My most recent project was sewing the Tilly and the Buttons (TATB) Seren dress in a light blue linen.

We recently added Tilly and the Buttons Patterns to the Sewing Gem store and we absolutely love them! To celebrate Mum and I decided to test out the Seren and Stevie patterns.  And here it is...

I was relatively new to the format of the TATB patterns, but I I had heard great things about the clarity of the instructions.  I certainly wasn't disappointed! These really do make great patterns, suitable for all levels... think easy to follow and well photographed steps.

I made the simplest version without the flounce or tie as I'm a fairly no-frills kinda gal. Plus I was concerned that with a bigger bust the flounce might be too much. However hindsight is a wonderful thing and now I am super keen to make both alternative versions.

Initially I did a muslin and had to move the bust point down. I also finished the bust darts slightly shorter to avoid weird bust flaps (never good!). I also had to grade through a few different sizes over the bust and to the waist. I'm happy with the dress I made, however it is very lose and relaxed, so if I made it again I would be inclined to take it in around the waist a little. Perhaps a bust alteration on a smaller size would be a good idea if I was going for a more fitted version. 

The linen fabric choice worked out well as it gives it a relaxed feel to wear, whilst also managing to make you feel as though you've made a bit of an effort as you swish around - the perfect summer dress if you ask me. However as always with linen you do have to be ok with a few creases, which I totally am. A crease or two is nothing compared to the sticky hand prints I'm usually covered in. 

For a different look I would like to make this dress in a rayon or viscose. The beautiful drape of these fabrics would give it a totally different look and I feel a flounce would be essential. 

I began by taking my time to construct the dress and I was totally enjoying the sewing process, that was until I decided I wanted to wear it for a family photo shoot. This gave me a grand total of one evening to finish it, which in turn led to the 'finished but not perfect' approach. Trying to get all your buttonholes perfectly spaced, whilst surviving on caffeine alone was fairly stressful:)

Overall I pretty much stuck to the instructions and didn't go too rouge, apart from mitring my corners at the hemming stage. Next time I'd be keen to add pockets.

Excuse the two little monkeys in the background.

Initially the back facing did have a tendency to want to flip out (despite all the usual trimming, grading and under-stitching). However I was given a great little tip to stop this happening... add a strip of fabric attached to the facing at the top and to the waist at the bottom (for the waist you can either hand stitch or stitch in the ditch from the front) to pull the facing in - works a treat!  

This is how it looked before the strip was added.

Much better with the added strip, no facing to be seen! 

Mum's Stevie to follow soon....

Thanks for reading.

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