5 May 2017

Inspiration for Making the Etta Dress

Inspiration for making the Etta dress

Planning to make the Etta dress? Today I thought I’d share with you some gorgeous Pinspiration to help you decide on colours and prints, and get some styling ideas.

When choosing your fabric, I suggest you pick a medium weight material. You don’t want anything too drapey or the dress might hang a bit funny. If the fabric has a bit of stretch in it, that’s always helpful for a fitted dress like this to make it more comfortable to wear. Look for stretch woven cotton, sateen, triple crepe, crepe-back satin, ponte di roma or stable jacquard knits. The cap sleeve version would also work nicely in brocade, but you might find this kind of material a bit uncomfortable on longer sleeves.

Above - clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

It's easy to get drawn to pretty and unusual prints when fabric shopping. But don't forget the humble solid colour! These can often make the most striking dresses. The V-back collar looks particularly good in a solid as it will stand out more. Try a bright or jewel tone, or even a pastel or cream. Look for textured fabrics too, such as jacquard knits and heavy crepes, to add an extra bit of interest.

Inspiration for making the Etta dress

Clockwise from top left - 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Having said that, if you want to make Etta in a print, make it in a print! Ooh 'ello... what's this? The first image seems to be exactly the same fabric that we've included in our Etta sewing kits. This pretty rose print dress would be sooooo pretty to wear to a Summer wedding. The style lines on this pattern make it perfect for showing off bold floral prints.

And let's not forget lemons! I fell in love with the lemon print sateen that we used in our Etta sewing kits - so very Dolce and Gabbana, and perfect for swanning around the Amalfi coast with a limoncello ice cream in your hand (or pretending to at least!).

Inspiration for making the Etta dress

Left to right: 1 / 2 / 3

Not a fan of florals? Modern, graphic prints also look great on this kind of dress. Go for a smaller print if you're adding the collar to make it more visible - and if you're making it in stripes, play around with the direction of the strips on the collar. Big prints also work well as the dress isn't broken up with too many style lines.

Inspiration for making the Etta dress

Clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Add your own design details to Etta to make it extra special. You could embellish the collar or neckline with beading, or add a little button chain to the faux pockets (I'm obsessed with that orange dress!!). Colour block it, either by simply making the bodice and skirt in different colours, or adding extra seams into the pattern. Or add a little lace or embroidered panel to the bodice or waistline like this pretty red dress.

Etta dress sewing pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

If you're struggling to imagine what the dress will look like in a particular fabric, take a look at the technical drawing. Relax your eyes and project that colour or print onto the drawing (in your imagination!).

Have fun designing your Etta dress! I'm so excited to see what fabric you pick - do share with us on Instagram @TillyButtons with the hashtag #SewingEtta.