Ever since *that* Zara dress blew up on Instagram (if you don’t know what I mean check out @hot4thespot) smock dresses have been all over the high street with shops trying to tap into the trend. After seeing it every day on my commute for 3 months I finally caved and decided to go and try it on. It was not a success. I felt like I was wearing a hospital gown and I’m so used to having a more defined waist I felt like I was wearing a sack. This cemented my determination that I was never going to be a smock dress kinda person.
Because of this, when I first saw the Tilly and the Buttons Indigo dress I was so uninterested. Then Instagram did its thing and I saw so many women rocking this dress and thought “oh what the heck I’ll give it a go”.
Fabric: bought from a destash
Fabric length: approx 1.5m
Size: 4 bust grading to 3 at waist and hip
The Making Process
This dress is billed as a pattern for confident beginners and I agree. The construction is very straightforward and there are no fastenings so it would be a good first project for a complete beginner. The only sticking points a beginner may have is inserting pockets into the side seam, but you could definitely omit these if you wanted to.
There is also a *lot* of gathering. If you’ve done gathering before you may be tempted to skip out changing your thread and do fewer lines of gathering but I would 100% recommend the method they suggest doing in the instructions. It may seem like it will take longer but it makes it so much easier.
When I first tried it on I hated it so much that I didn’t bother finishing the seams as I thought I’d wear it once and then take it to the charity shop. I posted it to Instagram saying I wasn’t happy with it and was really touched by all the lovely messages I was sent in response. I decided to style it up and see how I went and was so glad I did as I actually felt pretty good.
There’s no denying this it not the most flattering dress I’ve ever made, particularly on my body shape, but damn it is comfy. I can confirm that this is an excellent dress to wear on days where you just want to look like you’ve made an effort but can’t be bothered with anything fancy or fitted. I can also confirm that it is the perfect dress to wear on a long-haul flight.
I’m taking this as a lesson that sometimes it’s worth stepping out of your comfort box and trying something new. Chances are I’m not going to make the Indigo dress again but I will use some of the techniques in future makes. I really like the exposed hem on the ruffle and when I have to gather a skirt again I’ll definitely use that technique so I’d say this make was actually a success.