Today I’m really excited to share the Zadie Dress with you. This unique and cleverly designed dress from Tilly & the Buttons is super comfortable to wear yet still very polished. The pattern was just released last week but I was lucky enough to be sent an advance copy of the pattern by the lovely folks at Tilly HQ a couple weeks ago. The dress features really beautiful design lines that are just begging for some color blocking. Plus there are big in-seam pockets perfecting for stowing away all your bits and bobs.
The dress comes with three sleeve options – long, three-quarter and cap sleeve. I decided to make the cap sleeve version because I’ll be able to get more wear out of it throughout the year. I made a size 5 (US 10) to match my bust measurement. I’m 5’11” with a long torso, so I added 1 inch to the length of the bodice and 1.5 inches to the length of the skirt. I was very glad to find that the pattern had markings for where to lengthen and shorten, which is especially helpful when the design is a bit of a puzzle. My hem is only about 5/8 inch so I would consider adding more length to the skirt next time.
The dress fits very well at the bust but is loose at the waist and hips because I fall into a smaller size there. For reference, my waist is a size 3 and my hips a size 4, so there’s definitely some extra room below the bust. I usually fall into three different sizes but because there are so many pattern pieces that need to be precisely matched up on this dress, I wanted to get to know it a little better before attempting any grading. Tilly and team are planning a sewalong that will be full of helpful info including sizing so I’ll definitely be checking that out.
The fabric is a textured ponte-ish knit that I’ve had in my stash for a few years. I really loved it when I first bought it but then couldn’t figure out what to make with it. I had even considered giving it away. But when I received this pattern I knew that this fabric would be a great fit. It has the stretch required and I love the sophistication of navy combined with the visual interest of the texture. The fabric is very stretchy and I ended up removing about 3/4 inch from the length of the neck binding. I always baste on the neck binding before serging to make sure it fits nicely and will sit smoothly against the body. Different fabrics require to different lengths so it's a good idea to always baste it first.
I recommend taking your time with this dress. There are a lot of seam lines to line up and that’s never easy to do when you’re rushing. I struggled to sew the join at the front waist seam with the pockets and the side panel. I definitely wished that I had the sewalong to refer to then. But I just went slowly, basted my seams and it all came out beautifully.
I’ve already worn the dress out for a night of dinner and classical music and it performed beautifully. It’s so easy to wear (the epitome of throw it on and forget it ) but I felt really put together. The fabric you choose will definitely determine the casualness of the garment. And if you’re thinking about playing with color blocking, Tilly has provided a coloring page to try out different ideas before you commit to fabric. I feel pretty confident predicting that the Zadie dress will be a sewing world classic. It's flattering for so many different figures and the gorgeous style lines give you a lot of opportunity for creativity.
Disclosure: I received this pattern for free yet all thoughts and opinions are my own.