Hi there! I’m Kathleen and I’m so excited to share my make with you!
I’ve been sewing for about 5 years. I try to make clothes that will fit in with my current wardrobe and that I know I will love to wear - and I love to wear this dress!
Crafty Sew and So have so many gorgeous fabrics it was so hard to choose just one. I chose the Autumn flowers viscose, as it really stood out to me. I love red and the little blue and yellow flowers pop against the background without being too over powering. I used Crafty's thread matching service , and the thread matches beautifully - which is perfect for when you can’t actually get to the shops to buy thread. I chose to make the Indigo Dress by Tilly and the buttons, which does have a good size range, but currently does still not go up to my size. It’s a nice loose fit top or dress perfect for this time of year with all the celebrations and endless treats, or is that just my house? It has a lot of different style options to choose from, and if you also buy the add on pack the options are endless. There’s even an option for pockets, (but who am I kidding, as if pockets are an option - they’re a must!)
Being plus size means that a lot of patterns don’t go up to my size. I’m not a professional grader but I have graded quite a few patterns over the years. A lot of companies have been making efforts to increase their size ranges which makes me so unbelievably happy. But a lot of these companies only offer the plus size version as a PDF, so if you can’t find a pattern in your size double check the pattern company's own website as they may offer a plus size PDF pattern there.
I love to work with viscose fabrics - they almost always have a good amount of drape, making them perfect for flowy dresses and tops. This fabric would also work well as a Tilly and the Buttons Stevie, a Closet Core patterns Charlie Caftan, a Friday Pattern Company Wilder Gown, or a Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blouse, and many more patterns. It’s lightweight and opaque so it didn’t need lining.
It sewed like a dream, with just a little fraying. This is a delicate viscose so I wouldn’t want to unpick it too much or it might snag. I finished all the raw edges on my overlocker, but you definitely don’t need one; you can use pinking shears, sew a zig zag stitch along the edge, or use fray check.
As with all Tilly and the Buttons patterns the instructions are very easy to follow - a beginner could easily make this dress. The instructions are written in a friendly manner that guide you through each step. I also used the add on pack for the button back. I know buttonholes can be scary, and with this dress you could probably just sew the buttons on through both back pieces and not have to worry about buttonholes - I never have to undo my dress to get it on or off. I like to sew the buttonholes though, because I feel it looks more professional that way. A couple of my tips are; if you haven’t sewn a button hole in a while sew a test one on a piece of scrap fabric first, just to familiarize yourself with which direction your machine will be sewing in. If you do this, you’ll also be able to see if you need to change the stitch length or the tension. Honestly I hardly ever change the tension on my machine. Another tip is to switch off your machine after each buttonhole, this will reset the machine. Since doing this I haven’t had any problems with my buttonholes, I used to have thread nests and have to do endless unpicking before this. My last tip is to put fray check on your buttonholes before opening them, this will stop them from fraying when you do open them.
I have a really big button stash, but I still couldn’t find the perfect buttons for this dress - so of course I asked my husband to make me some! Don’t worry he’s made me plenty before, so it was nothing new to him. I cut up some blue, purple and orange petals and added some tiny gems. I think these buttons match this dress perfectly, standing out against the pattern but not standing out too much either. I decided to sew the buttons on with a blue thread to help compliment the blue flowers on the fabric.
The Indigo Dress is a nice loose fit dress. I prefer to have my dresses a bit more cinched in at the waist so I added ties to mine. I cut my ties 2” wide by 26” long. To make the ties I folded them right sides together and sewed one short edge and the long edge with a 3/8” seam allowance, then I turned them out the right way. To attached them to the dress, I basted them to the side seam of the bodice. Its important to remember there is a 5/8” seam allowance there, and I made sure the bottom of my tie was ¾” up from the bottom of the bodice so it wouldn’t get caught in the seam allowance.
As this pattern doesn’t go up to my size I had to grade it, I have made the Indigo Dress before so I’d already graded the pattern up to my size. My best advice for grading is to use a pattern you already own that fits to help you. If you don’t have one, use a piece of clothing in a similar fabric to what you’re using, that you like the fit of. Lay your pattern or clothing on top of the pattern your grading to see what adjustments you would need to make. Remember if you’re using a piece of clothing to help you, you will need to add on the seam allowances. This time I lowered the armhole seam by ½”. I took in the shoulders by 1 ½”. I added 7” to the flounce sleeve option, and 1 ½” to the bottom width of the flounce. I absolutely love these long dramatic sleeves. I also lengthened the bodice by 1”, but next time I think I’ll lengthen it by 2” and I lengthened the skirt by 4”.
One more tip I have is if you're going to add a label to your make, sew it onto the facing before attaching it to the dress - it will make it so much easier to do. I chose to add one of the new Kylie and the Machine sweary sewist labels. I love adding labels to all of my makes even if they don’t really need one - I feel it's the perfect finishing touch. Crafty Sew and So have a great selection of Kylie and the Machine labels.
This dress will be worn a lot for video chats. We have a lot of birthday celebrations (including my own) coming up and, of course, I'll wear it at Christmas. I’m currently styling it with tights and boots, and mostly wearing it to walk my dogs. But I can’t wait for a day when I can wear it out somewhere nice!
Thank you for reading Kathleen xx
You can also find me on Instagram @kathleensews
“Crafty Bloggers' Club Contributors are given products and materials to test from Crafty Sew&So. We hope you enjoy their honest and impartial reviews of the products. All opinions are their own.”