I am fortunate to receive previews of the Fibremood magazine each time it comes out. The last time round as I looked at all the patterns the Tilda shirt dress called to me. The dress has elbow length sleeves, a relaxed bodice through the waist, a tapered midi length skirt and a wonderful statement collar. For a shirt, it is simple in that the collar is attached without a collar stand and there are obviously no shirt cuffs or plackets to contend with.
Even though I was drawn to this pattern I wasn’t convinced that I wanted to make it as a dress. It had an eighties feel about it and I’m not a fan of that fashion era. Also I wasn’t sure that the tapered, button through skirt would suit me. I had visions of sitting down and buttons flying off! But still it kept calling me.
I did however like the idea of making it into a shirt, I mean, that collar! I had seen a similar shirt in H and M which I’d pinned on my Pinterest. A black shirt with the large collar highlighted with a ruffle. That seemed like a simple enough hack, so I picked the Tilda pattern and made my shirt.
The shirt turned out so well, simple and stylish in a black poplin. I thought that I’d make like a Shoreditch hipster and style it with black jeans. I made a bit of an error with attaching the collar, it doesn’t quite sit right. Also the overall fit is a little tight around the arms, so I clocked that I’d have to make some changes next time. And I really did feel there would be a next time and I even had the right fabric for it, maybe.
I had bought a floral cotton poplin with a black background a while back with the intention of making a shirt dress, probably the Saraste from Named Clothing as I had that pattern cut out already. But the more I looked at the fabric, the more it seemed to be telling me that it didn’t want to be made into something with too many seams. Yes, fabric does talk to you and so do clothes patterns! The diagonal flow of the floral print wanted to be disturbed as little as possible, cut into as few pieces as possible.
And so my mind went back to the possibility of making the Tilda as a dress. The bodice and skirt of the pattern are one piece rather than bodice pieces which need to be joined to a skirt. That would work really well for the fabric. To compensate for my large thighs I would most likely have to grade up 2 sizes compared to my bodice. I hoped this wouldn’t change the style of the dress too much
And so I got to work banishing the little voice in my head that was telling me not to make the dress. I cut a size 14 bodice and began to grade out to a size 18 just before the hip notch. I also cut the size 18 sleeves because I don’t like my arms to feel imprisoned! This then meant I had to sew a row of gathering stitches at the sleeve head so that the sleeve would fit the size 14 bodice. So I have a little bit of a puff at my sleeve heads which is fine.
I’d previously bought some large vintage buckles from Selkie Patterns, one in black and another in orangey red. I thought the reddish one would be perfect for this fabric and I knew that I’d want to style my Tilda with a belt.
Making the dress was simple. Before I got on to attaching the collar I thought I’d watch the sew along on Fibremood’s IGTV. It was helpful and my collar is sitting so much better than my shirt version.
I totally forgot that I wanted to make a belt with a red buckle and went ahead and sewed 10 black buttons in place before I remembered! I thought I’d do an Instagram poll to help me decide which buckle to use, because at that point I was vacillating between the two, seeing as I’d sewn on black buttons. But again the fabric spoke to me and so did the reddish buckle, so I was glad when the poll overwhelmingly said to go with red buckle and buttons.
The belt wasn’t difficult to make. I used an existing belt to gauge the length and width. The only thing now is that I think I might add some belt loops to the dress to help the belt sit more securely. I love the shape that the belt gives. What can I say, I love a bit of waist definition on me. And the red buckle and buttons are just great.
I am a bit in love with this dress. The shape really suits me, the print is gorgeous, the collar is dreamy, everything has lined up to make a great garment. I love it when I manage to match up the right fabric and pattern, the skill is to listen to the fabric, hear what the pattern is say too, try it. Oh, and so far I’ve managed to sit in this dress without the buttons popping off 😄
3 thoughts on “Fibremood Tilda”
This dress turned out so great! That red belt buckle is a really cute detail. Good job trying something you weren’t sure about—it really paid off!
Thanks Lisa, it really did pay off@
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