9 July 2021

Let's Sew Skye! Inspo & Fabric Shopping

Let's Sew Skye! Inspo & Fabric Shopping

Summer is in full swing and lucky for you we've just released the ultimate hot-weather sewing pattern, the Skye sundress. If you haven't read Nikki's introduction post, then pop on over because she's shared all the details you need to know about this easy-breezy design. 


The simple fitting empire waist bodice is gently shaped with pleats under the bust and has a neat bias binding finish on the inside. The slightly square scoop neckline is designed to cover a bra, with optional bra strap stays for added security. Add the optional faux ties to the straps for an extra touch of whimsy. Choose from mini-, knee- or maxi-length hemlines for the floaty, gathered skirt. And, of course, it has side seam pockets for your ice cream money!

Get your copy of the Skye sundress sewing pattern HERE. Skye is available in TWO size bands UK 6-24 / US 2-20 / EUR 34-52 or UK 16-34 / US 12-30 / EUR 44-62. If you are in between the two size bands or want to learn more about our new sizes, check out this post to see which one is right for you. 

Skye is a fabric versatile pattern, so we're sure you'll have something perfect waiting in your fabric stash already! We recommend light to medium weight fabrics such as cotton lawn, poplin, seersucker, lighter weight linen and blends, double gauze, viscose (rayon), lyocell (Tencel), silk or poly crepe de chine.

Now let's get some inspiration!

Checks and Gingham

Dresses: 1 / 2 / 3

Thanks to Skye's mini, maxi and midi skirt lengths, she can carry any and all prints! Checks and ginghams are so easy to wear, come in endless colour options and fabric types and will never go out of style. Pick a classic cotton poplin gingham for an everyday Skye or go fancy with a bold sateen to take Skye to the next level of dreamy.

This short and sweet Skye is made from a classic cotton poplin which is nice & easy to sew with and to care for. This gorgeous gingham print comes in a range of colourful shades, including the vibrant yellow we used, but this pink is calling my name too (Tilly already bagged the turquoise in sweet pea gauze for a Lyra dress)! Skye looks lovely when it's layered with a t-shirt underneath don't you think? It's definitely how we will be styling ours - with a straw bag and shades of course! Check out our Tabitha T-Shirt pattern from the Make It Simple book for a style you'll sew again and again.

Skye sample fabric supplied by Spoonflower.

Plain & Simple

Dresses: pink, rust, blue, mauve

There's nothing boring about sewing with plain fabrics! In fact, it's a lovely way to show off Skye's delicate pleated bust detail and to show off your skirt gathers. Want to make sure your gathers are nice & even? Us too! Check out this post with all the tips you need (including a handy video!).

The fabric you choose for your Skye can really inform the silhouette and overall look of the dress. This means you can make the pattern several times in different fabrics, and get a different overall look each time - result! Cotton poplin, linen and seersucker are slightly structured fabrics, which will look great when made in the mini-length version. For the knee- and maxi-length versions, something a bit drapier and softer will look utterly fab - try a viscose, viscose/linen blend, lyocell (tencel), silk or poly crepe de chine for fabrics with an irresistible swoooosh. 

For our maxi length dress above we used a sublime viscose linen slub in ocean green, which provided a lovely drape and the linen content makes this dress perfect for wearing all summer long. This fabric is also available in other shades including lilac & coral.

Skye sample fabric supplied by Sew Me Sunshine.


Fabrics: top rainbow, green, middle rainbow, bottom rainbow, pink, blue

With its simple design, stripes are PERFECT for Skye as the pattern won't cut up your fabric print too much, especially in the maxi skirt length - those stripes can go on for daaaaays.

We reckon A LOT of people are about to be making rainbow-striped Skye dresses thanks to this stunning fabric print we picked in a flowy crepe de chine. The colourful, gradient stripes work beautifully on a long skirt, like our version. This fabric design also comes in a narrower stripe which we're having a hard time resisting and would be lovely for a mini-length Skye... *adds to cart*

Skye sample fabric supplied by Spoonflower.


Dresses: hearts, white, yellow, pinks
Fabrics: leopard, lemonslollipops, faces, hearts

Skye is waiting for your boldest fabric! She can carry it off with no problem. With the front & back bodices and skirt pieces cut on the fold, there's little chance of your patterned fabric being split up too much, so it can do all the talking. From lollipops to lemons, Skye can handle it!


Dresses: yellow, pastel, ditsy, green

The ultimate summer fabric choice of course, and whether you opt for ditsy or bold, there's a Skye dress perfect for your floral fabric. Another lovely summer fabric choice is a Broderie Anglaise, but you would need to add a lining or wear it with a slip underneath. Floral was my first choice and I've gone all-out 1970s with my maxi Skye dress.

Pink and red is always a winning colour combo and this blob flowers print wasn't going to pass us by! It's such a fun, bold print and works perfectly with the knee-length Skye and the organic sweet pea gauze holds such a lovely shape. It also comes in multiple colourways and an adorable ditsy mini print version. 

Skye sample fabric supplied by Spoonflower.


Here at Tilly and the Buttons we strongly believe you can never go wrong with a polka dot! Random dots, perfect polkas, big and bold, or mini - we'll have a Skye in every combo!

Aside from fabric and thread, you'll need very little in the way of supplies for the Skye sundress. You have the choice of either buying pre-made bias binding or making your own. The instructions cover how to sew with both so we've got you covered whatever you choose. However, if you're a beginner (or time poor like me), buying bias binding will speed up your sewing time and make things a bit simpler.

Look for a 10-13mm (1/8-1/2in) wide single fold bias binding if you want to buy it pre-made, or a lightweight cotton if you want to make your own. Fancy learning how to make your own bias binding? Check out this post to learn how - it's a great stash buster too!

If you would like more guidance on sewing with bias binding, stay tuned as we'll be sharing our tips and tutorial soon.

For Skye, we also recommend stabilising the neckline and armholes with iron-on seam tape if you're using a delicate, shifty fabric such as viscose. It's super easy to apply and is available at loads of haberdasheries and fabric shops in the UK. We used this tape which was very easy to use and apply.

Are you full to the brim with inspiration for making and wearing your Skye sundress? We hope so! We cannot wait to see what you make and how you style your Skye, so please do share it with us by tagging @TillyButtons and using the #SewingSkye tag. Bring on the sun!


Author: Abi Dyson
Models: Averil de Souza and Andii Melody Mae
Photographer: Jane Looker 
Video: Filmed by Jane Looker and edited by Jenny Lingham-Doe
Hair and makeup: Julie Wong
Samples: Sewn by Lisa Obuchowska

Averil's samples:
1. Yellow and white gingham poplin - Spoonflower (gifted)
2. Rainbow stripes crepe de chine - Spoonflower (gifted) 

Melody's samples:
1. Blob flowers organic sweet pea gauze - Spoonflower (gifted)
2. Ocean green viscose linen - Sew Me Sunshine (gifted)