A swishy, summery Martha dress


So I have been one busy sewing bee, working flat out on this, my latest make, in time to wear to a very exciting sewing event this weekend. The Sewing Weekender, organised by The English Girl at Home and The Foldline, is taking place in Cambridge (lucky for me!) and I so wanted to have a new dress to wear. Sew Essential kindly provided fabric to me for this project (thank you!), and I am so excited to show you the fruits of my labour.

I already had this pattern waiting in the wings, and had been dying to try it out ever since I bought it when it was released. It is a beautiful Martha dress by Tilly and the Buttons. I instantly fell in love with this dress when I saw photos popping up all over Twitter – the princess seams and mandarin collar being my favourite elements.

I decided on making a mini skirt length version – which I usually do with dresses/skirts, because I am not particularly gifted in the height department so tend to find midi length skirts make me look a bit dumpy. And I also went for the short sleeves which I thought looked a little bit more cutesy, and also perfect for wearing in the summer months.

Being as impatient as I am, I went straight in with sewing up a size 3. I tested the bodice before finishing seams though, to check on sizing and fit. Turns out it was absolutely spot on. Magic!

The fabric was a lightweight woven polyester from Sew Essential – a really pretty John Kaldor floral navy blue print against a white background. It was lightweight, but with gorgeous drape which gives the dress the extra swish factor! The challenge with using this fabric was that it was a tad sheer, so required fully lining the dress. I spent quite a while scratching my head on how to tackle this. Luckily I had some wonderful advice from Tilly and the Buttons HQ, explaining in detail how to go about lining Martha which was so so helpful!

I found that this dress did take quite a bit of time to make – kind of from a combination of using a lightweight fabric, a slightly more challenging pattern, and having to fully line it. But I kind of find that projects that I spend more time on I generally feel more proud for finishing. Do other sewists feel like this? I do love a quick-sew project, but there is something so rewarding about spending a whole chunk of time on a more complex garment and reaching the finish line.

So here we have her – a cheeky, summery, floaty, swishy Martha. And I am a little bit in love with her! So off I trot to The Sewing Weekender…. La la la! Keep an eye on my Instagram for updates throughout the weekend, and I will post a review after I have recovered from all of the excitement!

Fabric – Sew Essential

Pattern – Tilly and the Buttons Martha

Size made – 3



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