Sewing · Tilly and the Buttons

Sew Zadie

As soon as Tilly started sharing sneak peaks of the Zadie pattern I loved it but didn’t know if it would suit be as I’m short with gigantic boobs. More photos of the finished dress were released and I decided I definitely wanted to give it a go. 

I had some decent sized scraps of knit and jersey left over from sewing Coco’s so I decided to make a wearable toile. If it suits me then great but if not I haven’t bought/wasted fabric. 

First of all I read all of Tillys fitting advice and yay I didn’t need to do an FBA. I did lengthen the bodice and side panels by 3 inches so that the waist seam went over my boobs and didn’t sit awkwardly. I also shortened the skirt pieces by 3 inches as everything’s always a bit too long. New pattern pieces drawn, all of them had to be resized and it did take a while to get my head around redrawing the curved lines but I got there in the end with my curved rulers.

pattern cutting tools

I used the amazing colouring sheets and planned potential designs. The skirt had to be coral as that was the only scrap large enough but I was more than happy with that as I do love a bit of colour. Once the final colour way was picked I got cutting. The back bodice and skirt pieces have a seam down the centre as they didn’t quite fit on the pieces of fabric I had to work with. 

the added back seam

Now for sewing time. This is the most complex make I have ever attempted and my previous jersey sewing only goes as far as making many Coco’s. I enjoyed the challenged of getting it all to fit together with neat(ish) points! My first ever neckband went on perfectly first time which I was mega pleased with. 


Due to the construction of the dress I didn’t check the fit until it was nearly finished and unfortunately it was too tight over my boobs. Although I had read the fitting instructions, which says to fit as you sew, I got carried away with the sewing and trimmed the bodice seam allowances. This meant that I was unable to take them out, argh. However I was able to take out the side seams. I didn’t think this would be enough but after unpicking and resewing using a 7mm seam allowance it fits, woohoo!

I also unpicked the top stitching around the neck band. Originally I zig zagged in coral but I wasn’t too keen. I love everyones twin needle top stitching but unfortunately I don’t have the attachments to do that so I decided fake sew twin needle top stitching! Yes it’s not the neatest but unless you invading my personal space you won’t notice this!

mega pleased with my neckband

Before hemming I checked the length and needed to take off another 6cm, I didn’t think I was that short!

shortening tools

I am very pleased with my first attempt at Zadie. 

yay pockets

I don’t know if I am experienced enough as a sewer to give advice but here goes anyway. The ponte de roma I used for the skirt is quiet heavy and pulls slightly on the bodice and the pockets don’t always sit flat so would recommend something a bit lighter. It probably didn’t help that all my fabrics were different weights and stretch so if colour blocking I would suggest using similar fabrics. 

I wore Zadie for the first time and although I love how the dress has turned out I don’t think she suits me and I felt shorter and fatter than normal. This is no reflection at all on Tillys pattern and is purely based on my body shape. As always Tillys patterns are so clear and easy to follow. Maybe one day if ever I’m slimmer I will attempt making another Zadie. 

How have you got on sewing Zadie?

2 thoughts on “Sew Zadie

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