Stashbusting for Summer – The Final Part

Although I can’t say I have used up all (or much) of my dressmaking fabric stash, at least I’ve had a go this year and here are two more dresses which at least are more useful than metres of fabric in a cupboard.

I didn’t like the ‘Stevie’ dress pattern from Tilly & the Buttons when I first saw it as it’s a boxy sort of shape with a high neck (both things I don’t like on me) but, when there was a 20% off sale, I suddenly felt more drawn to the fact that it is quite a quick make with no zips or buttons and ‘grown on’ sleeves – i.e. no fiddly setting in of sleeves into armholes.

I also really like that back yoke detail.  You can swap the bow out for a button and loop if you want.

So, I made two.

The first one is made from some double gauze fabric which I’ve never sewn with before and, despite being made from two thin layers of fabric stitched together – double gauze fabric, not the dress – it is very light and comfortable to wear.



The hem was an abomination and I have re-done it since these photos were taken.  I blame the nature of the fabric because I can’t possibly blame myself.

Double gauze is quite a ‘floppy’ fabric so the bow feature on the back works quite well here.

I made the second version using some fabric which has a sort of linen texture to it – or maybe barkcloth? – and also has a bit of stretch although it’s very stable and I think I bought it to make some trousers.  Ask me why.  I don’t know because I’m not really a ‘flowered trousers’ type of person but I think it was when I was experimenting with trouser making and fancied something with a bit of a summery feel.  Anyway, I came to my senses and used it for this dress instead.

Being less drapey it gives the dress more shape which is fine because it looks very different from the first version.

However, in this fabric, the boxy shape is more apparent and the bow isn’t as floppy as I’d like so I probably should have used the loop and button for this one.

So I tried it on back to front in an unintentional pattern hack which did away with the high neck I’m not overly keen on

and it appears to fit exactly the same

which is strange but I’m not complaining.

On the other hand I might have to have a word with my photographer as he has included dogs, dead plants, parasol poles and all sorts in these photos.  I did disturb him whilst he was having a quiet moment with a glass of some home brew (also in the photo!)  so I suppose I shouldn’t complain.

That will be all my summer makes for this year now using stash fabric.  I’ve made ‘a little top’ by hacking that old favourite the ‘Sorbetto’ but it’s not been photographed yet and, anyway, I did buy a metre of something called ‘dobby’ to make that so it doesn’t count as a stashbuster.

Look! It’s covered in the constellations.

I’ve cut out a shirt for Mr. Tialys in some Liberty tana lawn (above) and will concentrate on that next, going slowly, step by step, because I’m using a ‘new to me’ pattern from Liesl & Co called the ‘All Day Shirt’ and I’m determined it will be gorgeous enough – and fit him well enough – to wear to the office without shame or embarrassment.

Hopefully, it (if not he) will look something like this

I’ll let you know how I get on.


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  1. #1 by nottaholiday on August 13, 2019 - 12:53

    Looks such a comfy fit too. Well done. I especially applaud the photographer….who must also have studied with mine at the “Steve takes such crappy photos he will never be asked again” school.

    • #2 by tialys on August 13, 2019 - 13:09

      They think we don’t realise what they’re up to. Poor fools!

  2. #3 by claire93 on August 13, 2019 - 13:05

    well done on both dresses! I reckon pattern looks best (on you) in the double gauze, as it drapes nicely, whereas the second fabric does look rather boxy on you. Saying that, back to front, it looks brilliant!
    Love the shirt fabric you’ve chosen for Mr T’s next shirt – what a star he will be, when that it made!

    • #4 by tialys on August 13, 2019 - 13:17

      Thanks Claire. I suppose the pattern description does say the dress has a ‘modern, boxy fit’ so I got what I paid for. It’s just that – while I’ve still got a waist, I might as well show it even though I can’t deny the shape of the dress, with no closures, meaning you can just pull it on over your head, is perfect for the hot weather we’ve been having.
      Mr. T. actually chose the fabric himself from the Liberty shop online so he’ll only have himself to blame if he doesn’t end up with a beautiful shirt – or at least that will be what I’ll tell him if it doesn’t turn out perfectly. If it does, it will all be down to my wonderful sewing skills of course 😉

      • #5 by claire93 on August 13, 2019 - 21:25

        well it won’t be your first shirt so I have every confidence it will turn out beautifully

      • #6 by tialys on August 14, 2019 - 10:53

        There’s some tricksy bits on this one that I’ve not done before – little slots for the plastic collar stays for instance – but I’ll take it slow, there’s no rush.

  3. #7 by nanacathy2 on August 13, 2019 - 13:21

    Fellahs can’t even take a picture fit for Instagram! At least you’re not pouting. I really like the look of version one, but both look nice and cool for summer. Good luck with the shirt, sure you’ll make a super one.

    • #8 by tialys on August 13, 2019 - 13:27

      There’s a girl – I think she’s Australian – whose dressmaking blog I follow but only because I’m fascinated by it. The twenty or so photographs she puts on her posts for one single garment look professionally done and there is much pouting, playing with hair, boob and booty on display and general overexposure – sometimes just a tiny corner of the garment in question is in view and the rest is taken up with pout. She is pretty and all but, seriously? On a sewing blog? I love its entertainment value.

  4. #9 by katechiconi on August 13, 2019 - 13:36

    I like the drape of the green gauze version better, I think, but I can see the attraction of an easier fabric! I do love that back view of the green dress; there’s the merest suggestion that you’re going to step back and sit down on the dog behind you….

    • #10 by tialys on August 13, 2019 - 14:03

      The gauze is easy too, just has less structure than the other in the finished garment. Funny that all so far prefer the gauze one because the dress is meant to be boxy which is better achieved by the other fabric – if you click on the first photo in the post of the pattern you’ll see that the designer’s samples are that shape.
      If I even thought about treading (or sitting) on Flo you’d probably hear her over in Australia. She is a first class wimp and I dread ever having to take her to the vets for anything – I’d be so embarrassed about the fuss she’d cause I’d have to say I just found her on the street – nuffink to do wiv me guv!

  5. #11 by Laurie Graves on August 13, 2019 - 14:02

    Both look cool and sweet for summer. Really enjoyed seeing the dog in the picture. And what a lovely outside sitting area. A patio? No wonder your guests wanted to be outside when you had them over for dinner. If I had been invited, I would have plunked myself on that outside sofa. Settee? Whatever.

    • #12 by tialys on August 13, 2019 - 14:04

      Thanks Laurie – it’s actually the swimming pool terrace. Does that make you want to come over for a dip?

      • #13 by Laurie Graves on August 13, 2019 - 14:59

        Sure does! If you lived closer…

  6. #14 by Evie Jones on August 13, 2019 - 15:36

    Love these on you. You’re right that the second one is more splendid with the ties at the front.
    I don’t like a high neck (mainly because I have virtually no neck at all!!!) but in the double gauze it really works.
    You could always add a little bit of elastic shirring at the mid back to give a little waist shaping…or some back waist ties.
    Or not. Because they’re lovely as is.

    • #15 by tialys on August 13, 2019 - 19:03

      Thanks Evie. If I make it again – which I probably will because the fit is good and it’s so quick to make – I think I’ll leave the style as it as it’s good just to pull on and feel comfortable in but I might turn the back to the front on purpose next time and just leave the ribbons off.

  7. #16 by thecontentedcrafter on August 13, 2019 - 21:26

    Everything you make turns out wonderfully! And looks good on you too. Like the rest I love the way the double gauze fabric subverts the ‘boxy’ look – though if that’s a box I’m a kazoo……… And I like the husbands taste in shirt fabric – look forward to seeing him model that!

    • #17 by tialys on August 14, 2019 - 10:52

      Let’s hope he’s a better model than a photographer 😂

  8. #18 by Born To Organize on August 13, 2019 - 21:34

    Whenever I read your posts, I want to get busy making a dress…and then I don’t. Your’s are lovely. The gauzy fabric, also in my favorite color, made up beautifully, and I’ll join the others in saying it looks terrific on you. I LOVE the shirt fabric and pattern you’ve chosen for your husband and can’t wait to see it complete. It’s been years since I’ve made a tailored shirt. I remember so many steps to getting it right. Go, Lynn!

    • #19 by tialys on August 14, 2019 - 10:49

      Thanks Alys. I’ve made him one shirt so far – if you don’t count the muslin – but it was a slightly more casual style. Using this fabric I should get a more ‘office-type’ shirt but with a fun twist. I’ve seen some similar shirts for sale in high end menswear shops and they cost lots so we’ll see whether I can measure up to the task.

  9. #21 by magpiesue on August 13, 2019 - 22:08

    I like the back (or front!) detail of the dress pattern. Nearly everything I wear these days just pulls on over my head – muumuus and the like – so I can appreciate how you’d enjoy the boxy fit on a hot summer day. Kudos to Mr. Tialys for choosing such a fun, colorful fabric for his shirt!

    • #22 by tialys on August 14, 2019 - 10:47

      Thanks Sue – I tend to wear mostly quite fitted clothes so the looser shape takes some getting used. However, the thought of wearing something fitted in the temperatures we’ve been having makes me dizzy just thinking about it. 😰

  10. #23 by Kim on August 14, 2019 - 11:21

    Not the biggest fan of Tilly . The dress certainly looks good backwards – wear it that way!

    • #24 by tialys on August 14, 2019 - 11:45

      I’m mostly with you there but I know I’m not in her target age range so quite a few of her patterns are not to my taste at all, although I’m not sure they would be if I was still in that age range. However, I would say that her pattern instructions are mostly excellent and there are very helpful online sewalongs and tutorials so, for the beginner, I would definitely recommend and, for the more experienced, if you can find a pattern you like, they are nice quick makes. This dress is not my usual style so I’m out of my comfort zone with the shape – trendy or not – but it’s an easy to wear dress in hot weather and, yes, the green dress will be worn right way round and the other one, backwards.

  11. #25 by KerryCan on August 14, 2019 - 12:45

    You crack me up. Who else would think of putting a dress on backwards and have it work out for the best! I like the fabric for your husband’s shirt a lot–will look forward to seeing that as you progress!

    • #26 by sew2pro on August 14, 2019 - 19:58

      Nice! I have never sewn double gauze. Am hoping to find a nice pattern to make Jenna from BHL (no, I’m not in their age range but still succumb from time to time). Good luck with the shirt.

      • #27 by tialys on August 14, 2019 - 22:42

        Well, to be honest, as with RTW clothes, if we only ever bought patterns modelled by people over 25, we’d rarely be able to buy any at all. I think the Jenna dress would suit you perfectly.

    • #28 by tialys on August 14, 2019 - 22:50

      I had a shop bought top once that I did the same thing with. I gave it away in the end though because it was striped orange and black and made me feel like some sort of oversized bumble bee whichever way round I wore it.

  12. #29 by CurlsnSkirls on August 14, 2019 - 15:46

    Thank you for describing double gauze so I finally understand it better! And yes, I like the drape in that more than the other. But I also am not a fan of stiffer fabrics in general, nor the squared, boxy shape some designers favour. Like the setting, too. 😎

    • #30 by tialys on August 14, 2019 - 22:44

      It’s good to move out of your comfort zone every now and then I suppose. I bought some incredibly wide legged trousers the other day and I said I never would because I’m a short arse. Their saving grace is a very nipped in waist. I will have to take them up a couple of inches though otherwise I will be falling over my feet on a regular basis.

      • #31 by CurlsnSkirls on August 15, 2019 - 16:13

        Sounds interesting! Got a new blouse in mind to wear with them, maybe another stashed jewel?!

      • #32 by tialys on August 15, 2019 - 22:31

        Not exactly got a particular one in mind but they’re navy blue so it will almost certainly be some shade of gold/mustard.

      • #33 by CurlsnSkirls on August 16, 2019 - 14:16

        Love those colours with navy!

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