I am a fan of Tilly and the Buttons patterns and have several TNT garments. My most made is the Agnes that I’ve hacked into a dress with a gathered skirt several times. Recently I made the Freya from Tilly’s new ‘Stretch’ book and I loved the skirt shape, it is flattering to my tummy which is an area I’m self conscious about. I want to make more Freya’s but the neckline I feel is suited more to the autumn/winter months so I had an idea, to join together the Agnes with the Freya.
I visited Coles Sewing Centre in Nottingham when I went along to my first sewists meet up in Nottingham. They have a beautiful selection of dressmaking and quilting fabrics. I was drawn to this mustard yellow dandelion fabric straight away. The quality of the jersey is wonderful and I knew straight away that I wanted to make an Agnes dress from it. I always try to think of a project when I buy fabrics so then they have a purpose and don’t just to sit in my stash. It was a popular choice that day, 6 of the group came away with it so look out for more makes.
Using two patterns from the same company made the combination easier as they have probably been constructed from the same pattern blocks. My original plan was just to add the Agnes neckline to the Freya pattern, however the shoulders and armholes don’t quite match up. So instead I matched the patterns up at the waist notch, that way the proportions would be correct for the bodice and skirt. I’m a size 4 in Tilly and the Buttons patterns so again there was no need for grading between the patterns.
I am fairly confident with the Agnes pattern now so I able to get straight onto it. Again I took off some length of the neckline to help stretch it and allow it to sit flat. I mainly used the overlocker to sew up the dress, and then my usual machine to do the top stitching. I had some mustard thread left over from an Ogden that I made which was a perfect match. I still haven’t tried out the twin needle feature on my machine, so I topstiched a single line of stitches on the neckline and zigzagged the arms and hemline.
The Finished Dress:
It is nerve wracking trying out a new hack, especially when its with fabric that you love. But this hack came out just as I hoped. It has the open neckline for the summer, skims perfectly over my hips-stomach area, finishing with a slightly flared A-line skirt. As soon as I put it on, I knew I wanted to wear it the next day and that it will fit right into my summer wardrobe.
Before my first Agnes pattern I wasn’t keen on the half sleeves but to be honest they have now become a feature I love. I am fair skinned and I burn easily in the sun, so the longer sleeves give me the reassurance that I have some protection from the sun, whilst still dressing for summer.
Recently I was listening to the colour episode of Stitches Brew Podcast and Girogia from @1stitchforward spoke about finding your colour palette and then choosing from that. I can never imagine being restricted to certain colours. I don’t know if mustard yellow suits my complexion, but I just love colour and want to wear the designs that speak out to me. Maybe one day, I may look back and wonder why I every choose to wear some of the colours I do, but for the meantime I’m a fan of colour (and prints).