Tilly and the Buttons - Martha Dress

by - 4/24/2016

My finished Tilly and the Buttons 'Martha' Dress.

When I saw the new Tilly and the Buttons 'Martha' Dress, I think I just about died and went to heaven! It looked so swishy and had a sweet 1960s look which I couldn't resist, so I snapped it up right away. I already own Tilly's wonderful Love at First Stitch book, so knew her instructions would be easy to follow and filled with her beautiful images. I wasn't wrong!

I chose a drapey viscose fabric, for ultimate swishy-ness.

Tilly's patterns always arrive in their recognisable envelope with her signature stamps and always look so cute (quite a few have been arriving at my house recently!). I'm obsessed with Tilly's branding, I think its so fresh and fun and her patterns are all gorgeous, I just know I'll collect them all. The pattern comes with an adorable booklet of instructions, a refreshing change from a huge open sheet of paper with dodgy illustrations and outdated terminology. So I knew even though I am certainly not a confident dress maker, that I would be able to follow her instructions regardless.

I wanted to make sure I kept my version of 'Martha' as swishy as possible in keeping with the 60s vibe I wanted to go for, so I chose this affordable black & white floral viscose fabric from Minerva Crafts - my new favourite online haberdashery. Luckily it was the perfect choice!

I knew sewing with such a drapey fabric might be tricky but I did stay stitch around all my princess seams etc to minimize any fraying as the instructions suggest. However, my fabric did slip around a bit when I was sewing, so some seams aren't as perfect as I would like. But with practice, hopefully my technique will improve.

Here's a peek at the pattern:

All Tilly's photos for the 'Martha' dress are beautiful!

As you can see, the dress comes in two lengths & has two sleeve options. I couldn't resist those 3 quarter length flared sleeves, something I would love to exaggerate a bit more when I make this pattern again. I knew I was going to make mine a mini-ish length as I'm only 5"4 and with a high neck & longer length it wouldn't suit me at all. I did cut out the full length version, but only so I could edit the length myself in case the mini version was too short for me. I went for just above the knee which I think will look fabulous bare legged for Spring & with tights in the colder months.

I found the dress straight forward to make, up until it came to the final stages of inserting the invisible zip and adding the collar. It was only the second ever invisible zip I've sewn on a garment, I did have to unpick my first attempt, but my second was much better. My center back waist seams ended up not matching slightly where I must of stretched the fabric when sewing. I could of unpicked the zip and done it for a third time, but I'm impatient and hoped it wasn't too noticeable...

I think I had a similar problem with my fabric slipping when I sewed the collar together, as the very top points don't quite match up. But I can live with that. Something to improve on next time!

Overall, I am SO happy with my Martha dress. I was worried the high neck style wouldn't suit my busty shape, but the nipped in waist, along with my dark fabric choice made the dress rather more flattering than I expected. I'd love to make the dress again with a different collar, maybe a sweet peter pan collar or just simple binding. Either way, I can't wait to make this dress again!

Take a peek at my Twitter & Instagram to see the little video I posted of me swishing around in it. I think I enjoyed shooting this dress way more than my poor boyfriend did photographing it. So much dancing!

Get this pattern:

Have you made 'Martha' or is she on your sewing list? Will you be taking part in Tilly's Instaspam party on 7th May? Find out more HERE. I can't wait to see everyone's take on 'Martha'!

Thanks for reading, pinups.

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