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The Tilly and the Buttons Indigo dress pattern has been out for some time now. But when I first saw it I was in two minds as to whether it was for me. The picture on the front shows a very flouncy tunic, with flounce sleeves. I’m not really into garments with too many frills, so I held off buying it. But then I realised that it may be a great pattern after all. Read on to find out why!
Tilly And The Buttons Indigo Dress
If you read my blog at all then you will know that I am a busy mum. I live in jeans and tunics. But pretty much all I need in these tunics is pockets! And because I love sewing stretch fabrics I had thought that all I needed was a good stretch tunic pattern. I’d made plenty of the Sew Over It Heather dresses.
But I also have some lovely woven fabrics in my stash, and did want to use them on more than Bettine dresses and Anneka dresses in summer. And it was then that I realised that I could make the Tilly and The Buttons Indigo dress pattern up as a tunic. Without the flounce, but hacking it slightly to add pockets! I decided to have a go.
The Tilly and the Buttons Indigo Dress pattern is marketed as a confident beginners sewing pattern. Suggested fabrics include cottons, chambray, viscose, double gauze or crepe. And it caters for up to a UK size 24 (US size 20)
- the choice of making a dress or a tunic length garment
- a choice of sleeve finishes – with a flounce or with a bracelet sleeve
- the choice of frill seams or plain seams
- the choice of with or without pockets – pockets are an absolute must for me as a mother!
- a round neckline
There are no buttons or zips to put into the dress, it is a pull over the head design.
PDF Pattern vs Printed?
I actually love PDF patterns and have used them a fair deal. They are
- easily and rapidly downloaded straight to your computer – so there is no need to wait for the pattern to come in the post, you can use it straight away.
- easy to print out – as long as you have adobe reader downloaded on your computer.
- you can print the pattern time and time again, meaning that you don’t need to trace different sizes from a pattern (which is a laborious job!)
However, you do sometimes need a lot of paper. And it can be quite wasteful of paper. You also need to stick the pattern together, which can take a lot of time. And you don’t get an envelope for the pattern, though I usually make myself one from the printed front cover sheet and another page.
I chose to buy myself a printed copy this time.
Choosing A Fabric
I always make a toile out of cheap fabrics to ensure a good fit (read why here). However this time I decided to try a completely different fabric to any I had sewn before. I had bought this crepe over a year ago, and had only been able to get 2 metres, as that was the last of the seller’s stock.
I needed to do a little bit of pattern jenga, but I managed to cut a slightly longer tunic. A kind of in-between the dress and the tunic length. I cut the bracelet sleeve, but again shortened the length of the sleeve slightly as I like a three quarter sleeve.
And I did cut pockets. The tunic is not meant to have pockets, but as I had lengthened the tunic pattern slightly I decided that I could add pockets to the skirt part.
The instructions are really clear on how much fabric you need, and how to lay out your fabric for cutting. I just pretty much ignored them to get my garment out of what I had.
The pattern has a clear indications of where you can add to lengthen the bodice. I usually do need to lengthen the bodice as I have a full bust. But in this case it wasn’t necessary. I cut the size 8.
Sewing Up The Pattern
I would say that this pattern was great for a beginner. The main parts of the dress were very easy to make up for me. All the notches met properly, and the pattern instructions were really helpful and thorough. There are even very clear pictures. And this is why I love independent pattern designers. Their instructions are usually excellent.
The only tricky part for me was the gathering of the waist into the bodice. And this was probably more down to my fabric choice than anything else! The crepe fabric was very tricky to sew. It stretched and moved around so much! I ended up using twice as many pins as normal, but even all the pins didn’t help when it came to gathering the waist.
I endured however, and it all came right.
The finished dress
I am absolutely overjoyed with my finished Tilly and the Buttons Indigo tunic. It is such a great make. The pockets are a great size. And it is a comfy tunic perfect for wearing over jeans.
I am now planning on making it again in a viscose challis material. Fancy getting your hands on this pattern? Buy it here! Or try a different Tilly and the Buttons project, just recently she has released a book of very easy patterns – ‘Make It Simple’. These are perfect for beginners, or for whipping up a garment in a few hours!
Looking for great fabric ideas? There are some wonderful fabrics over at Minerva.
I’d love to see your versions of the Tilly and the Buttons Indigo Dress. Do comment how you get on below, or contact me on social media.
Enjoyed this? Why not read about some other patterns I have sewn?
And finally, why not pin me for later?