Adventures in band wagon jumping

I’m not normally one to jump on bandwagons. In fact I generally rejoice in being a bit of a rebel and not doing what everyone else does. At school I was mocked for being a saddo that didn’t know who any of the cool bands were, for not knowing anything about fashion and for not knowing anything about football (this was Scotland where football is akin to religion).

On leaving school and getting to University it became clear that none of these things really mattered and that I could follow my own path without feeling the fear of a group of nasty ass girls taking the pi$$ out of you for not wearing the right trainers. Since then I’ve generally rejoiced in following my own path and doing the things that I like no matter whether they are cool or not.

So onto the Zadie dress from Tilly and the Buttons – the latest bandwagon.

I don’t normally buy patterns when they are released. I prefer to wait until many many people have made them, have blogged about them and written endlessly about what pattern hacks they’ve made to make these patterns work for them.

So why oh why did I throw caution to the wind and buy the new pattern from Tilly and the Buttons? This is exactly what I asked myself as I unpicked and re-stitched the front together for the 2nd time. Its also odd behaviour given I’ve owned the Tilly book “Love at First Stitch” for years and so far only made 1 of the patterns which was a bit ‘meh’.

I blame maternity leave. I’ve gone back to work and started earning actual real pennies again and got a bit giddy with online shopping last month.

I also blame Tilly & co because it looks really cool. It’s kind of a silhouette dress depending on your fabric choices.

For my version I bought aubergine and misty mountain ponte from Fabworks Mills. It has a nice amount of stretch in it making it a good fabric for a pie-eating contest (or day to day life in my household).


According to Tilly’s odd sizing I’m a size 7. I find it a bit disheartening that as a UK size 14 I’m at the very upper end of this pattern size (it goes up to a size 8). As it is I’m confident I could go down at least 1 or 2 sizes in this. I ended up taking it in at the waist by 3cm on both sides.

Another edit I’d make next time is to lengthen the bodice. Never ever in all my puff have I needed to lengthen a bodice. I always always have to shorten bodices. This I think goes to show Tilly’s core market is petite people – I’m 5’5″ so definitely not a giant!

For me with the waist above my natural waistline it feels a little bit maternity-esque. It’s less than a year since I wore maternity clothes and I really don’t want to return so soon (ever).

So in summing up its a nice dress but not a perfect dress yet. Definitely for day wear slouching about and not evening wear.

OK but not amazing!

Look no cleavage! Appropriate for work and crawling on the floor with babies

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21 thoughts on “Adventures in band wagon jumping

  1. I suspect it needs more length in the bodice because Tilley seem to draft for a very small bust. I seem to remember one of her dresses being the same front and back…

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  2. I find so many of these designers design to a figure type. I have found Sewaholic pants are similar to me so I like them. And the major pattern companies I have been adjusting for years so I am used to that. When I buy from a yet untried designer I am always prepared for a shock and a lot of adjustments! A lot of hard work went into your dress and it looks cute on you! Nice job!

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    1. I’ve made very few from Indie Pattern companies because I think they are overpriced compared to the great value of the big companies. Sometimes though they come out with great looking items though

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  3. I loved the look of this dress but have not bought after reading comments from someone who is actually short like me( (5’2″) saying that the “waistline” is high / designed to be so and that this created an unflattering look from the side.( maternity like). As I am small and short waisted I think something that sits on the waist to define it a bit suits me better.
    I keep thinking am I right as I see some beautiful fabric combos on this but your post tends to confirm my gut feel

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    1. Maternity like is definitely what I thought about if you follow her pattern. Personally I like the silhouette feel to a jersey dress so I will make again but with a lower waist and perhaps less pleats at the tummy

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  4. Your dress has come out fab especially as you’ve had to adjust it so much, the black and white look fab together. I don’t really follow fashion, I walk round shops sometimes and can’t find anything that’s me, maybe I’ve become pickier since I’ve started sewing??

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  5. I hope it’s not rude to say I agree with you that it doesn’t suit you as well as many of your other recent makes. You’ve done a great job with the sewing though so I hope you get some wear out of it.

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    1. Thanks Fiona and I totally agree. I tend to know what shapes suit me but the colour blocking of this threw me and made it look a different shape from what it truthfully is

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  6. Interesting! I’m a size 14 in RTW too but I’m between a size 4 and 5 on Tilly patterns. I think this dress is worth persevering with as it does look great and I bet it’s so comfortable. The Zadie is not a band wagon I’ll be jumping on though. I jumped on the Cleo one and I feel the same way about them that you do. I’ve never been cool!

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  7. I love your fabric choices, that purple colour is absolutely gorgeous on you. I don’t really buy many indie patterns as I am totally not in their demographic, although I did get sent a Colette pattern (the Mabel) in a swap and it makes a fabulous skirt and is one that I would like to revisit again sometime. Ponte is brilliant to sew with isn’t it? 😀 Xx

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  8. It really is a fun looking pattern with its interesting colour-blocking and even though I haven’t been tempted by it (as it’s not really my style), I’ll be remembering your review of it if I ever think of changing my mind. I always have to lengthen bodices, so goodness knows where the waistband it would end up on me!

    The pockets do look amazing, though – I like the way they were worked into the design.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I hear you. Occasionally I stray for my tried and trusted Burda magazines. It’s exciting but not always an experience worth repeating.
    Your dress is really Quite Acceptable (damned with faint praise?!). Just not great like you normally make

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  10. It’s a cute dress on you and I love the pockets,but like you, I struggle with the fit of Tilly’s patterns (in fact most indie patterns to be honest). I buy big four patterns on sale, then adjust as I have based on years of trial and error. But sometimes I get caught up in the pattern of the moment:). I do love most grain line patterns.

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  11. The silhouette is very complimentary on you. The colorblocking looks festive and cheerful. Once you nail down those adjustments and it fits you to your liking, you’ll enjoy this dress a lot. Love the colors!

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  12. I’ve been eyeing this pattern for a while, but I’m waiting for it to go on sale because I like a good bargain 😉
    I’ve seen a few colour variations of this design, but I really like the aubergine and white, good choice!

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