Thursday, May 4, 2017

Testing, testing: Tilly and the Buttons Etta Dress

Here's my tester version (made back in February) of the latest pattern from Tilly and the Buttons, the Etta Dress:

Etta is a fitted knee-length dress with darts at the bust, waist and shoulders, lined cap sleeves or darted three-quarter length sleeves, high or V-back neckline, and optional collar and faux pockets.

There have been a few changes to the pattern since testing (they made the dress a little bit more fitted, lowered the front neckline 1cm, shortened the bust darts and shortened the long sleeve to 3/4 length), but I think it's still a pretty good representation of the final pattern!

For my Etta, I went with the long sleeved, collarless, high back neck version. I skipped the little faux pockets for maximum sleekness. I like how you can take this dress in very different directions depending on the options and fabric you choose. You can go very vintage-y/Mad Men or very modern. Since I'm not really a vintage gal, I opted for the latter

Tilly calls for "medium weight, non-drapey fabrics, preferably with stretch" for the Etta dress. I chose a stretch cotton sateen in a dark floral print. I knew I would need the stretch because I find that close fitting dresses that don't have a bit of give to be too uncomfortable.

I didn't pay attention to pattern placement at all, so I have a little bit of a repeat across my bum and back bodice, but hopefully it's not too offensive!

I'm pretty chuffed with my invisible zipper. Since I've battled with invisible zips before, I was tempted to go off course and sew a lapped zip, but wanted to stay true to the pattern for testing. This is definitely my best invisible zip to date!

The fit on Etta was pretty fabulous straight off the bat. I was delighted that I didn't need to do a swayback adjustment, full bicep adjustment or full bust adjustment... hooray!

I made a size 7 at the bust, graded to 8 at the waist and hip. I probably could have gotten away with a 7 waist and between a 7 and 8 at the hip, as the hip is a bit roomy.

The darts on the Etta are fabulous. There are so many of them (14! bust, waist, back neck, elbow...), but they're totally worth it to get a close but comfy fit.

This style is outside my typical comfort zone. I haven't made many fitted dresses (the Designer Stitch Jenny is probably the closest I've come and because that one doesn't have stretch, so I don't wear it often because I fear I'll bust out of it!), but I like to be pushed out of my comfort zone a bit. I was pleasantly surprised to really love the Etta once I'd sewn it up!

I've got a wedding to attend in NYC in September and this Etta dress is in the running for me to wear. It's this or my Style Arc Marilyn as of right now, but it may depend on the weather!