Friday, 5 May 2017

Tilly and the Buttons Etta Dress

This is the new Etta Dress pattern from Tilly and the Buttons: a drop dead gorgeous wiggle dress, super fitted and super slinky. I was one of the pattern testers, which doesn't automatically guarantee I'm going to like a pattern, but in this case it was exactly my style and I totally fell for it!  Etta is shaped with darts to the waist, bust and shoulders, with a choice of sleeves (capped or three-quarter length) and back necklines (high or V-backed). There's also an optional collar or faux pockets. In an ideal world I'd have chosen the collared version but didn't have enough fabric, so mine is a simple V-backed style with cap sleeves.


As soon as I saw the brief I knew exactly which fabric I was going to use: a barkcloth-style cotton from Fabrics Galore that I snapped up at the Knitting & Stitching Show last year. Fiona from Diary of a Chain Stitcher also bought some and made her stunning Big Vintage Sewalong dress from it. The fabric has an unusual springy texture and a slight stretch, making it perfect for this very fitted pattern. Stitches do completely disappear into the fabric though, which is great if you want to hide a line of stitching, but not so good if you want to show off design details. The darts don't really show up on any of my photos, so you'll just have to take my word for it that they're there! If you look closely you can just about make out the back shoulder darts in the picture below. 


The cap sleeves are self lined and finished with bias binding. I must admit this was a bit of a fiddly technique, but worth it I think for the lovely neat finish on the inside. 


Luckily, my fabric wasn't a directional print so I was able to squeeze the bodice, skirt and sleeve pieces out of 1.5 metres. The facings and bias binding were made from dotted chambray left over from this top


There have been a few changes made to the pattern since the testing process so I won't go into great detail about the construction. However, to give you a rough idea of size, my dress is a size 4 at the bust and a size 3 at the waist and hips, with the skirt length shortened by two inches. The skirt is designed to hit the bottom of the knee.



This is the perfect pattern to use for a special occasion dress. It's very flattering and you'll look effortlessly elegant and chic sipping a martini. If you have a wedding to attend this summer, or just need a new cocktail dress, you're sorted! x


The Etta pattern was given to me free of charge for pattern testing. All views my own. 


27 comments:

  1. It fits you beautifully Jane and looks impeccably finished; I love the good guts of a garment!!

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  2. Wowzer! That looks awesome on you! If I had a figure like yours I'd be having a go at this dress. And agree with the above comment about good guts of a garment, the inside looks just as beautiful as the outside.

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    1. Ah that's so nice to hear, thank you! x

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  3. Wow - it fits you perfectly, might put this on my Pattern list! It's a stunner!

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  4. Perfectly gorgeous and looks stunning on you: it is really a professional looking piece!

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    1. Oh thank you! That's a wonderful compliment! x

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  5. Gorgeous print for this pattern!!! You look fabulous in this dress too!

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  6. Love your dress - your fit is to be envied honestly! No way am I able to get such a good fit but I'll keep working towards this ideal!

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    1. Thank you - I didn't do much though, I'm very lucky that the pattern was a good match for my body shape! x

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  7. Beautifully constructed inside and out. This dress fits you like a glove. You look stunning!

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  8. You look absolutely amazing in this Jane! I adore this fabric and it was a beautiful choice for this project. I love that inside finishing with the facing and binding!

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    1. Thanks Fiona, I like the bound finishing too, it's a bit time consuming but worth it! I feel very lucky to have nabbed some of this fabric! x

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  9. That IS your kind of dress. It looks fab. I teach so I am wondering if I can get my arm high enough in those cap sleeves to write on a whiteboard! jo x

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    1. Thanks Jo! You'd definitely need a fabric with some stretch for writing on a board! Obviously you CAN raise your arms in it, but the sleeves are a tight fit so I wouldn't want to do it all day! The longer sleeves might be more suitable. x

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  10. You look gorgeous Jane. A fitted dress is a great look for you and the fabric is also an excellent choice. I hope you have a nice event to go to!

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    1. Thank you Kate! I have a 50th birthday party coming up and this dress is on the short list! x

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  11. ooh this is lovely and the shape suits you down to the ground. Excellent dress!!

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  12. Absolute perfection! Well done! :)

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  13. Lovely dress Jane,beautiful finishes.I am only wondering why it does not have a lining? or underlining..

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    1. Thank you! It doesn't have a lining because this is a tester version and I was sewing it up exactly as per the instructions - the Etta dress isn't lined. I would definitely have added a lining to the dress if it hadn't been a test version, just to give the dress a smooth interior! x

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  14. Wow! Beautiful dress! I love the bias and facings!!!

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