Polka Dot Indigo Dress

When I first saw Tilly and the Buttons’ new pattern, the Indigo dress, I thought it was lovely but not for me. The smock shape and lack of waist definition is something I haven’t worn for years and I don’t think it suits me at all. However, I was definitely seduced by the sleeves and the gathers and I ended up buying the pattern from the Handmade Fair after speaking to Tilly herself about adding waist ties like Joy from Pink Coat Club.

That very afternoon, this dreamy polka dot viscose from Sister Mintaka glided across my Instagram and I bought it immediately as I knew it was perfect for the pattern.

The sewing here was super simple and as per all of Tilly’s patterns, the instructions were great. However be warned if you don’t like gathering – there’s a lot of it! I really liked the tip about sewing the basting stitch in another colour so you know which ones to unpick and although this is something I’d normally shortcut, it was SO helpful when unpicking 3 lines of stitching so I would definitely recommend not skipping that step.

I lined the front of the bodice as it’s quite sheer, but I didn’t want to line the back because I was aware that the waist ties would bunch it up a little and I didn’t want it to be frumpy at the back. So instead I did a facing at the back and a full lining at the front and followed all the instructions in the same way. When it came to sewing up the side seams I treated the lined bodice as one layer.

I added the waist ties to the bottom of the bodice but about 2cm up from the edge. That way they would be above the waist seam and as the back is slightly dipped, it would mean that they sat above the ruffle. I decided that would be better so that you could still see the detail of the ruffles and it didn’t affect the shape of the skirt. The ties I added were quite thick because I wanted to tie them in a bow as a feature but you could definitely do thinner more incognito ones if you were adding them just for shape.

Although this isn’t my usual style, I’ve already worn it three times as it’s just so easy to throw on and so comfy too. I can see myself using the sleeves again – in my opinion the pattern is worth it for the sleeves alone – I’ll be hacking those bad boys onto everything this winter. I’ll probably make another full dress again, maybe with an additional tier in the skirt… if I can face the ruffles!

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