September 28, 2015

Welcome to Twee Town

As a general rule, I try to avoid twee. I’m as drawn towards a whimsical print as the next gal, but I attempt to restrain my impulse to look like a 4 year old.

Sometimes you just have to give in, though.

Behold: a London map Butterick B5929 skirt! In London! (See what I did there?!)

Butterick B5929 skirt

I first saw this ADORABUBBLE print by Moda textiles when a fabric salesman popped by Grey’s Fabrics one day. A bit of frantic googling, and I discovered it’s available from NYC-based online fabric store Jones and Vandermeer. It’s a mid-weight quilting cotton, which in my book, means it’s suitable for a skirt (I’m not sure I’d cope with a full dress in it, and a top would be too rigid for me).


I pulled out Butterick B5929 which is rapidly becoming a new TNT for me. I used the same view as for my Caribbean skirt this winter. It has a deep box pleat at the front, and two side pleats, which I sew in the opposite direction from the instructions (otherwise it looks… odd).



It’s a quick and easy make and yes, I did get the joy/mild embarrassment of wearing a London map skirt around London for a day. No, it is not geographically accurate, though you can pick out roughly where my parents live now!

Butterick B5929 skirt

It’s probably good for the soul to indulge in a touch of twee every now and again. What do you think, lovely readers? Are you on Team Twee? or Team I Am A Grown Up Thank You Very Much?

(Photo credits go to my Dad, who was most patient, and even persuaded me to pose in front of the grey wall because it would go with my outfit… Good eye, Dad!)

Butterick B5929 skirt

49 thoughts on “Welcome to Twee Town

  1. Mrs K says:

    Your skirt is so cute and the yellow cardigan/jacket is a wonderful match! I have to ask, what/where is Twee Town?

    1. It’s just a wordplay joke 🙂

  2. Rosalind says:

    It is totally lovely. And very on trend if you look at the Italian 1950s look that is on the catwalks. Great styling too, well done! Xx

    1. Ha, funny you should mention that – I saw the crazy D&G children’s drawings dresses in Harrods, so I guess I am on trend without realising it! (the only way it’s ever going to happen with me, let’s face it)

  3. megret1979 says:

    Great skirt!! I think I am the same as you: I typically fall in camp no-twee, but occasionally indulge in something a bit silly/cute.

    1. Thanks Meg! I reckon as long as you can’t tell what it is when you’re far away, it’s OK 🙂

  4. Mary Ann says:

    Love the outfit! Just ordered 2 yards of the fabric to use for aprons. Two of my granddaughters were born in London and they will love them!

    1. I’m sure they’ll really love that! It’s a perfect fabric for aprons

  5. Tanya Maile says:

    Love the skirt and your outfit. I like to think of fabrics like that more as kitsch than twee.

    1. We can wear our quilting cotton outfits together!

  6. Dads are the best! Love the skirt, I’ll have to look up that pattern!

    1. It’s a really versatile pattern and the two views are totally different – I recommend it!

  7. Margo says:

    Cute skirt!! We all need a little whimsy from time to time or all the time…..

  8. smonakey says:

    It’s very cute without being childish, so I don’t think of it as twee. It is adorable, though!

  9. i like it – it’s so not twee. i agree with tanya – it’s more kitsch (in a good way!)

  10. carol g says:

    I love it. I think we can get away with something “cute” when it isn’t immediately recognizable as cute – I’m not sure I would have guess what the pattern in your skirt was as I was walking down the street! I am making a backpack with the Rome map fabric for a trip to….. Rome!

  11. janet says:

    I prefer to call it ridiculous tacky goodness :). Mind, I usually keep it for work – I’m a teacher, and the kids – esp. the adult/nearly adult ones seem to appreciate it. Especially if it takes a second (or third!) look to click, in much the same way your skirt does.
    Love it!

  12. I love that fabric, and it makes for a very fun skirt! As for team twee or team no twee? I used to always be a no twee. Perfectly vanilla on the outside, though I knew I was spumoni on the inside. Now that I’m almost 55 and finally settling into the “I don’t care what people think of what I wear” camp, I’m going for team twee! (Some of us take a bit of time to be courageous) 🙂

  13. Alice says:

    I like to say my catchphrase is “twee as f***”, but to me that means less looking like a 4 year old (no ruffles, no novelty prints), and more looking like I stepped out of a Wes Anderson film (yes kneesocks, vintage cardigans, and whimsical hats).

    I agree that your skirt is not instantly recognizable as twee, at least from the photographs.

  14. SJ Kurtz says:

    From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for this. In a previous life, I was a cartoonist, so living life in cartoons comes very naturally to me. I am pretty sure I saw and loved this print about….ten years ago? in London, as a VERY pricey upholstery fabric in the Liberty fabric shop (as in 100L a metre pricey). My love for all things Map And London has made me jump to buy this, and I promise to misbehave with it.

  15. auraoriano says:

    Love the skirt and cardigan combo! The balance is just right. I usually have the misfortune of making childish looking tops. Not twee (which I reserve for Peter Pan collars on me, not anyone else) but straight up pediatric hospital/preschool-esque childish prints on blouses that I once thought was fun. I slowly came to the realization that I look like I wear hospital scrubs and should save my juvenile prints for skirts instead. Your version is spot-on!

  16. jennifersews says:

    Amazing! I need a dress of a similar print of glasgow for nights out and i’ll never get lost again!! I think twee is ok in moderation – ok for weekends just not work! 🙂

  17. tinygoldenpins says:

    I HAVE IT IN DARK BLUE!!!! I found it on special on FabricMart and bought 4 yards thinking I’d make a jeans jacket and then a tote for my sister. But, it is a little light for a jacket so I think I’ll make a Merchant and Mills Top 64 (in keeping with the whole UK/London thing: now THAT is twee!); I love it so much because I saw it a week after I returned from my very first trip to London. And guess what I didn’t realize: that Shaukut was, like, a 10 minute walk away from where we stayed. I tubed it to Goldhawk Road and found some liberty there but……wow. But, as my hub so helpfully points out, I would have bankrupted us.

  18. Lisa says:

    I have no idea what “twee” is but you look fabulous and I love your skirt! Please define!

  19. Chris Griffin says:

    I fully support the periodic twee!!! I have fabric on my table right now for nothing but twee!

  20. Eileensews says:

    As Tom and Lorenzo might say “Twee done right”.
    Looks great!

  21. I sure hope a little bit of twee is okay! Otherwise I’m in trouble! I think your skirt is really great and not at all too much.

  22. Angela W says:

    Great skirt! I think you look beautiful in it.

  23. Sewingsu says:

    I don’t think it’s twee at all! I love your London skirt and think you look fab in it!!

  24. Lucy says:

    Not “twee” and as others have said looks great with the yellow cardi.
    You’ve inspired me to make a similar skirt for a friend in NY
    mine will be a map of the London Underground and hopefully remind her of
    the fab day she had travelling it with my late partner when she stayed with us.

  25. MKLR says:

    The Surprise!!! I used to live around the corner from there and couldn’t count the number of hours I spent sitting at the bar.

    1. Ha, that’s such a coincidence! My parents live just around the corner now.

  26. Claire says:

    The indulgence was worth it- super cool skirt! I love geography and maps as art.

  27. gMarie says:

    I Love this. The outfit is fantastic. I tend be on team twee but constantly hear Carolyn in my head saying I’m a grown up darn it!!

    1. I’m sure Carolyn’s probably hollering that at me on her laptop 😉

  28. Brilliant! Looks fab!

    …and even if it’s not geographically accurate, I would love to use it to help a tourist who asks for directions 🙂

  29. Love it and definitely not twee. I saw this on Ig and wondered where you bought this fabric from. I need a yellow cardi in my wardrobe too.

  30. Theresa says:

    Oh such a cute skirt. I’m thinking it really isn’t twee at all and the whole outfit is just fun and happy.
    Heck I made a tunic from hedgehog fabric, and I’m over 50…. 😉

  31. Sharon says:

    Team Twee, every time, for all I’m 6′ tall and ‘big’ with it. Oh, and pushing 60. Particularly since Dearest Daughter grew old enough to object to being ‘dressed up’. I may even make myself a sailor suit, or maybe that would be a Twee just two far!

  32. Helen says:

    I think I have grown out of Team Twee (at the ripe old age of nearly 41), but the right print in the right pattern could absolutely twist my arm. I really love your skirt, which I’d describe as “happy”, rather than “twee”. It’s very Boden!

  33. Mary says:

    I’m not on team twee, but I’m a little envious of those with the personality/guts to wear it no matter their age. I’d also hesitate to call this outfit too twee. I see why you say that, but the cut of the skirt paired with those shoes and cardigan and you’ve found a very classy balance.

  34. Sam says:

    I love, love, love it! You look fab! Now I want some fabric like that. I feel a stroll around Google is now required.

  35. ellegeemakes says:

    I’m definitely on team twee! I wouldn’t have expected that print to look so fabulous as a skirt. Great job of seeing the possibilities. Gorgeous!

  36. I m like you in that I usually avoid twee, but recently I decided I needed a crazy sewing lady skirt that looked like I made it because of the awesomely cute print, so I’m going for it, too.

  37. Rachel says:

    I love a good novelty print. I’m on team I’m a Grown Up Thank You Very Much and Therefore I Can Be As Twee As I Want. 🙂

  38. Katie Emma says:

    I am sometimes drawn to cutesy fabrics, but I really hate being told I’m “adorable” – I know it’s a compliment, but I’m a grown-ass woman and don’t like it! But sometimes you see something so twee and perfect and you need it. I think a London print fabric if you’re from the UK is a good time to give in 🙂

Let me know what you think!