the pattern, so we tweaked the design, changed it to T&TB sizing, and added the mini skirt variation and lining variation. Oh and changed the name – we’ve already got various pattern names beginning with M (Mathilde, Miette, Mimi) so I dropped the first letter and it magically became named after Arielle Gamble, the lovely and talented lady who designs our pattern envelopes and booklets (she also designed Love at First Stitch!).

Arielle skirt - easy sewing pattern
Arielle skirt - easy sewing pattern

We've got blog posts lined up on steps that you might have questions about - choosing fabric, fitting the skirt, attaching the lining, finishing the facing with bias tape, how to sew buttonholes, and button sewing tips. If you need extra help, there are also lots of tips on cutting fabric, basic construction, finishing seams and the like both in my book and in the Learn to Sew section of this site (see the menu bar), or if there's anything else you're struggling with, let us know. Watch this space over the next few weeks for the blog posts, and revisit them at any time on the Arielle page.

Speaking of instructions, if you don't usually read pattern instructions, promise me you’ll read the ‘Cutting Your Fabric’ section – or at least the notes on the pattern pieces themselves about laying the pattern pieces face up on the wrong side of the fabric. This way the right front and left front pieces will end up the correct way round so the skirt will button up right over left (as womenswear traditionally does). :)

Wait - there's more!



Have you seen our new DIY Dressmaker bag? Laura designed this beauty. It’s strong and spacious, with an easy-to-carry landscape format (I love landscape format bags) and webbing straps that won’t cut into your shoulders – perfect for fabric shopping! The bag is made from a sustainable crop in a Fair Trade registered factory in India and screen printed in the UK using water-based ink.

Arielle skirt - easy sewing pattern

Well, we’re sitting here with envelopes, stamps and a Destiny’s Child soundtrack at the ready to pack and ship your order!

Order your Arielle sewing pattern and DIY Dressmaker bag

[Photography: Fanni Williams / Hair and make up: Elbie van Eeden / Model: Stephanie Lewis / Pattern graphic design: Arielle Gamble / Special thanks to all the lovely pattern testers for your discerning eyes and invaluable feedback!]

59 comments:

  1. It's lovely! I love especially the yellow mini one with cute floral butttons, congratulations!

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  2. Lovely and summery!! Can't wait to make this :-)

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  3. So beautiful! I love the long pencil skirt with the buttons on the side.

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    1. Do send us a pic if you make one :)

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  4. I like the mini version. Although I think many beginners think that buttonholes are very scary and not so easy-peasy :)

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    1. I'm hoping to change that perception about buttonholes being scary - they're not really :)

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  5. Ive been looking for a pattern with buttons like this yay thanks tilly and crew :) xx

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  6. Love this - especially the mini!!! Gosh, my never ending queue just got longer!!

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  7. Beautiful pattern, Tilly. Love the new models too. Just need a perfect top to go with this little number xxx

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    1. Thanks Karen! It's just the one model, Stephanie - she does look different with her hair up :)

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  8. This is gorgeous! The longer version is definitely my favourite, so classy but still fun, looking forward to having a go at a lining too as it's not something I've done before.

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    1. I'm glad you like it, Jennifer!

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  9. This is super cute. Love the longer length one! Looking forward to reading the tips, they've always proved really helpful with your other designs. Congratulations!

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    1. I'm so glad to hear you find the tips helpful. More to come :)

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  10. ooh thats so cute! it will be so lovely for summer, even though i have to wait till September for me in 'lil ol Australia.

    And i already have your other bag, but i think i need this one too!

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    1. I've been wearing Arielle skirts with tights during the colder months :)

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  11. Well done! This is terrific.

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  12. I love this so much so but the largest size is too small. *sobs*

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    1. Aw boo, sorry Meri - I wish we could cover all the sizes. One day, hopefully. In the meantime, it's relatively easy to grade up the unlined version if you feel like trying that.

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  13. This looks extremely similar to the Colette Beignet, only with the button placket moved to the side. The lining looks almost identical. Can you point out the differences to your readers?

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    1. Arielle has three main skirt pieces and is shaped with darts; Beignet is made up of various seamed pieces. Arielle is a mini skirt or a pencil skirt; Beignet is a knee length straight skirt. Arielle has a side opening; Beignet has a front opening. They are both button down skirts but that's about where the similarity ends :)

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  14. Ah Tilly, I LOVE IT! Such a darling design. I may have to make up about 10.... the mini is perfect for summer and I love the idea of undoing the bottom buttons for a little more room. Also, adorable model!

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  15. I love this pattern! Especially the mini skirt version. I'll be adding this to my sewing projects list for the summer! The lining will be a good challenge for me. And that tote bag is wonderful! Can't wait to purchase these. Thank you guys for these new goodies!

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  16. Congratulations on the release of another super adorable pattern, Tilly!! I love the pencil skirt version :)

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  17. Love the blue pencil skirt! It is very similar to an idea sketch I did recently! I'm going to have to make one!

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    1. Great minds :) Orla Kiely has launched something a little similar this season too!

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  18. I love this! I need one of those mini skirt ones in my life. And the buttons are so cute :)
    I was looking through some of your older posts the other day (stalker that I am) and it's really great to see what a journey you've been on - congrats on the new pattern!

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    1. Thank you, that's really sweet.

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  19. Ohhh this is JUST what I needed to kick start my Spring sewing list!! What beautiful variations! I simply can't wait to purchase and get stitching!

    Gemma
    Faded Windmills

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  20. I'm still quite scared of sewing button holes, but this one looks very tempting!

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    1. Trust me, buttonholes aren't scary! Just make sure you always do a couple of trial ones on a scrap of your fabric, and it will be fine! Maybe I'm strange but I like making buttonholes more than inserting zips.

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    2. Agreed - they're not scary once you try them! I'll share some tips for sewing buttonholes soon :)

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  21. I love it. Just bought it! I'm glad that Allspiceabounds asked about the similarity to the Beignet. I thought the same, until I saw your reply. Yay! A skirt that's similar (at first glance) to the Beignet but without all those panels! My sewing mojo has been lost for quite some time but I'm really enthusiastic about making this :)

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    1. I can see why she asked that, it's not that obvious in the photos but the pieces and construction are very different. So glad you like the pattern - bring back the mojo!

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  22. Tilly, sorry if this a silly question, but from which pattern is the red-stripe t-shirt? I love it and would like to make one.

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    1. Thank you. Turns out it was a silly question: I have the pattern and have made several versions (but with the stand-up collar). Now I'll make the one with the plain neck :)

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  23. My list of patterns to buy is growing by the day..... this is so pretty! I especially love all things yellow at the moment.

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  24. That yellow mini is too cute for words! I have the same flower shaped buttons but in yellow :)

    I made my first buttonholes this evening, despite owning and using my sewing machine for 10 years(!) and I agree that they're really not that scary. I can't believe I've avoided them for so long, especially when I collect buttons like a mad woman!

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    1. Yellow flower buttons? Amaze! Hooray for unscary buttonholes!

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  25. I've been meaning to sew a pencil skirt so this came at the right time! Also, I've had great fun following your book and the instructions are so clear. Can't wait to get my hands on this!

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  26. Ahhh I am so excited for this pattern! I love me a good miniskirt. And the asymmetrical buttons *swoon* I wonder if it could even be pattern hacked to make a skirt like the one clara oswald wears here? https://www.pinterest.com/pin/549368854516998765/
    I've been wanting a skirt like that for the longest time :) ooh, or maybe a double breasted style skirt? There are so many possibilities with this pattern! Hopefully someone will gift it to me for my upcoming birthday :)

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    1. Ooh that pattern hack is a good idea...

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    2. ... and double breasted-style too (or should it be "double thighed"?!) - I'd love to see that.

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  27. Cute new pattern. You can really make a feature of the buttons. Love the styling too, those outfits are perfect for spring.

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  28. Love the new pattern, and the styling for the photos is so bright and cheerful.

    Where is the spotty lining fabric from? I've been looking for this for ages. I'd love to jazz up a plain black Delphine skirt with a patterned lining.

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    1. TBH I can't remember where the lining is from!

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  29. This is gorgeous, I can't wait to have a go. I've just made the pyjamas from your brilliant book. I noticed I ran into a problem I often have when hemming things, which is that a bit of excess starts to collect in the top layer of fabric, ahead of the needle, so that when I get back to where my stitches started I have this bump of material that I basically have to sew down, and often not to good effect. Do you have any idea what I'm talking about and any suggestions to what I'm doing wrong?! I'm a sort of advanced beginner. Thanks a lot in advance! Kathryn

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    1. Ah yes, I know the kind of hemming issue you're talking about. You could try attaching a walking foot to your machine, or adjusting the presser foot pressure so both layers of fabric get fed through the machine at the same time. If one of the pieces is interfaced, sewing with that piece on top usually helps too. Good luck!

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    2. Thanks, that's really helpful (I knew it was the machine's fault...).  I'm about to order an overlock foot after noticing your post on zig-zag stitching - such a great tip - so might add a walking foot to it too.  Thanks again, K.

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  30. This is a very beautiful pattern, but as I'm quite short in the waist, it's probably not the best style for me. It does, however, look fabulous on your lovely, willowy model!! Best of luck with sales. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's makes.

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