I was super excited to see the new Tilly and the Buttons pattern, the Martha, a few weeks ago. I love the high funnel neck style and the longer sleeves and sewed this up in an evening. The fabric is a cotton blend from Walthamstow Market, I wasn’t sure how it would hang but the drape on it is actually pretty good! I also was worried that the speckled pattern would hide all of the panelling detail on the dress and it would lose something – it does completely cover up these extra details and next I’m going to sew up a plain fabric, but I still love the overall look.
I bought this fabric a couple of months ago before the pattern was released and had plans to make a shirt with it, so I only had 2m lurking around. I knew I wasn’t going to head back to Walthamstow to hunt more down so I tried to make it work. I don’t know how many people do this but I spent about an hour trying to squeeze this piece here and there and then rearranging the whole thing over and over. The skirt is cut on the bias (which gives it its amazing swing) which mean even more squeezing in my pattern pieces. In short – I made it work! But the result was that it is actually VERY short. I was going for the mini skirted style but I had to shorten it a couple more inches for space. I also shortened the sleeves, and I think I prefer them this length sitting just above the elbow.
I did make a couple of stupid mistakes with this dress, but I’m putting these down to midnight sleepy sewing syndrome – anyone else have those WTF what have I done moments? Mistake number one – I cut the front skirt panel on the fold, then proceeded to cut it down the middle which meant a super tiny seam allowance to join it all back up. Mistake number two – to make up for the fact that I didn’t have the right length zipper, I decided to alter the back and do a little keyhole gap at the top of the back. The neck is still held together by a button and I thought it might be a nice little feature, but it doesn’t lie quite flat enough. Next time I am sticking to the pattern and buying the right size zip. I think I saved it all with this little rabbit button though…
I did put quite a big hem on the dress so I might unpick and re-hem to make it more wearable without tights. I don’t quite know what got into me that day, but I must have been feeling pretty bold with the length I cut it to. The fit is really good on me. I might raise the waist by about an inch on the next one but I really like the fit on the shoulders and the arms. No adjustments needed. I also think that this bodice would look great with some other skirts – Rosie suggested I try a Martha/ BHL Kim dress hack, what do you think?
We’re in Berlin for a few more days for a little Spring break, let us know if you have any suggestions! You can see what we’re up to over on instagramTilly and the Buttons Martha button.