19 February 2020

Make It Simple: Introducing the Suki Dress!

Suki dress sewing pattern - Make It Simple - Tilly and the Buttons

Everyone needs a fuss-free dress in their lives - the kind that you can throw on with a statement necklace and be out the door.

The third pattern in my new book Make It Simple is the Suki dress. This is one of six main patterns, each with multiple variations, which are included in the back of the book ready to trace off, or which you can download and print on either A4/Letter or A0 paper - the choice is yours. The Suki dress pattern comes in ten sizes, from UK 6-24 / US 2-20.

Suki dress sewing pattern - Make It Simple - Tilly and the Buttons
Suki dress sewing pattern - Make It Simple - Tilly and the Buttons

As with all the patterns in my book, it's speedy to make, simple to fit, and easy to wear. It has a simple shape with minimal seams, a modern loose fit with cocoon silhouette, and drop-shoulder narrow bracelet length sleeves. And the best bit? No zips, no buttonholes - just throw it over your head!

I would estimate that this dress takes just over 2 hours total to cut and sew - the construction is that simple :) As it doesn't have fiddly fastenings or set-in sleeves, it would make a great first project for a newbie sewist, or a satisfyingly speedy make for a more experienced stitcher.

Suki dress sewing pattern - Make It Simple - Tilly and the Buttons

All the patterns in the book have multiple variations, and the first one for the Suki dress is this colour block version with striking diagonal seams. In the book, I explain how to hack the pattern to create this look - a technique you can then apply to other patterns in the stash, once you know how.

Suki dress sewing pattern - Make It Simple - Tilly and the Buttons
Suki dress sewing pattern - Make It Simple - Tilly and the Buttons

The third and fourth variations in the book are a short-sleeved dress which omits the sleeve pieces, and the addition of a sash with belt loops.

The sash really changes the look of the dress, don't you think? It gives it a cinched-in silhouette for those of you who like to accentuate your waist. I love the style of this sash with a wider part and narrow ties - I think it looks so flattering.

I hand-printed this fabric myself using fabric paint and a small sponge from my son's craft box - it took about ten minutes to do. For the photo shoot, the book's stylist Clare Nicolson created a backdrop to match - love!

Suki dress sewing pattern - Make It Simple - Tilly and the Buttons
Suki dress sewing pattern - Make It Simple - Tilly and the Buttons

FABRIC SUGGESTIONS

Make your Suki dress in light- to medium-weight drapey woven fabrics, such as linen, chambray, double gauze, lyocell (Tencel), viscose (rayon) or crĂȘpe.

We used Lady McElroy coral tencel lawn gifted by Lamazi Fabrics for the main project; squiggle double gauze gifted by Higgs + Higgs for the colour-block version; and See You At Six denim tencel gifted by Lamazi Fabrics for the short sleeve version with sash, which I hand-printed using fabric paint and a small sponge.

HOW MUCH FABRIC DO I NEED?

If you're out and about fabric shopping and forgot to check how much fabric you needed before you left the house, we've got your back! Here's what you'll need:

Main version

If your fabric is around 150cm (60in) wide:
Sizes 1–5 (UK 6-14 / US 2-10): 2.3m (2 3/8yd) fabric
Sizes 6–10 (UK 16-24 / US 12-20): 3m (3 3/8yd) fabric

If your fabric is around 115cm (45in) wide:
3m (3 3/8yd) fabric

Plus:
  • Matching thread
  • 0.3m (3/8yd) interfacing, in a similar weight to your fabric

Colour-block version

You will need two fabrics, and you'll need to make your pattern first to establish how much fabric you'll need. Sorry I can't be more specific at this stage!

Short sleeve version

As listed for the main dress project, minus 0.5m (5/8yd) fabric

Sash

As listed for the main dress project, plus:

  • 0.3m (3/8yd) extra fabric
  • 0.3m (3/8yd) extra interfacing

Suki dress sewing pattern - Make It Simple - Tilly and the Buttons

We're excited to see you Suki dresses out in the real world! If you make one, please do share with us on Instagram @TillyButtons using the hashtags #SewingSuki #MakeItSimpleBook so we don't miss it :)

*****
Author: Tilly Walnes
Make It Simple is published by Quadrille (Hardie Grant)
Model photography: © Ellie Smith
Model shoot props and styling: Clare Nicolson
Step photography: Jane Looker
Models: Karen Arthur & Phoebe Nickalls

 Make It Simple - sewing book