Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tilly and the Buttons Rosa Dress

Rosa, oh Rosa...!


Tilly, of "and the Buttons" fame, sent me her newest pattern to try, with no expectation that I would say nice things, or anything at all, for that fact. But now that I've had a chance to sew it up and love the fit, I'm going to say nice things!


Rosa is a button-up shirt or dress with a semi-fitted shape, princess seams on both front and back, a pointed back yoke. It's got a two-piece collar and stand, a separate button band facing, three-quarter length roll-up sleeves with narrow button tabs and a curved hem. There are also optional pockets. The seaming is really lovely and is a great opportunity for top stitching or piping.


Since I've recently made a couple of button-up Harrison shirts, I opted for the Rosa dress.
After making a quick-and-dirty muslin, I cut a straight size 7 (Tilly has her own sizing system that goes up to a size 8). However, I lengthened the skirt by 2 inches so it hits just above my knee. I'm 5'7.5", but I think my height is mainly between my waist and knees, which sounds weird when I write it out, but I think it's true. I also gave my belly the teeniest bit of extra breathing room by sewing the front and back princess seams with a slightly smaller seam allowance (maybe 1/2" rather than 5/8") through the belly area.


My fabric is a thick, greenish-brown herringbone sateen-type fabric with a hint of stretch that I actually bought for a blazer for my husband (don't tell!). I'll get him more for his blazer.

With this fabric I was aiming for a military-esque look, but now that I see it in the photos I think the color appears more brown than green. It's a bit reminiscent of a UPS driver's uniform, or maybe a 1980s Brownies uniform, which I totally had as a kid. I checked with my brother, however, who drives a UPS truck, and he said there is no option for a sassy dress like this at his workplace.


For a fun accent (under collar, inner collar stand, button band facings) I used the scraps from my acid-green Springfield tank. I also pulled the accent fabric in by finishing the skirt hem with a bias tape facing.


I opted for short sleeves, basically cutting the sleeve piece straight across about 9.25" from the top of the sleeve cap. I also ended up doing a full bicep adjustment of 3/4". Rather than hem the sleeve, I opted to pull in the accent fabric by doing a sleeve hem facing.


I topstitched most of the seams using the triple stitch on my machine (I would have used topstitching thread, but didn't have a coordinating color). This was my first time using this stitch and it was great. A bit slow, since each stitch is done three times, but lovely. One thing, though: I do not enjoy unpicking triple stitches. I screwed up topstitching the pointed back yoke the first time I sewed it and had to upick the whole seam. My hands still hurt!

By the way, see how much greener the fabric looks in this photo below? I swear the color is changing on me...


My thick fabric is perfect for the bodice of the dress- I like how it holds the shape of the skirt! However, it's just too thick for the collar situation. The collar was fine and actually looks quite crisp, but my collar stand is a nightmare... I'm not giving you a close-up because it's a little bit embarrassing. The fabric was just too thick for that curve at the front! Beware.


Tilly's instructions are great: very thorough with lot of photos to walk you through making your Rosa. My understanding is she has a video class available, too, to supplement the pattern instructions, so if you need the extra hand-holding, that's an option!


I really like the fit of the Rosa! The princess seams are just lovely, skimming the body. I'm delighted to be able to wear it with or without a belt. And the way the skirt kicks out is cute, without being cutesy. I could definitely see making more Rosas in the future (making better fabric choices, of course)! I've got some stretch chambray that would be perfect for this pattern.

Thanks for the chance to try the pattern, Tilly!


42 comments:

  1. Oh this is so good. I loved the pattern when I saw the announcement but I'm a little intimidated at doing an FBA on princess seams. Your version has sold me on it though!

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    1. Thanks so much, Rebekah! You can do it!!

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  2. Super cute on you, and when I saw it with the orange belt, my first thought was totally Brownie uniform. 😊

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    1. Thanks, Jess! Ha, yes, it definitely has a hint of Brownie to it ;-)

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  3. The dress fits you beautifully! Well done!

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    1. Thanks, Deborah! I am really delighted with the fit!!

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  4. This looks lovely! I've been waiting for your review, well done on the speedy sewing! Did you use your full bust measurement or do an FBA? I've got the pattern just need to fit it in to my queue!

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    1. Thanks, Sheona! I used my full bust measurement. It's pretty rare that I need to do an FBA (in fact, don't tell, but I've never done one!), so keep that in mind! Can't wait to see yours!

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  5. That fit is so good! I had a denim dress just like this in high school; maybe I'll get this pattern and remake it.

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    1. Thanks, Masha! I was pleasantly surprised with how good the fit was- my changes were really minimal. I love the shape!

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  6. Ok, so now you've just made me add this pattern to my list...
    Love your fabric choice (& the brownies reference ;-) )

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    1. Ha ha, glad you enjoyed the Brownie uni throwback!! ;-)

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  7. It looks amazing on you! I don't usually wear button down dresses, but this one might change my mind :)

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    1. Thanks, Sherri! It's a cute pattern!

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  8. Meg, this is nice! Between the Brownie and UPS reference though, I was in tears. This is too cute to be either.

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    1. Thanks, Abbey! Glad I got a laugh out of you ;-)

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  9. Not a fan of this one. I think you've sewn it well but the combination of the colour and thickness of fabric and all the extra seaming feels much too heavy for me. More a coverall than a dress. But that's partly because all the photos read really mud brown to me.

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    1. Ha! Well, luckily I'll never ask you to wear it and you'll likely never see me in it.

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    2. Well played Meg! :-D

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  10. Lovely dress. Just an aside question...I was 'brought up' to choose Autumn colours as these do seem to suit me best. I notice you choose a variety of colour ways and they all look good on you. Do we not worry about 'suitable' colours anymore?

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    1. Thanks, Diane! I grew up with that Color Me Pretty book that defined one's colors by seasons (http://www.colormepretty.co/). We never could quite pinpoint my season, though; I think I span more than one. Other women in my family are clearly winters, but I think I may be a winter/summer with hints of other seasons thrown in? There are definitely colors that look terrible on me- tan/beige and cream make me look like death warmed over, so I avoid them. Deeper browns are ok. I don't think pastels are for me, either, but that may be a preference rather than a color flattery thing. In any case, I try not to be beholden to any rule when sewing and dressing myself! If I like it, I like it!

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    2. Fair point. I have started to wear purple and just love it. It doesn't quite fit into Autumn but it does make me feel good. I am still trying to work through so called 'rules' and just make something I am happy to wear. It is often hard to break with life long thought patterns but I am getting there. Thank you for your blog, I do really enjoy seeing what you make and the fabrics you choose.

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  11. This is the first review I've seen of this dress and it looks great, the extra pop of colour is fab and the design is lovely, it fits you so well and you look great.

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    1. Thanks so much, Lynsey! I really love it, too!

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  12. I love this dress on you! The color is great and your topstitching is perfect. I don't usually like button-down dresses, but you have convinced me otherwise with this one!

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    1. Thanks, Emi! All that topstitching was fun!!

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  13. I love the lines on this one! I'm thinking piping, lace, folded bias binding, ribbon--so many things you could do to those lines! I love the little pop of the acid green--very you, and Brown is clearly doing more for you than their drivers. :) Great dress.

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    1. Oooh, yes, all those trim options would be fabulous! Ha ha, glad it's not too UPS-y!

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  14. I love this on you. Great fit and great style.

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  15. Love it! So good when you see new patterns out in the wild, so much easier to envisage - I really loved this pattern but was put off by the girly skirt part, however your article and photos clearly show its very flattering :)

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    1. I agree- I love seeing patterns in the wild! And thank you!

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  16. I was not sold when I saw the Rosa pattern. But your version is just perfect -- errr, now I want the pattern!

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    1. Thanks so much! I really like the pattern- the seaming is lovely!

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  17. I've seen this pattern made up about 3 or 4 times since it was released. Yours is the best. I've not wanted to make this until I saw your rendition of this pattern. Nice job and beautiful fit.

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    1. Aw, thanks! It's a lovely pattern; I really like the look of the seaming- plus the seams allow you to get a great fit!

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  18. My question..... is this true to size as if I wear a misses 10 in ready made....this 10 would work?

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  19. Is this true to size, compared to a 10 Misses in Blouses I would purchase, safe to use the 10? Awesome job and great dress very cute.

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    1. Umm- Tilly's sizing system is not traditional - you should definitely go by the measurement chart and not choose your typical RTW size. For example, I sewed a size 7 for this dress, but in RTW I am typically somewhere between 14 and 18.

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  21. Oh silly me, the pattern I purchased is Archer Button Up....measurements closest to 12 so hope that is correct. Wearing a 10 in RTW so fingers crossed

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  22. I've been looking forward to making this one in the shirt length but going by my measurements I'm bigger than the biggest size on the pattern :(

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