Love At First Stitch by Tilly Walnes of ‘Tilly and the Buttons’ is legendary in the world of sewing. The book was a very lovely gift from my aunt, and really the only thing on my list that I was really hoping I got – I think the hinting ( if it can even be called that; maybe it was just telling?) Began in about August. Very thankfully, I got it for Christmas and have just finished the first pattern that I chose – the Megan Dress.
I was sat on the floor on Boxing Day tracing off and cutting out the pattern for the Megan Dress while the rest of my family was across the other end of the room playing Bananagrams. I had the perfect fabric in mind, and I knew that the dress was going to be simply adorable. I’d been saving the (very pretty) embroidered fabric for about three months, just waiting for the Holy Grail of patterns to reveal itself. Then along came Megan.
I cut out a size 3, but I’m a bit of a funny shape – bigger on top than I am on the bottom. I decided to accommodate for my bust and accepted that it might be a little baggy on my lower half; I decided on which size to make by looking at the finished garment measurements, but when it was finished I found that it was really tight across my arms and my bust. I’d made the conscious decision to go a size bigger than I needed, but maybe I’ve been measuring my bust wrong? Just as a side note, I do fully intend on learning how to grade patterns soon – it was one of the modules on Tilly’s Sew Your Own Shirt or Shirt Dress online workshop, see my Rosa Shirt and Workshop post to hear my raving review on that.
After I’d cut out my fabric and started on sewing, I definitely could’ve finished it in a day, if I hadn’t been so excited that I’d forgotten that I didn’t have a zip. I’d been whizzing through the instructions, barely able to contain my excitement about bringing the duvet fabric out into the world before disaster struck; the realisation that I’d used my only concealed zip on my previous project. This was soon fixed by a trip to my local haberdashery (where I also decided I needed two more sewing patterns as well).
Everything about the instructions was immaculate – along with Tilly tradition, they were incredibly clear to follow, and all of the techniques used in the pattern are thoroughly explained. This dress required the sleeve to be inserted after the side seams were sewn, which is a technique I’ve been very wary of since my first attempted blouse (if you’d like to amuse yourself with some context, click here for that post.) However, there’s a really concise step-by-step set of instructions which guides you through the whole process – never fear, Tilly is here!
The amount of darts in the pattern was the only slightly daunting part. I’ve sewn a fair few in my time, but the prospect of 8 in this one was not one that I welcomed happily. However, before I started on them, I read through the way that Tilly sews her darts and, while it was a little tricky to get my head around at the start, by the third one my darts were looking much more professional!
- Would you sew the pattern again? Yes, definitely! It’s lovely and quick, and a good one to show off a beautiful fabric
- What would you change next time? The only thing that I’ll definitely change next time is the size I make. It had a good amount of ease around my hips and bottom, but I found the finished dress to be quite tight around my bust and arms – maybe a retake of my measurements is in order! When I do make it again, I think I’ll make it a bit shorter, so that its a couple of inches above my knee rather than sitting just above, but that’s just a personal preference.
Here are some photos of the finished dress – I hope you like it!