This is a Tilly and the Buttons pattern which was released earlier in the year. From the moment it was out I knew I wanted to try it. I thought it was a flattering shape and would be very comfy since it's made out of jersey AND IT HAS POCKETS!!! Hubby gave me the pattern for my birthday and a voucher for Guthrie Ghani to buy some fancy fabric. I follow Tilly on Pinterest where she has a board for peoples makes, one for each of her patterns. It's nice to see what other people have done with the Zadie, and to see how it works in solid colours or mixed fabrics. I really wanted to have a go at colour blocking and was looking forward to fabric shopping!
So one day off I went to Moseley with my voucher and pattern in hand. The Guthrie Ghani store is lovely and the staff were wonderful but I was disappointed with the choice of fabrics. They seem to focus on quite high end fabrics like Liberty London prints which, while lovely, are too expensive for me. I am still afraid of spending too much on fabric in case I don't like the end product or simply cock it up! Eventually I found three blues which complimented each other nicely and bought the required amount for the colour blocking version. This meant 50cms of the light blue, 1.5m of the turquoise and 1m of the navy. All fabrics were a ponte roma medium weight jersey between £10.50 and £12.50 pm, which is more than I'd usually pay but I was happy with my purchases!
I was nervous about starting this pattern. Not sure why. Think it might have been cutting into the expensive fabric that was stopping me. I had the fabric on the shelf for a good two months before I finally decided that I just needed to go for it. So one day I cut out the pattern pieces - all 9 of them!
Then the next day I set about cutting out the fabric which was simple enough but then I had to transfer all the notches and markings.
Since the skirt front and back has 4 pleats in each I had a lot of markings and pinning to do. This wasn't difficult and it looked really nice when finished.
I also had to stabilise a few seams since this fabric has stretch and a tendency to bag out. I bought some iron-on stabiliser which makes life simple!
I followed the instructions and started by sewing the pleats in and then attaching the bodice to the skirt, both front and back. Then the pocket bags (insides) were added and then the outer pocket which also formed the side of the top (as seen in the pictures below). This was a little tricky as they had to be sewn in two halves and pivoted at the waistline. I think it looks a mess on the inside but turned out ok on the outside.
Then the raglan sleeves were added. This is the first time I've ever done this type of sleeve. I think I'm a convert! So much easier than setting in sleeves! Then the neck band was sewn in and top stitched. I can sometimes get a bit impatient and sew too quickly on top stitching which makes it go all wonky, but I took my time with this and it turned out quite nice, just the odd wobble over the seams where the layers of fabric added thickness.
After this I just had to hem the skirt and sleeves. I went for a 3/4 sleeve length and still ended up chopping a good 3 inches off the length but I'm happy with how they ended up. And I like the turquoise stitching detail over the navy sleeve. Apologies for the weird colouring in the photo below, not sure how that happened!
Over all, this was a really nice make. I thought it would take longer than it did and, although a bit fiddly in places, it wasn't difficult. Tillys pattern instructions are great, well written and with plenty of pictures. Not only this but they also have a sew along on their website which takes things step by step in much more detail. I must admit, there were a couple of sections I read before starting sewing!
I really must get better at posing for photos! Sorry about the double chin and bad angle, it was taken by my short son! But I love the colour and it's such a comfy dress so now I can't wait to plan my next one!
Just a little side note before I end... Before this post was uploaded I wore this dress to work one day and while there I wear my keys on a lanyard around my neck. For the four hours I was wearing them I didn't notice that it was rubbing my top until I got home and saw a 2 inch square patch of bobbles. Now, the fabric for the top is a little thinner that the other two darker blue fabrics and it didn't occur to me that I should keep an eye out for this. Needless to say I was quite upset that it was already looking old on it's first outing. However, I remembered seeing a post on how to get rid of them; you take a razor and run it over the bobbles lightly to skim them off the surface. I was a little nervous of doing this but thought it was worth giving it a go. I tried it very gently over the affected area and I'm happy to say IT WORKED!!! Phew! Crisis averted... so there's a little tip for you!
Go forth and sew with jersey!